Lent Bumps 2019 – Saturday

On the final day of this year's Lent Bumps, KCBC had a very successful day, with bumps for M1 and M2, and row-overs for W1 and W2. Well done to all crews who took part, from both King's and the other colleges, and especially to those who competed in Bumps for the first time!

Having made a name for themselves in both Mays 2018 and Lents 2019, our first men's boat end the week in 12th position, coincidentally the same position they will be starting Mays next term. The first women's boat end the week at the top of the second division, one above their start position next term.

The final overall results are shown below:

M1+5day off+3 (Girton)+1 (Queens')row-over+1 (Clare)
W10-1 (Fitz)day off+1 (Lucy Cavendish)row-overrow-over
W2-5-3 (Trinity Hall II)-1 (Darwin II)day off-1 (Newnham III)row-over
M2-1-1 (Caius III)-1 (Queens' III)row-overrow-over+1 (Peterhouse II)

M1: Bumped Clare

Written by Adam Townson

After a frustrating Friday for M1, we were all focused on delivering our best performance on the final day of Bumps to round off a successful campaign. We began the week at 17th position on the river, but knew that bumping Clare on the final day would give us a finishing position of 12th. We were being chased by Magdalene. They are regarded as a fast boat, but we had shown earlier in the week that we could walk away from them and were confident that a good row from us would ensure we would walk away again and bump Clare. We had a very good warm-up and our practice start was the best we had delivered all term. We finished the row down to the start and awaited the four-minute canon.

The start canon boomed and we got away fast. Calls from the bank told us we were MOOVINGGG. We came out of our start sequence and found our rhythm coming through the railway bridge. Our attack was rewarded with our first whistle. By this point, we were outside station from Magdalene, and could relax and turn our focus solely to bumping Clare. The whistles kept coming and we showed no signs of making it a slog. We bumped Clare before first post corner. It was the perfect end to a great campaign.

W1: Row-over

Written by Izzy Hogan

Having experienced being bumped, bumping and several rowovers we were determined to gain during Saturdays racing. As sandwich boat being chased by Peterhouse we knew we’d have it tough. But the whistle blows from their coach never lasted long as we consistently pulled away, leaving Darwin to bump them out. To try to break into div 1 we agreed that we’d step it all out in the first two minutes - a tactic that was working as a solid start resulted in a length whistle. This 2 minutes turned to 10 as Queens managed to keep their distance for the rest of the piece. But we finished with our heads held high, defending our position at the top of div 2.

M2: Bumped Peterhouse II

Written by Will Ransom

We started the day as the M4/M3 sandwich boat, so we had to row twice, which we did very well by walking away from Wolfson II, but we were scared going into the final race of bumps, so we worked hard and got a bump on Peterhouse II at Ditton Corner, and now we are happy.

W2: Rowed-over

Written by Francesca Lisle

It was the last day and therefore the last attempt for W2 to avoid SuperSpoons. Tensions were high. The row down involved weather from all four seasons - there was a whole lot of wind, some rain with intermittent periods of sunshine. We set off down to the lock to start the race. The 4 minute canon went off followed in no time at all by the 1 minute canon. We set off and had a good start pulling away from Clare Hall W1 behind us. We maintained the distance for a while until they started closing in on us on the reach down to first post corner. We were a three boat sandwich with Emma W3 on the heels of Clare Hall W1.

At this point William Connolly decided he wanted in on the action and got on his bike to follow us down. Charles (our cox) took a glorious line round first post corner which meant we were able to push away from Clare Hall who took a much wider line. Emma then soared in with an equally glorious line, bumping Clare Hall. The cheers were abundant... most of which seemed to be coming from the Kings W2 boat who had fought off the SuperSpoons and could now look at getting Newnham W3 back for their bump on us yesterday. We pushed on and rowed hard all the way down to the reach.

Newnham W3 in front of us then caught a crab and our bank party were besides themselves telling us to go and catch them at their moment of weakness. We closed in. There was a whistle. There was one boat length distance between us. Spurred on by the shouts of people on the bank (our bank parties had doubled in size at this point as more people decided to follow the action) Newnham managed to pull away and we continued to the finish line... or what we thought was the finish line. Our bank party quickly spurred us on to the correct finish line. We crossed it and erupted into great celebration at our row over. The M3 boats marshalling at the P&E had seemed slightly confused at such celebration for what appeared to be an average rowover. Little did they know we had just won our long hard fight against SuperSpoons!

Lent Bumps 2019 – Friday

Past the half-way point of this year's Lents, Friday saw row-overs from M1, W1 and M2, and W2 bumped by Newnham III.

Aggregate results after Friday:

M1+4day off+3 (Girton)+1 (Queens')row-over
W10-1 (Fitz)day off+1 (Lucy Cavendish)row-over
W2-5-3 (Trinity Hall II)-1 (Darwin II)day off-1 (Newnham III)
M2-2-1 (Caius III)-1 (Queens' III)row-overrow-over

M1: Row-over

Written by Neil Paul

Day 3 of Bumps for M1 has been another dramatic one. Today we were chasing Trinity Hall, who were chasing Clare. After seeing Queens' gain on Trinity Hall off the start yesterday, we were confident that we could catch Trinity Hall. The big question was – could we catch Trinity Hall before they caught Clare? As the four minute cannon fired, the rain began to fall heavily and the wind picked up. Station 13 gave us a straight line to First Post Corner, and we intended to capitalise on it. After a solid start we hit a strong rhythm coming into the Motorway Bridge. About halfway up First Post Reach we got our first whistle – we were moving on Trinity Hall.

Coming into First Post Corner we started getting two whistles, but we could also sense that Trinity Hall were gaining rapidly on Clare. The water became very choppy. Vicky steered us safely through the carnage in the Gut, skilfully avoiding Peterhouse (whose stern blocked the racing line into Grassy Corner). As we came out of the corner, we heard calls from the bank saying that we had to go now, before Trinity Hall finished off Clare. We lifted and got to within 1/4 of a length when we were told to hold it up. Trinity Hall had bumped Clare. We were given a technical row-over. It was not the result we had hoped for, but it was still a good race between three good crews. It was all the more thrilling for the spectators at the Plough, who got to see the final few strokes unfold in front of their eyes. We had a determined row back to the Boathouse, closely followed by Magdalene. The unsavoury comments from their bank party will help to spur us on tomorrow, away from them and, hopefully, into Clare. We did it on Day 2, we can do it again.

W1: Row-over

Written by Amanda McHugh

Following a successful second day of racing, W1 were back on the water and ready to take on another day of bumps, in far better weather than the previous day. As sandwich boat, our aim was once again to row over, hopefully this time without getting caught. We had every confidence that this would be the case, and indeed it was: a successful row over at the top of Division 2 put us at the bottom of Division 1 to chase Queens’. We didn’t catch them despite a strong row over, but overall we were in a good position to take on the final day of bumps.

W2: Bumped by Newnham III

Written by Ranjani Parthasarathy

Going into Friday’s race, W2 were fully focused and determined to change our luck. We pushed out on a bright afternoon and had a clear racing line for our strong start, which pushed us away from Newnham behind. We could see Clare Hall gaining on Newnham, and were fairly confident that we’d be rowing over (or trying to catch Darwin), when the first of two disasters struck: another boat that had cleared was blown back onto the course and forced us to put on the rudder to avoid a crash. Some brilliant coxing by Charles kept us clear of the boat, but we lost some of the distance we’d opened up on Newnham. We struggled to regain our composure and Clare Hall fell away from Newnham, freeing Newnham to start walking up on us. Although we fought to avoid the bump, holding Newnham away from the overlap and not conceding until the bump looked certain, W2 did sadly go down in the rankings today. We sprang back by belting out ABBA songs all the way home, and are ready to take on bumps again tomorrow! 

W2 remaining cheerful on their row home, after being bumped on Thursday.

M2: Row-over

Written by Moritz von Haacke

In conditions far better than yesterday, the M2 crew were excited to push Queens' M3 back into the division they belonged, but Queens' caught Peterhouse M2 and we rowed over.

Lent Bumps 2019 – Thursday

After a mixed start to KCBC's bumps campaign, Thursday set things firmly back on track, with bumps by both of our first boats, a row-over by M2 and a day off for W2.

Aggregate results after Thursday:

M1+4day off+3 (Girton)+1 (Queens')
W10-1 (Fitz)day off+1 (Lucy Cavendish)
W2-4-3 (Trinity Hall II)-1 (Darwin II)day off
M2-2-1 (Caius III)-1 (Queens' III)row-over

W1: Bumped Lucy Cavendish

Written by Amanda McHugh

W1 celebrating after a well-deserved bump on Lucy Cavendish

After a day off the water, W1 were back and ready fight, with only two options: bump or be bumped. When the cannon went for Division 2, W1 were off like a rocket (despite a slightly shaky start), and almost immediately the horn sounded, telling us that we were a length off Lucy Cavendish. From then on it was a mix of adrenaline-fuelled power and exemplar coxing that allowed us to bump in no time, although Lucy Cavendish’s unwillingness to concede led to a rather aggressive bump. Immediately after racing in division two came our first division race, with us once again facing Fitz, although now we were chasing them instead of the other way around. After a rather monumental crab, which was very nicely recovered from, we rowed over the whole course, through somewhat biblical weather, and more than anything we were glad to get back into the warm and dry, with the added bonus of having restored our glorious sandwichy status.

M1: Bumped Queens'

Written by Adam Townson

King's M1 bumping Queens' - Video by William Connolley

The overbump on the first day of racing had given us confidence that we could have a strong campaign, but we knew that the second day of racing was important; we were either bumping Queens' or getting bumped by a fast Magdalene crew. Horrible windy and wet conditions added to the theatre of the day. The canon fired and first division was off. We had an OK start, but never found the strong and sustainable rhythm that we had work so hard on all term. Magdalene were closing gradually but coming up first post reach we began to get whistles to signal were closing on Queens’.

Coming around first post we had overlap, but calls from the bank told us to hold it up. A blocked river lay ahead after some boats failed to clear. A re-row was called, so we spun around and rowed back down to our station. The canons fired again, and we were off for a second time. We had a much more controlled start, and stepped onto a far more relaxed and long rhythm. From this rhythm, we got what we deserved. We pulled away from Magdalene coming up first post reach and were fast closing in on Queens’. We knew they would break eventually and an excellent line coming around first post corner ensured the bump. We come back tomorrow, hungry for a another one.

M2: Rowed Over

Written by Will Ransom

We started feeling sad after yesterday and didn't want to get bumped again, but we rowed really hard despite the awful conditions and managed to secure a juicy row over.

Lent Bumps 2019 – Wednesday

After a disappointing start yesterday, M1, M2, and W2 took to the water, aiming to make up for yesterday's bumps. W1 had their rest day today, and will return to the river tomorrow, hoping to regain their position in the first division after an unfortunate start to their campaign.

Aggregate results after Wednesday:

M1day off+3 (Girton)
W1-1 (Fitz)day off
W2-3 (Trinity Hall II)-1 (Darwin II)
M2-1 (Caius III)-1 (Queens' III)

M1: Over-bumped Girton

Written by Matt Else

M1 rowing back after a successful race (Photo by Will Miller)

M1 rowed last, surrounded by fast crews, chasing Magdalene and being chased by Emmanuel, at station 17 in the first division. After a shaky start off the gun, we recovered quickly, hitting rate 45 off our lengthens and moving onto a strong, sustainable rhythm. As we came under the A14 bridge, it became apparent that Magdalene were going to catch Churchill ahead of them, leaving us with the prospect of overbumping Girton if we were to avoid rowing over the whole course.

We were confident it could be done, and soon shouts from the bank told us that we were four lengths away from Girton. To the pleasant surprise of the crew, the gap shortly became three lengths, then two, reaching inside station shortly before first post corner, leading to the first over-bump in the Men's first division since 2010 on the apex of first post corner. As a result, M1 has moved up to 14th in the first division, looking forward to chasing Queens' tomorrow afternoon and relishing the challenge of pushing away from a strong Magdalene crew.

M2: Bumped by Queens' III

Written by Moritz von Haacke

After a mediocre day on Tuesday, King’s M2 was adamant to show a good result by rowing over ahead of Queens’ M3, but with a somewhat rushed start and worsening conditions past the motorway bridge, the Queens’ crew was able to capitalise. They received a whistle slightly before first post corner, and then made contact with our stern shortly after.

W2: Bumped by Darwin II

Written by Alex Murray

W2 staying cheerful, rowing back after being bumped. Photo by Giorgio Divitini

After a somewhat disappointing start on Tuesday, W2 were back and raring to go for day two of bumps. Being chased by our long-standing nemeses, Darwin, we knew this race was going to be a tough one. We had a great start and soon settled into a nice strong pace. We were even gaining on Medwards! Alas, it wasn’t enough: Darwin got one whistle, then two, and despite some great ‘lift’ calls from Charles they soon caught us. We may have taken a hit, but we’ll be back on Friday ready to bump!

Lent Bumps 2019 – Tuesday

Yesterday, on Tuesday, three of King's Lent crews: W1, W2 and M2 began their campaigns, with M1 starting with a rest day. Individual race reports follow below:

W1: Bumped by Fitzwilliam

Written by Amanda McHugh

Kitted out with matching sunglasses and purple war paint, King’s W1, the majority of whom had never actually done bumps before, were ready to take on the Cam and row over in glorious fashion (rumour has it that if you all have co-ordinating kit on you get a second off your split). After what seemed like an age, and a couple of questionable renditions of Total Eclipse of the Heart, we were ready to row up to our station and row over the whole course. However, this was not to be: out of nowhere, Fitz were on us, and although we held our own for a fair while, they caught us, and we had to concede, but not before our stroke’s rigger came down on their bow and carved a nice little line out of it. Overall, although it wasn’t the result we’d hoped for, W1 proved that we were ready to fight, and the next days of bumps should be, at the very least, very exciting.

W2: (Over-)bumped by Trinity Hall II

Written by Marie-Julie Cnudde

The first day of W2s bumps campaign didn’t exactly go to plan. The last boat to arrive at marshalling (the crew had been distracted by our flashy new leg warmers and “festival style” war paint), the girls thought they could pull it off. Someone on bumpit had even gone so far to predict W2, or colloquially KCBABESC, would DOUBLE OVERBUMP on St Edmunds W1. The crew was hyped rowing towards the start. The practice start fast. And then the wait. The cannons. The first stroke. The start was snappy and fast, W2 were gaining on Queens W2, Murray Edwards trailing behind. And then, crab. The boat was rocked. The recovery wasn’t happening. Medwards were gaining but alas, they conceded. Their cox’s hand shot up for a minuscule second, so fast that neither cox, bank party or Marshall noticed. W2 were still loosing speed with chaos amongst those that could still row. The Medwards boat was clearing and as their bowball passed the Kings cox, Kings W2 conceded and pulled into the bank, unaware of the tragedy that was to follow when Trinity Hall W2 continued past, overbumping W2, in the most unlucky of ways.

M2: Bumped by Caius III

Written by Paul Kearns

We chatted a lot about our ability to quickly bump Peterhouse II, but were sadly but squarely beaten by a very fast Caius III, which rumour has it is their first postgrad boat.

University Fours 2018

M1: [Bow] Alistair Goodman, [2] Stan Szymanowicz, [3] Adam Townson, [Str] Neil Paul, [Cox] Matthew Else, [Coach] Will Miller, [Boat] New Empacher 4+

Result: Winners – Men’s Coxed Four (First Division)

Following on from a successful campaign in May Bumps in which M1 went up three, we returned at the start of Michaelmas hungry for more success. However, with a surprisingly low number of sign ups, we decided to focus on doing well in the four, especially with our brand-new Empacher waiting to grace the water for the first time. After a two year absence from the boat club, Will Miller made a grand return as the coach of our four. All six of us, firmly set our ultimate target as the Fairbairn Cup in the four at the very end of term but we knew we could have a good go at a few races along the way. We trained well for three weeks in the run up to University IV’s, putting in solid miles on the water under the watchful eye of Will. The boat was moving well, and we were all itching to be in the boat, squeezing in extra outings of an afternoons when we could in order to gain every bit of extra speed we could in the run up to University IV’s.

The draw placed us against Magdelene M1 in the first round. To us, this was the final – thinking that we were the two fastest fours on the river. The first day of racing arrived and everyone turned up to the boathouse feeling determined to win. We had a promising row down to the start and everyone was motivate to execute our race plan. We had a very good race and we managed to put 6 seconds into the Magdalene crew. This gave us the confidence that we could do some real damage over the rest of the week.

In the second round we faced Fitzwilliam M1. We knew a solid row was likely to be enough to send us though to the next round. We did what we needed to do and triumphed by a healthy margin of 22 seconds.

Both the semi-final and final races were on Friday, the final immediately following the semi. We faced Jesus M1 in our semi-final. Our race was not exactly our best – but a gritty final few hundred metres on the reach ensured to won by just 2 seconds. We spun around and had a little rest and took on some food and water in preparation for the final.

Trinity Hall M1 were our opponents in the final. Both crews had a strong first half to the race, with Trinity Hall having just under a one length lead coming into Ditton. However, all week we had shown that we had the fitness for a solid second half to the race. Matthew Melse, in the coxswains seat, took great lines throughout the competition and the final was no different. Trinity Hall went wide on Ditton and we had a huge lift coming out of the corner. Cheered on by support from bank, we capitalised and flew down the reach to victory by a margin of 6 seconds. An amazing start to term – we are all looking forward to trying to win more as we move forward. Long live back-end-send.

May Bumps 2017 – Summary

Crew Wed Thu Fri Sat Overall Final Position
M1 0 0 -1 -1 -2 16th in Division 1
W1 0 -1 0 -1 -2 4th in Division 2
M2 0 0 0 -1 -1 5th in Division 4
W2 0 +1 0 0 +1 Head of Division 4

M1: [Bow] Daro Nakshbande, [2] Adam Townson, [3] Josh Guha, [4] Jacob Toop-Rose, [5] Neil Paul, [6] Jamie Brown, [7] Kozzy Voudouris, [Stroke] Chris Jones, [Cox] Hrutvik Kanabar, [Coaches] Chris Smith and Dan Janes, [Boat] Adrian Cadbury.

W1: [Bow] Freya Reevell, [2] Martha Crass, [3] Izzy Read, [4] Danielle Jackson, [5] Mary Coleman, [6] Rebekka Thur, [7] Tabitha Biller, [Stroke] Elizabeth Byrne, [Cox] Ellen Berry, [Coach] Roger Thorogood, [Boat] Leo Sharpeston.

M2: [Bow] Sebastián Céspedes, [2] Shaun Matos, [3] Joe Gaffney/Mike Tallent, [4] Alex Hobday, [5] Alistair Goodman, [6] Shuowang He, [7] Lewis Couch, [Stroke] Ed Miller, [Cox] Charles Connor, [Coaches] Chris Braithwaite and Sarah Williams, [Boat] Turing Machine.

W2: [Bow] Molly Murton, [2] Eleanor King, [3] Kasia Cheng, [4] Anya Davidson, [5] Luise Scheidt, [6] Marie-Julie Cnuddle, [7] Ruby Whipp, [Stroke] Alizée Pace, [Cox] Dylan Whitaker, [Coaches] Kiera McNeice and Joe Gaffney, [Boat] Jolly Roger.

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.