Daily Race Reports 📣

Day 1: Newnham, Caius and BPBC retain headship!

A warm and exciting first day of racing has seen Newnham W1 and Caius M1 retain headship of the women's and men's divisions respectively. Newnham W1 rowed over with a comfortable lead on Jesus W1, but Caius M1 had to work a little harder to stay out of Magdalene's grasp, who came within feet of a bump before falling back.

It was an exciting early bump for First and Third M2 on Darwin M1, with Darwin also gaining rapidly on Jesus M2. Pembroke M2 also succombed early to Corpus Christi M1, as did LMBC M1 to Downing M1. Meanwhile, Girton M1 held off Homerton M1 until the Plough, and Selwyn M1 had it in them to keep in pursuit of Trinity Hall M1 as far as their bump opposite the Railings. Churchill M2 and Addenbrooke's M1 bumped Christ's M2 and M3 who failed to submit times, and Queens' M1 and First and Third M1 also bumped up.

The women's division saw early bumps for Addenbrooke's W1, Clare Hall W1 and Emmanuel W2, as well as Sidney Sussex W1 and Corpus Christi W1. A three-boat sandwich looked to be developing between Pembroke W1, Downing W1 and LMBC W1, before Downing sealed the deal with a bump up to 5th position. Caius W1 were in pursuit of Emmanuel W1 until Ditton Corner, where Homerton W1 also bumped Trinity Hall W1, but Lady Margaret W2 had to wait until two thirds of the way down the Reach before their efforts resulted in a bump on Pembroke W2. Clare W1 also found themselves with a technical bump after First and Third W1 failed to submit times on time.

Meanwhile in the miscellaneous division, Gonville Boat Club, Selwyn's Humertin Crockot Club and Jesus' Rowvid-19 were rewarded with early bumps, as were Jesus' 21 Malcolm Streakers and the Pemgibeers. CUWBC intra-club rivals 6800 and Matt Temple Challenge Cup exchanged places on First Post Corner, and Trinity Hall's Black & Whites made it as far as the Plough before being caught by Lady Margaret MMXV. The Darwin Turtle Boat caught Clare's Track and Race after a long fight just past the Railings, but the Wheely Fast Catz gave the Jesus Oarful 88s a shock with a double overbump underneath the Railway Bridge.

Fine of the Day: Peterhouse W1's Abigail doesn't understand the difference between 0.8 km and 0.8 miles, which led her to run almost double the distance of her teammates!

Photo of the Day: Marta Mitrofanovaite chilling in her paddling pool in Lithuania after completing her run.

Thank you to all competitors for taking part in an amazing first day of racing! Make sure to submit your times by 5pm tomorrow, and tune in to CamFM at 8pm for results!

Day 2: Pemgibeers bump Black Prince BC to claim headship!

The second day of racing has seen the Pemgibeers bump the Black Prince men to claim headship of the miscellaneous division. Fellow all-male Pembroke crew Going for ‘Broke weren’t so lucky though, being bumped by the highest placed mixed crew, Selwyn’s Humertin Crockot Club. An early bump was secured by 21 Malcolm Streakers on Darwin 2000, and likewise for Clarenard Castle Roadtrip on the Lucy Cav Alumni & Staff. After suffering a double overbump yesterday, Jesus Oarful 88s managed to secure a bump on the not-so-appropriately named PembWIN; meanwhile the victors of that double overbump were wheely not quite so fast today, being bumped by Rowvid-19 of Jesus in the Gut. Other successful crews were the Matt Temple Challenge Cup, Gonville Boat Club and the Darwin Turtle Boat, as well as Lady Margaret MMXV and the Lady Margaret W1 Alumnae crew.

Newnham have remained head of the river (pavement?) for the second day of competition, although Caius W1’s bump on Jesus outside the Plough puts them in a position to challenge for headship tomorrow. Newnham W2 and W3 meanwhile suffered early bumps by Murray Edwards and Clare Hall respectively, with Christ’s also claiming an early victory over Fitzwilliam. Addenbrooke’s put in a strong performance to bump Homerton W2 in the Gut, where Emmanuel W2 also truimphed over Peterhouse, as well as Pembroke over LMBC. Other bumps before Ditton went to Corpus Christi on Lucy Cavendish, LMBC W2 on Selwyn, Homerton on Queens’ and Sidney Sussex on Jesus W2. It took a little longer for Clare and Downing to catch Churchill and Emmanuel, and Hughes Hall also had to fight until Ditton Corner before ending Trinity Hall W2’s fight. After being bumped yesterday, Emmanuel W3 fought until Bottom Finish to secure an overbump on Pembroke W2, who are now on for superspoons.

Another no-show from Christ’s M2 meant it was Clare Hall’s lucky day in the men’s division, rewarded with a technical bump. Addenbrooke’s M1 reflected the speed of their counterparts in the women’s division to get an early bump on Homerton M2, with First and Third M1 and M2 also securing early bumps on Peterhouse and Jesus M2 respectively. Both Churchill crews bumped M2 crews from Clare and Selwyn, and Maggie’s defence of fourth position didn’t last long thanks to Pembroke’s efforts. Pembroke M2, meanwhile, succombed to Sidney Sussex’s might in the Gut, with Fitzwilliam catching up with Girton just after rounding Grassy Corner. At the head of the division, Magdalene put in another strong early effort in their attempt to catch Caius, before losing ground and eventually being caught by Downing just short of the Railway Bridge. It was a long one for Homerton as well, who bumped Hughes Hall just past the Railings. Christ’s left it until Bottom Finish before making the bump on Lady Margaret’s M2 rugby boat, but Clare pulled off the most impressive feat of the division after going down yesterday to secure an overbump on Emmanuel M1.

Fine of the Day: Tom from Going for ‘Broke for running in red flag conditions in the middle of a monsoon.

Photo of the Day: Aurelie from Lucy Cavendish for the photo of her lining up to start her 800m against a tortoise!

Thanks from the Committee to everyone for such a great two days of competition so far – hoping the last half of the Virtual May Bumps is just as exciting as the first! Don’t forget to submit your times by 5pm sharp tomorrow, and don’t miss the results broadcast on CamFM from 8pm. St John’s are currently ing the way in the competition for the Pegasus Cup – check back tomorrow to see if Clare or Pembroke can knock them off the top spot, and make sure to donate to give your college the best chance of climbing the rankings!

Day 3: Caius challenge for double headship but Newnham hold on by a whisker!

The head of the women’s division would have been a nail-biting watch for spectators today as Caius attempted to knock Newnham off the top spot. Newnham were resolute in their defence of the headship they won a year ago though, and managed to row over before Caius finished them. Can they pull off the same feat tomorrow? Only time will tell. With Emmanuel failing to submit times, Pembroke got an automatic bump as they ran off station. True to form, Addenbrooke’s recorded the first actual bump of the day as they caught up with Newnham W3. Emmanuel W2 and Sidney Sussex also secured early bumps on Trinity Hall and Newnham W2 respectively, before Clare Hall made their bump on Pembroke W2 just before Baitsbite Lock. Peterhouse and Jesus W2 both succombed to Murray Edwards and Corpus Christi around the Motorway Bridge, and Emmanuel W3 ended Selwyn’s fight soon after the Lock. Lucy Cavendish W2, Christ’s and Homerton all also made bumps before the Gut on Homerton W2, Girton and Fitzwilliam respectively, while First and Third had to fight until the Plough before catching up with Churchill. Clare had the longest struggle to catch LMBC, but they sealed the deal at the bottom of the Reach.

Caius were also pushed to their limit to hold onto the headship of the men’s division, with Downing making gains but losing their energy once they got past the Plough. They weren’t the only ones with a tough time, as Maggie M2 managed to fend off Selwyn’s attempts to bump them by the skin of their teeth. After Queens’ failure to submit times gave Christ’s M1 an automatic bump, it was a stellar effort from Addenbrooke’s to secure a bump on Pembroke M3, with Pembroke and Clare Hall also bumping Magdalene and Clare M2 in the early minutes of the race. Lady Margaret M1 made it to First Post Corner before being bumped by Clare, before Fitz, Homerton and Corpus bumped Hughes Hall, Trinity Hall and Girton further back in the division. Darwin saw a change of fortunes after going down on Day 1 when they bumped up on Jesus M2, and First and Third M2 caught up with Pembroke M2 on the entrance to First Post Corner. Meanwhile, Emmanuel have one more day to avoid superspoons after their bump by Jesus outside the Plough.

The miscellaneous division saw only nine bumps today, with the Pemgibeers successfully defending their newly acquired headship. Lady Somerset made a first speedy bump on the Lucy Cav Alumni & Staff just before the Motorway Bridge, before the Matt Temple Challenge Cup ended PembWIN’s campaign to avoid spoons for another day. Meanwhile, Gonville Boat Club were quick off the mark to catch Girton Mixed Alumni, and Rowvid-19 caught the Black & Whites shortly thereafter. Selwyn’s mixed Humertin Crockot Club bumped their second all-male crew, the Corpus Crusties, in the Gut, and 6800 made their first bump on Pembroke’s Martlets Away. After Wednesday’s double overbump by the Wheely Fast Catz on the Jesus Oarful 88s, the two crews find themselves competing again tomorrow, after 21 Malcolm Streakers proved to be even faster than the Wheely Fast Catz, and the Oarful 88s ended Darwin 2000’s ambitions of a rowover before the Motorway Bridge. Finally, there was a Clare-on-Clare bump after a closely fought race in the form of Clarenard Castle Roadtrip’s victory over Track and Race, just as the crews were coming into the Railway Bridge.

Fine of the Day: A BPBC crew member was spotted running their 800m down a hill, ending up 25 metres lower than they started! “We’re coming for you tomorrow!” says Maria from Humertin Crockot Club.

Photo of the Day: Maria from the Wheely Fast Catz appeared to be being chased by one of the King’s cows through her garden!

We’ve had a blast over the first three days of the competition, and we hope you have too! With some narrow misses at the top of both the men’s and women’s divisions today, tomorrow promises to be a tantalising event. Make sure you keep donating to help us bump our target tomorrow, submit your times by 5pm sharp, and tune in to CamFM one last time for all the results!

Day 4: Downing go head on the final night of racing!

After yesterday’s unsuccessful challenge, Downing M1 have pulled out all the stops to claim headship of the men’s division on the last night of racing. This is the first time Downing have bumped to headship since 2002, and the first time they’ve finished a bumps campaign at head since 1997. They had a strong start and finished the job on the Plough Reach, putting an abrupt end to the dominance the Caius established last year. The men’s division also saw an overbump for Homerton on Queens’ at the top of the Reach, and Christ’s M2’s fourth failure to submit times resulted in an instant bump for Selwyn M2, giving Addenbrooke’s a clear run at a double overbump (once Clare M2 had quickly got rid of Churchill M3) on Clare Hall M1, who had so far gone up two places in the week’s competition. Selwyn M1 also profited from a no-show by Lady Margaret M2, while Lady Margaret M1 were caught by arch-rivals First and Third on the entrance to First Post Corner, resulting in spoons for them. Sidney made light work of Girton, bumping at Little Bridge after barely 400m of racing, and Corpus caught Hughes Hall underneath the Motorway Bridge shortly afterwards. Success came to both Jesus boats, who bumped Peterhouse and Darwin on Grassy Corner and in the Gut, and Emmanuel’s desperate attempt to avoid superspoons was ended by Christ’s after a long fight on the Reach. Magdalene must have thought it was all over when they were bumped outside race control by Clare with barely 150m left to race.

The men’s division was not the only one with overbumps, as Martlets Away of Pembroke made a double overbump after having previously been bumped twice. The victims were the Jesus Oarful 88s, who have certainly had a week of ups and downs; this was their second double overbump against them, but they had two bumps up sandwiched in between. The Black Prince mixed crew were quick to bump Lucy Cav Alumni & Staff, as were Gonville Boat Club on the Darwin Turtle Boat. Clarenard Castle Roadtrip bumped the Girton Mixed Alumni soon after, seconds before the Matt Temple Challenge Cup secured their blades with a bump on Darwin 2000. The two more successful Jesus crews, Rowvid-19 and 21 Malcolm Streakers, bumped up on the Pemgibeers Dev Squad and the Black & Whites respectively, with both bumps happening just before the Motorway Bridge. After a long fight, the penultimate bump went to Lady Somerset, who caught Clare’s Track and Race at the top of the Reach, before Martlets Away caught the Oarful 88s just after Ditton Corner. Meanwhile, the Pemgibeers celebrated their rowover, which signified their retention of the headship they won two days ago.

Newnham put up a somewhat stronger defence of their headship than yesterday in the women’s division, having rowed over at head all four days this year. Early bumps went to Emmanuel W2 on Queens’ and Corpus on Newnham W2, but this division was one of longer bumps than we’ve seen on previous days. Murray Edwards caught Trinity Hall just before the Motorway Bridge, and Addenbrooke’s worked their magic on Pembroke W2, securing their well-deserved blades on the approach to Baitsbite Lock. Clare Hall made their bump on Trinity Hall W2 just afterwards, before Pembroke continued their strong performance with a bump on Downing in the Gut. Lucy Cavendish W2 and Hughes Hall then had success on Newnham W3 and Selwyn near the Lock. The next bump came on Grassy Corner when LMBC reversed their bump by Clare yesterday to reclaim 7th position, and then watched on as Christ’s ended Churchill’s ambitions of a bump in the Gut. Maggie W2 eventually caught up with Lucy Cavendish on First Post Corner, and then Sidney sealed Peterhouse’s fate with another bump in the Gut. Homerton had the longest fight on their hands, finally closing the gap on Girton to the joy or misery of spectators watching from the Plough.

Photo Competition Winners: PembWIN win a tub of Aromi ice cream for a magnificent photoshop of all of them on a paddle board that is floating through both sea and sky. Shoutouts to Corpus W1 for an equally funny picture (with bonus points for including the Cam) and the Wheely Fast Catz for their virtual congregation around their boathouse.

The whole Virtual Bumps Committee would like to thank all 855 (at least) people who took part in this year’s Virtual May Bumps. Your enthusiasm and participation have been truly heartwarming, and your generosity to help us raise over £4,000 has been phenomenal (but donations are still welcome if you haven’t given yet!). Our congratulations go to Downing M1, the Pemgibeers and Newnham W1 for winning or defending their respective headships, as well as to the 14 other crews who achieved blades or superblades, and to St John’s College for winning this year’s Pegasus Cup. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to Cicely Norman from CamFM for transporting us all back to the riverbank with such exciting and credible commentary over the four days of the event. We hope you’ve had just as fantastic a time as we have, and, whether you’re in a boat or on a bike, hopefully we’ll all see each other again in the flesh for next year’s Mays back on the Cam!