May Bumps preview with Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club

7 June 2018

Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club is rowing alone for the first time at the May Bumps this year, and will enter two boats in the divisions 2 and 4. Our first crew is W1 (rowing in division 2) and it includes Boat Club President April Bowman, Blues rowers Myriam Goudet-Boukhatmi and Olivia Jamrog, Captain Joanna Walker, Rebecka Nordenlöw, Lower Boat Captain Anne Sauviat, Lower Boat Captain Lily Delimata, Georgina Anderson and Salma Elnagar as Cox. Rowing for W2 (Division 4) are: Julia Kozieł, Annika Brouwer, Melisa Kiraz, Karen Louise, Yvonne Zivkovic, Zoe Pot, Lou Leclère and Holly Nielsen with Sioned Davies as Cox. Liliana Arede will also be rowing, but with Kings W2 (so we'll cheer them on too!).

We asked our rowers the following questions about the May Bumps, and here are a few of their responses:

1. What are the May Bumps?

Cambridge University Boat Club states:

‘Bumping’ is an unusual form of racing which evolved on the Cam during the 1820s. It allows races to happen, involving crews from a large number of competing Colleges, on a short stretch of river most of which is too narrow or not straight enough to permit more conventional side-by-side knock-out regattas. As more College crews appeared on the rowing scene, the race had to be divided into more Divisions. Currently there are seven Lent and ten May divisions, each with 17 or 18 boats, with about 15% of the University participating.

2. What makes the May Bumps special?

Research Fellow and W2 rower Yvonne Zivkovic said:

“The weather is (usually) nice, spirits are high and it’s so exciting to follow the progress of crews during the course of four days. I first got into rowing when I cheered for my college crew during May bumps in 2017, and decided I wanted to be part of it next summer. The community vibe was just so much fun.”

Lower Boats Captain in W1, Anne Sauviat added:

“It is much more of a time of ‘gathering’. People are done with exams, the pressure of the Cambridge life lightens with summer looming, the atmosphere is much more relaxed both in the boat and on the bank, and people can actually come cheer you on. Plus, the weather makes all the difference - I mean no chances of snow for this one, right? So overall, it gives a great sense of closure to the rowing year, bringing together the best of practicing this sport in Cambridge: the sporty and fun, and the social and entertaining.“

3. How is it different to rowing other races?

Cambridge University Boat Club rower Myriam Goudet-Boukhatmi (and LCCBC W1 rower) said:

“I really like rowing with Lucy Cavendish, after a hard winter with CUWBC it is the opportunity to share my experience in a very relaxed atmosphere. I can see myself in the more novice rowers, and it is a good reminder of where I came from and where I started.”

W2 rower Julia Koziel said:

“During May Bumps you get to row not once, but four times! Your goal is to “bump” the boat in front of you, whilst trying to avoid being caught by the boat behind you. This makes the race very exciting but at the same time can be chaotic and lead to so called “carnage” on the river, where multiple boats crash into each other.  I think that various traditions also make it an exceptional occasion. After catching a boat in front of them, rowers are rewarded by putting foliage in their hair and are able to show off their achievement to others. Do that four times in a row and get what every rower dreams about, BLADES!”

4. Is there any particular preparation you do?

W1 rower Rebecka Nordenlöw said:

“I personally make sure to think through what kit to bring. I was wearing plenty of layers during the waiting time in Lent and that made all the difference. I would imagine that staying hydrated and not too exposed to the sun will be crucial for May Bumps. As a crew we will also be having a chat a few days before the race to make sure that we are all on the same page. It´s always important to have a balance between individual and team preparations.”

5. Will there be any new rowers and how do they feel?

W2 Cox Sioned Davies said:

“Our boat are pretty much all newbies! The girls have worked hard to improve their technique and fitness. I am also a complete novice and have loved (!) the challenge of steering on the Cam. But seriously, it has been such a great experience rowing with such a brilliant bunch of girls.”

Vice-President of the Boat Club, Maria Schacker said:

“We are incredibly lucky to have our amazing Blues rower Myriam again who already rowed the past two sets of May Bumps with us. This year we are also joined by Blues rower Olivia. Having them both in the boat is absolutely fantastic. I will not be rowing in this year’s May bumps but I still remember my first outing with Myriam two years ago and how terrified I was to make a fool of myself. But not only was it great to have her add some leg power to the boat, she is also an incredibly helpful and positive team member who tries to bring out the best rowing in every one of us, no matter how new we still are to rowing.”

6. How do you feel about our chances this year?

Rebecka Nordenlöw said:

“I believe in us as a crew and I´m very excited to meet the bank party with College staff, students, alumni and sponsors. Having such a big group of people cheering us on does make a difference!”

Maria Schacker said:

“No matter what happens, I am sure that on Saturday everyone will get out of the boat with a smile on their face.”

Watching the Bumps

If you'd like a reminder of the excitement and fun last year, please watch this little film made by Cambridge University and featuring our rowers.

Come and support the crews next week! You can find out when and where to watch on the website here.

You can also follow daily update on the Facebook page here

Supporting the Boat Club

In summer 2017, Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club came into its own by separating from Hughes Hall. We’re now asking for your help to build on our rowing successes to date.

Engaging over 12% of the College's student population, the Lucy rowing community thrives through the Boat Club’s excellent training programme. In the past two years, the Club has won three sets of University Blades in the Cambridge University Bumps Races and has been in the top 100 crews in the Women's Head of the River Race in London, the largest sporting event for women in the world. Taking women from never having rowed before to racing on the Thames in under 6 months, we welcome rowers of any ability and offer a remarkable sporting culture. 

Please visit our fundraising page here



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