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    #76
    Originally posted by Sporting View Post
    Had to google this bumps lark. Obviously, unlike most of the high fliers on this board, I went to the wrong university.
    Sporting, there are well over 1,000 people involved in the Cambridge Town Bumps (as rowers, coxes, coaches or other support roles), only a small portion of who (a long way under half I would guess) went to one of the universities (i.e Oxbridge) which has student bumps races. Some others learnt to row at other university boat clubs, many started as novices through local employers (such as mine) who field works crews through one of the town clubs, and many more just started in adulthood off their own individual bat because they saw crews out on the river and were interested enough to join a town boat club. There is not remotely any kind of Oxbridge culture, it's very much on the town side of the town/'gown divide.

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      #77
      Originally posted by Evariste Euler Gauss View Post
      It's a kind of chasing of lost youth for me: I wanted to row for my college (Jesus) when I first started university aged 18, but I'm small and I was brow-beaten into coxing instead in my first term. I rowed once in the Lent Bumps in my second year and we went down 2 places. Then I was lucky enough to back to university in middle age and was stunned to find that despite that additional age handicap I was welcomed with open arms by the lovely people at the boat club of my new college (St Edmund's), and had a great term rowing with them, but then had to have surgeries which meant I never rowed bumps during my time at Eddies. I thought that that really was it then, but then the lovely people at my new law firm astonished me similarly by welcoming me into their squad in my mid-50s, so here I am with another chance to get my first ever bump, 37 years after I first tried to join a crew.
      This could equally go on the weird places I've slept thread, but the quote above prompted the memory so I'm leaving it here. St Edmund's was my next door college. At graduation, we were given a celebratory meal with lots of free wine, followed by free port. When that ran out, an elderly don from St Edmund's invited us to the bar next door and started buying rounds of vodka and lemonade. That's the last thing I remember until I woke up at 4am and couldn't work out where I was. I rang my long-suffering friend who asked me to describe what I could see. "It's just white, everything is white" I said. "Are you maybe in a toilet cubicle?" she asked perceptively. I was. I couldn't remember which toilet cubicle I was in or where or how to get home, so my friend talked me through it like a low-budget episode of the crystal maze. "Can you see a door handle? Good. Open it. Now what can you see? Turn left." Etc. I collapsed into my bed and was woken up about three hours later by another housemate wielding a digital camera (they were still fairly new at the time) and asking "Why do I have a photo of your arse?"

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        #78
        Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
        My dad coxed the Sidney Sussex 3rd boat to a 4 bump success (or whatever it is called) during his time as a student. We still have the rudder at my mum's place with the names of the crew on it.
        Nice memento ad hoc. There isn't really a generic word for the 4 bump success. Rowers refer to getting that result as "getting blades", so for a cox I guess it would be "getting a rudder". It's understood that you're only allowed to claim such a trophy if you get a bump on each of the 4 days.

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          #79
          I don't recall Oxford ever having town bumps when I was a kid. There were summer and winter university bumps, of course. One of my favourite things was to look at the diagrams showing the results in the local paper. All those crossing lines over the course of the days were inordinately fascinating, despite me having no personal affinity for, say, the Oriel VI boat.

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            #80
            Yes, those diagrams are lovely, provided the lines are in different colours.

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              #81
              They were always black and white in the Oxford Mail, which made it a little challenging to follow.

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                #82
                Yes, I remember the Cambridge university bumps being in the Times in the old days.

                Colour diagrams for last year's Cambridge town bumps:

                http://www.crarowing.co.uk/town-bump...-bumps/results

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                  #83
                  Good year last year for Xpress 5. Can you keep it up?

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                    #84
                    Got a shot at catching and bumping Xpress 4 too. That would be enjoyable, I'd imagine

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                      #85
                      Bumping any other boat would be enjoyable. Bumping Xpress 4 might also be awkward. I think it might even generate a fine for the club from the CRA, assuming there's a rule that clubs have to enter their crews in the correct order of strength. Of course, that's no reason not to try to bump them if the occasion arises.

                      We are going to need to get off to a perfect start on the first day because it looks as if the boat we are chasing (City 10) will be slower than us, but the boat chasing us (Cantabs 11) could well be faster than us, so it might be a race to make our bump before we get bumped ourselves. Cantabs are a club with a strong link to Hills Road Sixth Form College, so I think they get lots of sixth formers from there, and recent former sixth formers from there, and that new influx of youth may be the reason why they appear from last year's results to be on the most upward trajectory of any of the town clubs.

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                        #86
                        For ursus: you'll see from one of the photos in the local newspaper report (linked below) of the Town Bumps first evening that the men's crew who started in position 63 (fourth division) were pretty senior. Also, from the text, that a crew with average age "around 60" bumped a crew with average age around 16. My crew, Xpress 5, got bumped, and the attached news report tactfully comments that one of the oarsmen in the boat that bumped us " had only rowed three times". Yeah, right. We'll get them back tonight. Our firm's women's crew (Xpress 3) made their fifth consecutive bump, having won their blades last year.

                        https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/spo...tures-16590835

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                          #87
                          Aw man

                          I can definitely beat the guys in the bow there.

                          Does your coxswain have a headset? In addition to being grievously out of shape, I'm not at all prepared for all of this "new" tech (I've only rowed in a non-wooden shell a handful of times).

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                            #88
                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                            Does your coxswain have a headset?

                            Might be best to restrict this sort of stuff to PMs, eh.

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                              #89
                              Yes, I think headset microphones for the coxes are pretty universal now, with one or more loudspeakers down the boat so that everyone including Bow and 2 can hear instructions clearly.

                              In case it wasn't obvious btw, that foliage in the hair of the young woman in the first pic is the standard victory thing, worn by all crew members of a crew who have just made a bump.

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                                #90
                                Hmm, one of the teams is clearly from the office I work in. Not a surprise, as it's pretty big and we have three rowing machines in a room somewhere.

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                                  #91
                                  Given that I most often rowed competitively in those two seats and that my hearing has deteriorated in the intervening 40+ years, that is likely useful.

                                  I also imagine that boats sinking after being bumped is not as common as it was back in the days of wooden shells (my nephew didn't believe me when I told him that oarsmen used to episodically put their feet straight through the bottom until a coach of my vintage mentioned it in passing).

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                                    #92
                                    I've worked it out now, they're XPress 7 in Div.4.

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                                      #93
                                      I've never heard of a boat actually sinking in the bumps (though it may have happened, I just don't know). Actual physical contact on a "bump" is the exception, as most coxes of bumped boats have the common sense to raise their arm in acknowledgement of a bump as soon as the bow ball of the chasing boat gets ahead of their seat. Occasionally serious accidents do happen, usually on a corner, or perhaps where a cox is unwilling to acknowledge a bump until absolutely unavoidable because his or her crew are both about to get bumped and about to make a bump.

                                      Kev, your organisation, along with my firm, and Raspberry pi, all have arrangements with X-Press to field an office crew through them. The other "specific" X-Press crew is a bunch of postgrad geologists from the Uni, who call themselves "The Boat that Rocks".

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                                        #94
                                        From what I've been told, such concessions were much less common back in the day, especially near the top of the ladder.

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                                          #95
                                          Originally posted by San Bernardhinault View Post
                                          All those crossing lines over the course of the days were inordinately fascinating, despite me having no personal affinity for, say, the Oriel VI boat.
                                          'No personal affinity' is harsh. I really thought we were the people's champions.

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                                            #96
                                            I love the language in EEG's link. It's clearly in a form of English, but it's not the kind of English that anybody actually speaks. It's seems like a strange creole created when the land bridge between the Oxbridge of Waugh's Brideshead and the rest of the Britain was inundated and they were left to themselves uncontacted by civilisation for a century.

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                                              #97
                                              I'm probably biased, but it doesn't strike me as much more arcane than a report of a important village cricket match from a similar source.

                                              Each sport tends to develop a specialised vocabulary, and writers of that type of piece generally want to use as much of the range as possible.

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                                                #98
                                                Still hoping to get down for one day of these - had hoped to rent a bike for the month but given Cambridge's pre-eminence in this country as a cycling city it's extraordinarily difficult to rent a bike if you're at work from 8 to 5.30. Anyway, will continue to hope that I can make it. Feel like trains between Cambridge and the new Cambridge North station, which would be dead convenient for Fen Ditton, ought to be free like the ones between Heathrow terminals.

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                                                  #99
                                                  Hope you do make it ad hoc.

                                                  So, we got bumped again on our second day. Agonisingly close to the finish line, we rowed much better than on the first evening. Some brief footage of an early section of our race linked below. We're the crew with the bright pink shirts, and I'm the grey-haired guy in seat 4.

                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIrFwDTnO9M

                                                  That's a chunk of the men's third division. The standard in the top division, at least in the top half of it, is very high: the top town club crews are now significantly stronger than the top college crews, which is the opposite of how things were 40 years ago in men's rowing. The standard of town rowing has gone up (due to more serious rowers moving to Cambridge and keeping their sport up) and the standard of men's college rowing has declined from how it was say back in the early 70s when most colleges were all-male, their intake had a larger proportion of freshers from rowing public schools, and the boaties were able to prioritise rowing training over their studies (e.g. having mid-afternoon outings, which are no longer feasible in the stricter academic regime of today).

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                                                    That is particularly interesting to me, because elite university rowing here has become much more competitive as more high schools and junior programs adopt the sport and more international rowers come to the US for an education.

                                                    More than half of the guys I rowed with has never been in a shell before they arrived on campus. That doesn't happen any more at all. And while I know less about the quality of intramural crews (roughly equivalent to college teams at Cambridge), I would expect them also to be much better. I was the only person in my intramural boat who had rowed in competition before (which is how I went from bow to stroke).

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