Diary of the Bumped

Eleanor Dickinson

Murray Edwards W2

Day One

Harald, our beloved boat and great source of giggly innuendo is an old hand at this; we’re ready at front stops and poised for carnage. Five seconds and a louder-than-expected bang later, we’re off and widening the gap. Everything is going fantastically until disaster strikes as five’s gate springs open. All is lost, though our pursuer takes their time bumping our stricken boat. Now awkwardly parked on the bank, our coach runs over and attempts to lift us off , only for our poor boat’s bow to come away in her hand. Some emergency gaffa tape later, Harald, broken and mutilated, is rowed home by a stoical stern four. RIP boat.

Day Two

With a written off boat and three subs, morale is low. Turning around yesterday’s disaster seems impossible. The replacement, a rotund novice boat – aptly named Winston – hardly inspires the crew with confidence. We are told that once he gets going, Winston is a tank ready to leave a trail of carnage and  destruction in his wake. Granted, Winston was a ‘tank’ but for all the wrong reasons – by the time we ‘get him going’, a jubilant Girton are already decorating themselves with a  fine array of greenery.

Day Three

We are almost bottom of the river. After a severe grilling from the coach and W1, the fighting spirit that got us through the getting on race seems to be returning. It‘s all going well: we’re a whistle ahead and our pursuers seem miles away. And then, continuing the pattern of the week, disaster strikes. Struck out of nowhere by a determined-not-to-be-at-the-bottom Fitz, our dreams of not taking their place are over.

Day Four

I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to the weir before. Bottom of the river doesn’t seem too bad though, with nobody to panic you into completely messing up. Can we enact revenge on Fitz? Er, no – Fitz bump  Lucy Cavendish, and in a strangely familiar twist of fate, Winston’s oil tanker turning-circle puts us back on the bank. A set of spoons await. Did we gain anything this week apart from some additions to the cutlery draw? Well, as cheesy as it sounds, I’m very proud of my crew. And W1 got blades which made the Bumps Dinner slightly less solemn. After all, at least there is an impressive and fitting tribute to the deceased Harald now circulating on Facebook.

As originally featured in TCS Lent 2011 Issue 8 (http://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/download/)

Lent Bumps 2011: W1 blade again, W2 spoons :(

In conditions very different to last year’s Lent Bumps (last year, some of us were shivering under space blankets in the snow while marshalling at Chesteron), MECBC had TWO boats in this year’s Lent Bumps. For some of W1 and all of W2, it was their first ever bumps so everyone was buzzing in the build up to the week long event. We had friends and supporters cheering us on from the towpath and while listening to the coverage/following bumps on The Tab

W1 started Lent Bumps at the station in front of the cannon. 
For me, the first day was like this:
Mark – “[counting down] … 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…. “
Guy who sets off the cannon – “Cover your ears…”
*dazed, ringing ears, pain*
Me: “DRAW 1….”

The pain did subside, we all got back on it and it was all worth it when we bumped Jesus II. We came together and improved day after day – sitting taller, prouder amongst the other boats. For those of us that were in the W1 crew last Mays, the second day’s bumping of Sidney was sweet, with them having prevented us from blading then. There was some some fine, wonderfully sat, chunky paddling down to our station especially on Thursday prior to the LMBC bump. Perfect accompaniment to the glorious weather! However, we also enjoyed our fair share of hairy moments – incredibly choppy water prior to bumping Sidney at Grassy corner and “the hand in the water” and nearly letting Emma II get away on the final day come to mind! When the bump came, we definitely felt that we deserved it. The faces we all pulled, the panic we all felt at various points over the week was all worth it as we bumped them just outside the Plough in front of an applauding audience. And we went home to baked goods courtesy of parents and Reana – thank you so much, we thoroughly enjoyed them!

W2 started off well but the now-infamous mounting the bank resulting in the snapping of the bow and the death of Harald on the first day was a huge stroke of bad luck for our girls. Bomber (who was there with Peterhouse II) thankfully gaffer taped it back together so Stern 4 could row home (which some have since dubbed the “row of shame”) with Bow 4 walking on the towpath. The rest of bumps was rowed in wonderful Winston. With very few of the actual W2 crew available for the whole week, there was a lot of crew shuffling but everyone just got with it and really came together. They say though that good crews all go up 3 and luck gets you blades – a crew who breaks a boat on the first day must be one of the most unlucky crews. W2, keep up the good work – you must have caught the bug now!

I’ve forgotten just how exciting bumps is, we’re all driven quite literally by the thrill of the chase. I can’t wait for the Mays! We’ll definitely have two boats again so W1, let’s keep it up and get back to where we belong, W2, let’s bounce straight back and bump the crews in front hard.

A HUGE well done to everyone who took part and a special thank you to all you girls who subbed for the crews! I loved every second.


Results for Lent Bumps 2011:
W1 (+4)
Bumped: Jesus II, Sidney Sussex, LMBC II, Emma II

W2 (-4)
Bumped by: Lucy Cav/Hughes Hall II, Girton II, Fitz II and rowed over (as bottom of W3) 

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Lent Bumps 2011 Tuesday results

W1 up 1, W2 down 1

W1: Unnerving as it is to start next to the cannon and having only one bank party (who nearly forgot to get the pole to push us out as he was busy counting down), we had a fairly strong start, getting one whistle right away. From then it moved steadily up to two and three whistles, where we hit dirty water and became slightly scrappy, allowing Jesus II to hold us off for another ten strokes or so. Still, the inevitable came right after first post, where we bumped them. Row up and most of row back was fairly solid, so all bodes well for Thursday.

W2: Day of misfortunes!
 – lots of people needing subs
 – one of our subs dropped ill so we didn't have a crew until 10 mins before we had to marshal
 – luckily M4 had a rerow so we weren't too late. Lots of waiting around on the reach though.
 – while we were catching up on Tit Hall after the start, Peterhouse crashed into the bank ahead of them so Tit Hall bumped up
 – while we were pushing away from Lucy Cav, one of our blades came out of the gate.
 – Lucy Cav caught up just after we got our blade back in after the motorway bridge
 – while trying to park we mounted the bank
 – while we were trying to unmount Harald the bow snapped 🙁
 – GAH

Aftermath: Bomber taped up the bow and we rowed home with only stern 4.

 – row up was pretty decent
 – start was good
 – we were obviously faster than the boats either side of us
So, bring on Wednesday. It won't be in Harald, but we'll tank down Lucy Cav with Winston!

— Ying

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W2 – Lent 2011 Getting On Race

Despite a very long wait at the top of the river due to a barge taking a leisurely cruise up the race course, the race itself flew by. W2 had a smooth start, settled at 32, stayed above 30, and put in a good push till the end. Every girl is pushing hard, while individuals might have missed a stroke here or there, overall the crew has such a strong rhythm that it never really fell apart, making it look almost easy. With a large gap either side of us, we were not distracted by other boats, though it was obvious that we had pushed closer onto Magdalene ahead of us at the finish. Results are out: we got a place!! Bring on bumps.

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Pembroke Regatta

Pembroke Regatta – February 19th

On a day even Noah would have stayed inside, W1 rowed up to Chesterton bridge to marshal for Pembroke regatta. This is a side by side race between the top of the Long Reach and Peter’s Post by the P&E pub.

After a lucky start against Selwyn, where both crews crabbed simultaneously, we managed a 2 length lead by the end and moved on to round 2.

We rowed up to the start line against Corpus W1 a little more confident, and sure enough finished 2 lengths ahead.

Round 3 was against Emma W1. Ahead off the start (a fact their cox sounded quite shocked by), we kept with them along the length off the course. Each crew put in several big pushes, but it was only the last 10 strokes of the course which decided the outcome, and we came out a canvas behind. Amazing work considering they are 3 places from being head of the river this term.

An excellent way to start the 1 week countdown to bumps, and keep up the good work everyone!!

Eve Bonner
Captain of Boats

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Novice Fairbairns 2010

After seven weeks of training, Murray Edwards has four novice crews going into Fairbairns races this year. With ice in front of Goldie boathouse the day before novice Fairbairns, the weather forecast was definitely against us.

Yet at 7:45am it was found that, though snow was coming down, the river was in fact fluid enough to race on– hooray! The day's races proceeded according to a revised schedule that was only posted the day before the race, with a shortened course that finished at Peter's Post (1814m from Jesus boathouse).

First two races of the day were Mr Frisky and Hedgehunter. Mr Frisky has a reasonable start, got round corners very effectively, and did a tidy push to the finish. Hedgehunter had a rougher start, but with the river wide open ahead and behind them they had a good row, passing all the corners without major incidents.

The same cannot be said of the Sidney Sussex 3rd novices who were chased by Really Fast Horse in the late morning division. Firstly, we caught up with them just after Elizabeth Road Bridge and had to stop rowing, and restart with a gap. As we came around the corner with Churchill boathouse they crashed into the outside of the corner which allowed us (thank god) to overtake them with a large margin.

Though I did not get to see Comply or Die in their race, they came a very respectable 9th of the Cambridge colleges, beating the likes of Magdalene, Downing, Sidney, and First and Third Trinity.

Mr Frisky came 32th out of 51 in the womens' division, placing them 8th among college novice 2nd VIIIs, and beating the 1st novices of Robinson among others.

Really Fast Horse and Hedgehunter came 37th and 38th in the division. Though they appear to be slower than Selwyn III, there is a Selwyn II boat much further down on the results, which could mean that Selwyn have swapped boats without informing the race organisers. This means that Really Fast Horse is 2nd, if not 1st, out of the college novice 3rd VIIIs. Well done!

Finally, Hedgehunter is the only college novice 4th VIII in the womens' division this year. Yet they have beaten Homerton, Girton, and St Edmund's 1st novices, not to mention numerous other 2nd and 3rd VIIIs.

Other fun facts:
 – as a club we have consumed 4 packs of jelly sweets, 2 packs of dolly mixes, 2 bags of starbursts, and 5 tubes of vimto chewy sweets today.
 – this, I think the best photo from today http://www.jetphotographic.com/showphoto.php?id=211704

I cannot say how proud I am of all of you. Well done for staying with us all term. Well done for all the subbing needed to make today happen. Well done for all the singing and manning up against the snow and cold. Well done and hope to see lots of you coming back to row as seniors next term.

Ying Chow
Vice Captain

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Results 2010-2011

May Bumps W1, W2

W1 – bumped Darwin, Anglia Ruskin, Robinson and Jesus II, finishing 6th in division 2.
W2 – bumped Darwin II, Addenbroke’s, Jesus III and St Edmund’s, finishing 16th in division 3.

The club also won the Pegasus Cup.

Champs Head W1, W2

W1 – 6:10.51 – 2nd in Mays W2 division, 4th out of all college womens crews.
W2 – 6:37.58 – 1st in Mays W4 division, beating 8 W1 crews and 11 men’s crews.


W1 – 21:38.22, finished 146/296

Lent Bumps W1, W2

W1 – Bumped Jesus II, Sidney Sussex, LMBC II and Emmanuel II to finish 3rd in division 2
W2 – Bumped by Lucy Cav II, Bumped by Girton II, Bumped by Fitz II, Rowed over to finish bottom in division 3

Lent Getting On Race W2, W3

W2 got on – starting at 15th in the 3rd division
W3 – 11:57.2

Pembroke Regatta W1

1st Round – Beat Sidney Sussex W1 (04:07)
2nd Round – Beat Corpus W1 (04:10)
3rd Round – knocked out by Emmanuel W1 (04:01)

Fairbairns Cup

Senior Races postponed to early 2010 as river was frozen.

Novices (Race shortened due to ice on the river)

Comply or Die
10/52 time 8:37.8

Mr Frisky
33/52 time 9:47.0
– 8th of all College 2nd novices

Really Fast Horse
38/52 10:05.5
– 2nd of all College 3rd novices

39/52 10:08.6
– the only 4th novices in the entire women novice division, beating 1st novices of Homerton, Girton, St Edmunds

Winter Head
W1 time 10:14
– 8th of all Cambridge colleges in all W8+ divisions
– joint 1st out of 8 Cambridge colleges in student novice division
– joint 2nd out of 15 in student novice division

Comply or Die time 12:09
– 2nd of 7 Cambridge colleges in student beginner division
– 6th out of 13 in student beginner division

Mr Frisky time 13:10
– 10th of 13 in student beginner division

Really Fast Horse time 13:32
– 12th of 13 in student beginner division

Queen’s Ergo Competition
Novice W1
– 9/35 in upper division first round, time 1:55.8
– 9th overall in finalists, average time 1:55.2
– Lizzie Gorton 10th fastest individual
Novice W2
– 30/35 in upper division first round, average time 2:05.0 (joint 7th of all W2 crews)
Novice W3
– 4/17 in lower division, average time 2:05.9 (1st of all W3 crews)

Uni IVs
– knocked out Corpus in first round (3 lengths)
– knocked out by Emmanuel (finalists) in second round (3 lengths)

Winter Head 2010

W1 arrived at the boathouse on a cold, dark Saturday morning, eager for our first head race of the year. Plenty of layers were donned, and we rowed up to the motorway bridge for marshalling. We pushed hard over the 2.5km course to the P&E, avoiding any massive drops. As a reward for our effort, we came joint 8th Cambridge College, tied with our boathouse companions Peterhouse.

Novice races in short: An excellent first race from all 3 boats, after spending forever sitting at marshalling eating copious amounts of sugar. Good rolling starts and well maintained speed and technique throughout. A 2nd place finish from Comply Or Die is especially impressive considering the flying seat incident at The Plough, leaving the boat with 7 rowers for around half the course.

Under 2 weeks until Fairbairns!! Get ready for some embarrassing songs at marshalling to fight off the frostbite.

Eve Bonner
Captain of Boats

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Queens Ergs 2010 – quick report

Well done all those who raced Queens Ergs last night! The official results are not up yet, but briefly, the 5:30 team beat all the other teams racing at 5:30. The 6:30 team finished in the top half of the teams racing at 6:30, and the 8:30 team came 9th out of 35 in the first round, qualifying for the finals. Though we didn't make it to the top in the finals, we did lead the competition for at least the first third of the division, and finished with an average time of 1:55.6 which I think we can all be proud of!

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Uni IVs 2010

Well we took to the Cam in what can only be called hurricane winds to compete in the side-by-side 1300m race. First race of the day was with Corpus W1. After a small kafuffel due to the incredible wind, we set off. We were a little behind off the start, but got it together quickly and had clear water by the time we had reached the bend in The Reach. At top finish, we had managed to stretch our lead out to 2 or 3 boat lengths.

A quick Haribo break, and it was time for round 2, this time against Emmanuel W1. We stayed with them off the start, but after a while they pulled away. We kept up a good pace, and managed to gain on them again towards the end, but it was too little too late and they went on to the final.

A good first race of the term, and better things to come.

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