Went down -2 Finished 3rd in the M5 division and as the 3rd fastest fourth men’s boat

Day 1 – bumped by Magdalene M3

We started our Bumps campaign at the head of the M5 division and with high hopes of moving up into M4 with a strong effort on Day 1. Our coach, Jack, had warned us, however, that being sandwich boat meant that we equally could row over twice and be subjected to the same plight again the next day. There was a lot of discussion in the boat about the best strategy to pursue, including conserving energy should the boats behind bump out. Above all, the general consensus was that “Queens’ don’t get bumped by Magdalene.” In the end, however, this was all moot, as Magdalene M3 proved to be just too fast off the start, and the day ended quite prematurely without the satisfaction of even one row over, even though we had all been in it “for the long haul.” The situation was complicated by one of our crew coming off his seat and the seat coming off the rails entirely, a bizarre commotion ahead involving sirens, and carnage behind that led to rerows for most of the division behind us. Our start sequence left much to be desired, so, admittedly, it might not have mattered in the end. Day 2 – bumped by Sidney Sussex M2

On Day 2, despite our confidence having been knocked down a peg, we were determined as ever to hold off the boat behind us, which happened to be a second boat. The atmosphere of apprehension grew when the division was delayed at the start for about 15 minutes when a horse, jolted by the four-minute cannon, galloped down the towpath and had to be tracked down and guided back up towards the Lock. Our start sequence was markedly improved from Day 1, and it seemed that we had learned not to panic like we had the day before. Unfortunately, holding off a second boat proved to be too much to ask, and we were bumped around First Post Corner, having barely finished our start sequence. We could, however, take solace in knowing that we had made some gains on Jesus M4 in front of us and could give them a run for their money on another day. Day 3 – row over!

On Day 3, Sidney Sussex M2 promptly bumped Trinity Hall M3 in front of us, so we were left to go for the row over. And boy did we do just that. Our lead on Kings M3 grew exponentially at each bend to the point where any observer might have assumed that there had been several bumps between us. The lead was reported by Cam FM as being “enormous” and quantified by our coach, Tayo (who is an engineer by the way), to be “six to eight lengths.” Several of the crew, including our cox, Tom, had deplorably been in the spoon-winning M3 boat in Lents, so this row over came as a huge and welcome relief. It was a pity we were so high up in the division, or we could have perhaps been close to an overbump otherwise. Day 4 – row over

On Day 4, the deck was stacked, and we all knew it: Jesus M4, whom we had been chasing and gaining on back on Day 2, had been bumped by Sidney Sussex M2 and was again ripe for the taking. We rowed with ever more hunger as we raced past the congregation of Queens’ alumni gathered at First Post for the QCBC Garden Party. Unfortunately, Jesus M4 bumped up on First and Third M4 before we could make a pass at them, which left us settling for a row over again. Things were much more interesting on this day, however, as it seemed that Kings M3 had made some progress overnight, and they were “only” three to four lengths behind us at Ditton Corer. Halfway up the Long Reach, one of our crew caught a crab, which took over ten nerve-wracking seconds to resolve. Our lead dropped to three lengths…two lengths…one length, but, fortunately, once we recovered our rhythm, we were able to row over in convincing fashion. Overall not a bad effort for the week, as we had proven that we could row, as two row overs could not possibly be a fluke. But oh, how things might have been different…

Tim Xu (M4 Captain Mays 2014)


Cox – Tom Hiom

Stroke – Tim Xu

7 – Tom Crawford

6 – Chris Bray

5 – Jamie Harris

4 – Tom Stafford

3 – Rob Davis

2 – Ben Sutherland

Bow – Dan Henderson

Coaches – Tayo Moore, Jack Amey