May Bumps – Saturday

W1 – Bumped by Trinity Hall W1, now 4th in Div 2

Written by: Martha Crass

We went into our last race buoyed up by the impressive rowover the boat had executed the day before: we were sure that this time, Catz was ours. We’d been on their tail for two of the previous three days of Bumps; today would be third time lucky, surely? However, the busy week of racing and post-exam hysteria was taking its toll, and with Tit Hall chasing again we knew that one way or another we wouldn’t be making another rowover this time. This was it.

Draw one, draw two –

We were off, our start flying, and we soon began to narrow the distance between us and Catz. However, our starting aggression soon proved unsustainable, and as we approached the Plough we all knew the end was nigh. We went down gloriously, valiantly, amidst the roars of the crowd; some may say we suffered a humiliating defeat in front of the single biggest audience on the banks, but in fact this was always our intention. We may have lost, but we did so with honour, and allowed ourselves to finally achieve the immortality we’d always deserved. Despite this, emotions were running high as we were instructed to pull over to the bank, and our stroke, in a fit of anguish, used her blade to swing frenziedly at the legs of some helpless bystanders.

Our row back to the boathouse was quite something to behold; with our stroke taking the cox box, and our cox in the stroke seat, what choice did the rest of us have but to take up this carefree attitude and relinquish the oppressive seat order we had been accustomed to? The strokesiders made an impressive attempt at rowing bowside; the less said about the bowsiders the better.

This may not have been our most successful campaign to date, and we’ll certainly miss those members of the boat who are leaving us at the end of this term – but it was still quite a week, and we certainly gave it our all.


M1 – Bumped by Christ’s M1, now 15th in Div 1

Written by: Daro Nakshbande

On day four of Bumps we were in the unique position from which we would be able to deny both Christ’s and Robinson blades by bumping Robinson. Failing that, we would continue our strong row to the finish line. Whereas we ‘threw the kitchen sink’ at First Post Corner in an attempt to bump Selwyn on the previous day, King’s was now aiming for a more controlled and technical fly-or-die, a fly-or-fly so to speak. We did fly off the start but the three preceding days of Bumps and the burning sun meant that we burned up somewhere in the Gut. We put on a show around First Post, with the support of many alumni and current members from the Marquee. Alas, our cox still refused to use the ‘crucify’ race-call as Christ’s closed in on us fast. They bumped us just past Grassy corner. In spite of having had their May Ball on the night before, it seems as if Robinson were still fit enough to push off King’s – at least for now. Next year, King’s M1 will be back in Mays: stronger, heavier and eager for revenge!


W2 – Rowed over Head of Div 4


M2 – Bumped by Caius M3, now 5th in Div 4

Written by: Joe Gaffney

Given how the week had played out so far, our paddle down to station was overshadowed by the feeling that we had to bump or we would be bumped. Ahead of us was Girton M2 who were chasing spoon-barge Darwin M2. We were being chased by Caius M3 who were on for blades. We had spent the entire week pursuing Girton, and so it was a big ask that we would be able to catch them as quick as we needed to. Each day, we had seen that Caius munched down whoever they were chasing way before reaching First Post Corner. However, we had been convincing when walking away from the likes of Hughes M2 and fancied our chances in having a go at Girton. Coming into First Post Corner and past the KCBC Marquee, Caius had one whistle; by Grassy they had bumped. A huge move by them went unmatched. Bearing in mind the record of the men’s side in recent years, one down by the end of the week was not a poor outcome. The gains we had made throughout the week were also welcome – training for next Mays starts now.

May Bumps – Day 4

Today is Day 4 of May Bumps and we’ve got four crews racing:

12:30 – King’s W2 (Head of Div 4) chased by Anglia Ruskin W1

13:15 – King’s M2 “The King’s Heavies” (4th in Div 4) chase Girton M2, chased by Caius M3

14:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W2 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase boathouse rivals Churchill W2

15:30 – King’s W1 (3rd in Div 2) chase Catz W1, chased by Tit Hall W1

17:45 – King’s M1 (14th in Div 1) chase Robinson M1, chased by Christ’s M1

Follow the racing as it happens by tuning in to CamFM:

Best of luck to all King’s crews racing today!

May Bumps – Friday

W1 – Rowed over 3rd in Div 2

Written by: Rebekka Thur

On Friday we went into the race determined not to make it easy for Tit Hall chasing us. After having been bumped by Homerton the day before, we knew we were in for a row over, with Tit Hall behind us who had gained some ground on us on the first day. The W1 Bumps campaign had already been going better than we could have hoped for after a several-week lapse in our normal training schedule leading up to Bumps, and having a Blue subbing in on Friday, we were definitely ready to go all out on this race. As usual, Roger had us do a rolling start just after the Railway Bridge and a standing start on the plough. The row up to the start felt strong, but I still don’t think we were quite expecting the race to be as good as it turned out to be. The actual start this time was timed nicely (unlike the day before, where the cannon caught us a little by surprise) and we took off fast and sharp. We had barely started rowing when by First Post Corner we passed Homerton and Catz, who had bumped out ahead of us. With any chance of bumping no longer possible, we kept up the same pace and were determined to hold Tit Hall off as long as possible. They had been gaining on us somewhat through the corners, but as we came onto Plough reach and around Ditton, it dawned on us that the row-over was actually possible. On the long Reach, we kept a safe distance between us and them, and although we could not afford to ease off, the distance between the boats remained consistent and the rowing felt incredibly strong – Roger afterwards told us that this was the best rowing we’d done in a long time, and it certainly felt  that way even during this second half of the race. As we came out under the Railway Bridge, the Tit Hall bank party started giving single whistles, although the distance between us had not shrunk in the slightest – indeed all these whistles achieved, was to tell us how secure our row-over was. It was only when we were coming up to the P&E and on the last 400 metres or so did Tit Hall go for a final push and started catching up to within station, but we knew we were close enough to the finish line to be safe. When the red post finally went past, we all collapsed and it took us a moment to recover, before we rowed home very leisurely. The entire boat was utterly ecstatic about this incredible row-over, as was Roger, when we got back to the Boathouse. This was without the doubt the best of our Bumps races that week.


M1 – Bumped by Robinson M1, now 14th in Div 1

Written by: Josh Guha

Having valiantly fought for two row overs in the blistering Cambridge summer heat, King’s M1 knew Day 3 would be the turning point of their May Bumps campaign. Until this point, the Cam FM scoreboard illustrated sublime symmetry with the King’s horizontal as it’s line of reflection. Selwyn M1 had bumped down twice and started ahead of King’s, whereas Robinson M1 bumped up and was behind. Only in a few rare moments in Bumps history does a crew face the possibility of an attainable bump ahead and a real threat behind. It was hunt or be hunted as the starting cannon fired. King’s put the pedal to the floor and rocketed towards Selwyn, coming to within a boat’s length by first post corner. However corners, the Kingsmen’s dire weakness, slowed the boat. Selwyn paced ahead as they smelt a whiff of freedom from the King’s hunting machine. As the boats turned the final corner to power over the Reach, Robinson had caught up. The three boats hurtled down the straight in close combat – to the roar and cheer of the spectating crowd. King’s, desperate to escape the aggressor and claim its first victory, had played a front-ended game and had begun to lose steam. With less than half a length between the three boats, King’s eventually fell prey to Robinson in the middle of the Reach, much to Selwyn’s relief as they calmly rowed over. King’s had lost, but the crew was not dispirited: a single bump offered an improvement over the dismal ‘spoons’ performance of the previous year and Day 4 provided an opportunity to deny the advancing Christ’s M1 its ‘blades’.


W2 – Rowed over Head of Div 4


M2 – Rowed over 4th in Div 4

Written by: Lewis Couch

The third day began with slightly less shine to it than the previous two, The Heavies had yet to bump and the sun had gone in. Despite this our hopes were still high, Hughes M2 were chasing, a crew we had already beaten, and Girton M2 were ahead in a repeat of day one. Some last minute coaching tips from three were in order to reverse the previous result – ‘’if we all throw our (enormous) weight backwards the boat will go faster’’, which the crew duly adopted on the row down, giving a far more convincing warm up that was both more stable and quicker than the other days had been. Racing began with a strong sprint to first post corner, Hughes were rapidly munched by Caius M3 meaning we had no threat from behind so our efforts were now fully devoted to hunting down Girton. Some ground was made up by the time we rounded Ditton corner, the crew inching to just outside a length, desperately close to the first whistle. Unfortunately Girton managed to hold the Heavies along the rest of the course, matching us push for push down the Reach, resulting in yet another row over, albeit in more solid fashion. Ah well, as the saying goes: lucky crews get blades, good crews go up three, and heavy crews row over.

May Bumps – Day 3

Today is Day 3 of May Bumps and we’ve got four crews racing:

14:30 – King’s W2 (Head of Div 4) chased by Anglia Ruskin W1

15:15 – King’s M2 “The King’s Heavies” (4th in Div 4) chase Girton M2, chased by Hughes Hall M2

16:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W2 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase boathouse rivals Churchill W2

17:30 – King’s W1 (3rd in Div 2) chase Homerton W1, chased by Tit Hall W1

19:45 – King’s M1 (13th in Div 1) chase boathouse rivals Selwyn M1 (for the Combined Boathouse Headship!), chased by Robinson M1

Follow the racing as it happens by tuning in to CamFM:

Best of luck to all King’s crews racing today!

May Bumps – Thursday

W1 – Bumped by Homerton W1, now 3rd in Div 2

Written by: Isabelle Read

After an exhausting and unexpected row over yesterday, W1 were still pumped and ready to take on Catz W1 again. Informed by Roger that there’d be no way we’d reach the Reach without having bumped or been bumped (he was wrong yesterday), we were ready for a quick race. The four-minute cannon went off. The countdown began, and the longest 3 minutes in history passed before the one minute cannon as we had to wait for a cruiser to go by. A nervous, but quick start gave us one whistle on Catz within the first minute. We managed to hold it there around first post corner but Homerton were gaining on us quickly. We kept fighting for the bump, but Homerton were just too quick and caught us before we had the chance. We were still in high spirits as we rowed well, had a clean start, and had very little chance against Homerton anyway! We’re ready to go into tomorrow with even more aggression to keep Trinity Hall away from us!


M1 – Rowed over 13th in Div 1

Written by: Neil Paul

Having confidently rowed away from Churchill yesterday, today we had a free shot at Magdalene. We managed to make some inroads up First Post Reach yesterday, but then lost speed through the corners. Today we’d have to go off hard, and attack the corners if we were to have any chance of getting Magdalene before they got Selwyn.

We had a solid warm-up on the ergs and then on the water up to Jesus Lock, with a front-end slide build to keep us sharp. The row down to the start was calm, confident, and fast.

At Station 14 we got out of the boat and began the long wait till the 4 minute cannon. Nerves began to appear; we barely spoke. Chris Smith and Roger attempted to gee us up, but the fire we had earlier had gone out.

Then the cannon … After a storming start, we strode out onto a fierce pace up First Post Reach. A slight wobble at the outflow didn’t faze us – we pushed on into Magdalene’s wash. Behind us, Churchill had also gone off hard, but were fading as Robinson drew ever closer. We held our speed much better than yesterday up the second half of First Post Reach, but had a big wobble coming into First Post Corner, as Hrutvik attempted to steer clear of crews who had bumped out.

In the Gut we picked the boat speed back up with a heroic lift. This effort was frustratingly lost in Grassy Corner, where we haemorrhaged boat speed. Beyond that point there was some confusion – we had calls from the bank telling us to wind it down, but we felt we were still in a race. It turned out that pretty much the whole of Div 1 had bumped out, so there was nobody left to race. We paddled home at a comfortable rate 20.

It was a disappointing day – yes we had gone hard for the first 2 minutes, but then we let ourselves settle onto a more comfortable pace when we saw that there was going to be no pressure from behind. Tomorrow we’ll have no such luxury – a blading Robinson crew is behind us, but a spooning Selwyn crew will be in front. We’re at a cross-roads in our Bumps campaign, which way we’ll go will be down to how badly we want the bump tomorrow.


W2 – Bumped Anglia Ruskin W1, now Head of Div 4

Written by: Molly Murton

Day 2 of bumps for W2 looked set to be an uncertain one, knowing we had be unable to catch ARU the day before and narrowly escaping being overbumped. Nonetheless, we arrived at the boathouse in high spirits ready to learn from our mistakes and embrace the fact that ARU would be twice as tired as us, having sandwiched yesterday. Thankfully, things running on time meant a quick marshalling before a snappy paddle down to the lock. Confidence was high following some very clean roll-ups and a nigh on pristine practise start. We were determined. The four minute cannon meant final checks and some breathing coaching from cox, Dylan and soon we were ready in the middle of the river.

Boom! We were off. Our start, once again, could not be faulted and we flew away from the chain. We quickly gained 1 whistle on ARU but we’d been here before – it was time to make the change. It was like rowing with a different crew from yesterday as we remained calm, keeping the stroke long and clean. However, Murray Edwards were coming up rapidly behind us and had soon gained 2 whistles, immediately followed by our 2 whistles on ARU. This was going to be close. All three boats remained this way as we went round Grassy and past the Plough. And then, approaching Ditton, just as the pain was really setting in, we had 3 whistles! This was it! And one final drive and a triumphant call from Dylan: ‘We’re going to bump them on the corner girls’ was all it took. We bumped, the victory tasting all the sweeter for having missed out yesterday.

This result meant we were now sandwich boat so there was no time to lose focus. We paddled straight back up to marshalling in preparation for racing at the bottom of Div 3, chasing Churchill. We were positive as we’d heard from ARU that they thought they could have got them the day before. This was the perfect opportunity to secure our place in Div 3. However, unfortunately it was not to be. Another flying start saw 1 whistle and then 2 almost immediately but coming under motorway bridge and past the outflow the panic/tiredness set in and our rowing somewhat fell apart, to put it mildly. We got it back together and gained 1 whistle back but we could not hold it for the length of the course and the bump eluded us. Looking forward to a potential second chance at bumping them tomorrow!


M2 – Rowed over 4th in Div 4

Written by: Shuowang He

After swallowing the bitter pill of being unable to secure the bump on Girton M2 yesterday, we had to take a long look at ourselves and wonder “Are we really as good as we say we are??”. It didn’t take very long to conclude that the over-bump on FaT M3 was most definitely ON. Each day getting hotter and hotter, we paddled our way down to the motorway bridge after a strong practice start. The over-bump is absolutely on. We laid eyes on our target and got in the boat pumped to take on this mighty challenge. The minute cannon fires as we push our blades out, each man raring to go. We knew this was going to be a long one but our start still had to be blistering. The start cannon goes off as we send ourselves into our best start yet. Gaining on our arch-enemies, the super Clare M3, all was going to plan. As we expected Clare bumped Girton out rapidly leaving FaT in our sights. The over-bump is here. We dig deep and lift ourselves to the reach with Charles keeping us on the goal. “I CAN SEE THEM, HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT THIS?!”, we wanted this a lot. With Hughes Hall M2 chasing and 6 lengths between us and FaT, we press and we press. Swiftly pushing away from Hughes gave us confidence, but however was not enough. The finish line came too soon and we had to accept defeat. Another row over but a strong one at that. Confidence was still high, we get another chance at Girton tomorrow, and we’re gonna smash them.

May Bumps 2017 – Day 2

Today is Day 2 of May Bumps and we’ve got four crews racing:

14:30 – King’s W2 (2nd in Div 4) chase Anglia Ruskin W1 (who have King’s undergrad, Abi Pearce coxing them!), chased by Murray Edwards W3

15:15 – King’s M2 “The King’s Heavies” (4th in Div 4) chase Clare M3, chased by Hughes Hall M2

16:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W2 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase boathouse rivals Churchill W2

17:30 – King’s W1 (2nd in Div 2) chase Catz W1, chased by Homerton W1

19:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W1 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase Queens’ W1

19:45 – King’s M1 (13th in Div 1) chase Magdalene M1, chased by boathouse rivals Churchill M1

Follow the racing as it happens by tuning in to CamFM:

Best of luck to all King’s crews racing today!

May Bumps – Wednesday

W1 – Rowed over 2nd in Div 2

Written by: Tabitha Biller

After a slightly inelegant slide out of the first division in last year’s May bumps, the crew was keen to build on the progress we had made in Lents. Having finished a couple of seconds behind Catz in Champs Head we knew that catching them would be tough but not impossible, while we would have to push hard to keep off Trinity Hall behind us. Roger’s usual technique of sneaking as many rolling starts as possible into our warm up made up for the fact that a delay to the division left no time for a standing start and proved that our series of last minute outings had been crucial to sharpening up our technique! Despite battling the usual first day nerves as we waited for the cannons, a good start allowed us to gain on Catz, closing to half a length coming into Grassy Corner. With Trinity Hall creeping up behind us we continued to chase them down Plough Reach gaining us (a slightly overly optimistic) three whistles. As we rounded Ditton Corner, defying expectations that it would be over by the Plough one way or the other, the tiredness started to hit and with Homerton bumping Trinity Hall we lost the push from behind. While some fierce coxing kept us working hard down the Long Reach, with our stroke making a determined effort to bring the rate up under the railway bridge, ultimately we had to settle for a row over. Although we got frustratingly close we were definitely pleased with our row and go in to tomorrow with a better sense of our competition. 


M1 – Rowed over 13th in Div 1

Written by: Jacob Toop-Rose

The mood was of excitement with M1 chomping at the bit, ready to go out and prove themselves. The internal walls of the boathouse were put up to stop the skittish Churchill being spooked by the pumped up M1. The executive decision had been made to take the crew down to Jesus Lock which paid off in dividends with the boat moving as if on rails. Off the start the rate was high and strong. Hitting 46 off the winds and settling onto 41. Neil “Line Graph” Paul reassured us that the first minute was strong. The rowing was strong for the remainder of the course although it was clear we could have given it more gas. Lifts were fiery but it would have been preferable if we had managed them for longer than three strokes at a time. It was very clear that our stuntman/cox Hrutvik “Blades touching the grass” Kanabar won us a lot of time on the corners. Although frustrating to not bump it was satisfying to be a competitive crew so early on.


W2 – Rowed over 2nd in Div 4

Written by: Ruby Whipp

With our boat, the Jolly Roger finally fixed after 8 weeks on the morning of day 1 of bumps, the scene was set. A division switch-around had meant that despite originally being originally placed third in the start order of the W4 division, we had been shifted into second. This could only mean one thing: potentially becoming sandwich boat on the first day. Challenge accepted, our game plan was to bump ARU (AR-who?) cleanly and swiftly, before then bumping Churchill (boathouse rivals) in the W3 division later in the day. Despite our less-than-flying start, we had one whistle on ARU quickly. Fitz were chasing us and got bumped quickly by Murray Edwards so we had a clear run to reel ARU in. We held them until the top of the reach, maintaining around a 1 length gap. But, after a few wobbles, ARU strode away. Ploughing on, we tried to regain our composure and continue to the push to the line. That’s when we saw Darwin, coming up fast on the reach for the over-bump. ARU were out of range now and we passed the railway bridge and the marshalled crews, praying for the finish line. Darwin then stepped up, and before we knew it they had overlap. Dylan conceded under the Green Dragon Bridge. Turns out the finish was 50 metres before then, so we found out later that we had actually survived the over-bump! Hello row-over.


M2 – Rowed over 4th in Div 4

Written by: Alistair Goodman

After a week and a half of no outings as a full crew, no one was really sure how M2 were going to perform on the first day of bumps. With Girton 2, a dark horse crew in front of us, we didn’t really know whether to expect a bump or not, despite this we set off with the plan of munching them down. The cannon fired and we got off to a start perhaps more effective than what we have been used to this term (although anyone in M2 will know this isn’t an achievement!) and then we set into our racing rhythm. As a head race specialist crew, we thought that if we had the entire course to chase them down then we could get ’em! On the earlier straights our superior wattage delivery was evident, we ate into the gap…but like superman has kryptonite, we have corners, and we couldn’t quite keep our rhythm and speed around bends of the course. Overall the generally mediocre performance led to a row over, but not a bad result at all! We still have our heads high, and with a couple over bumps on the agenda, Kings M2 are still looking to climb the divisions!

May Bumps 2017 – Day 1

Today is Day 1 of May Bumps and we’ve got four crews racing:

14:30 – King’s W2 (2nd in Div 4) chase Anglia Ruskin W1 (who have King’s undergrad, Abi Pearce coxing them!), chased by Fitz W2

15:15 – King’s M2 “The King’s Heavies” (4th in Div 4) chase Girton M2, chased by Clare Hall M1

16:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W2 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase boathouse rivals Churchill W2

17:30 – King’s W1 (2nd in Div 2) chase Catz W1, chased by Tit Hall W1

19:00 – Depending on the result of their first race, King’s W1 may have the chance to bump up into Div 3, where they would chase Fitz W1

19:45 – King’s M1 (13th in Div 1) chase Magdalene M1, chased by boathouse rivals Churchill M1

Follow the racing as it happens by tuning in to CamFM:

Best of luck to all King’s crews racing today!