May Bumps 2017

Cambridge Camera Club had an evening at the University May Bumps (in June, of course) which returned me to the last time I rowed this course, 42 years ago! It brought a lot back - there's nothing like the animal surge of power in a racing shell when 8 burly blokes manage to co-ordinate the entry of their oars at the catch.

I even spotted the boat for which I rowed then, 1st and 3rd Trinity III: I'm glad to see that they did rather better than we did...

Rounding Ditton Bend

My undergraduate rowing career in Cambridge is going to remain in pitiful obscurity, but I did much better for St Thomas' in London, where in the 1977 Medical School Bumps we won our blades and went up a division, gaining 5 bumps plus an over-bump during the 4 days.

This might have had something to do with our crew comprising 4 experienced oarsmen from Oxbridge at bow, 2, 7 and stroke, a Cambridge College 1st boat cox, and 4 massive members of the Medical School second XV pack in the middle of the boat. It might not have been very pretty to watch, and it would all have fallen apart if we'd had to row more than a couple of minutes, but we went off the line like a rocket.

Rambling reminiscences over...

First, some general images of the racing, then studies of that most important member of the crew, the cox, and finally illustrations of the day's victorious crews decorating themselves and their boats with garlands of greenery.

Anyone who want to read up on the background to these strange racing rituals can find a lot of details here:

Click on the images to open them in a lightbox.

Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides

Dodo Tours hit the Broads