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LMBC Newsletter – May 2024

Posted on May 16

7 min read

Career Events & News

Dear alumni,

As crews work hard on the river in preparation for May Bumps, we wanted to update you on the club’s successes so far this year. Lent Bumps saw M1 retain headship, and W1 finished third on the river, their highest ending position since 2002.

2025 will mark the 200th anniversary of The Lady Margaret Boat Club. The club is planning many events to mark the occasion, so please read on and put the dates in your diary! Further details of all these events will follow closer to the time.

In early April 2025 we will invite alumni back to race The Head of The Cam 2025, which will be followed by a celebration at the LMBC boathouse. Further details on this will be circulated when the race date is announced.

May Bumps 2025 will run from 18–21 June 2025, and we hope to have a large LMBC contingency to cheer our crews on from the bank!

We will also be hosting a large bicentenary celebration dinner in College on Saturday 13 September 2025, which we hope will be a fantastic opportunity for crew reunions and celebrations.

The LMBCA are working hard to organise an LMBC gathering and celebration on one of the days at Henley Royal Regatta, which will be in early July next year

As always, we thank the LMBCA for their continued support of the club, and their hard work towards the organisation of celebrations for the coming year. 

Viva Laeta
Jo and Harry
LMBC Honorary Secretaries

LMBC Men’s Update:

M1 training preseason.
Credit: Gianluca Vartan

The men’s side essentially started from scratch this year, with eight of the nine crew members from May Bumps 2023 graduating, going abroad or trialling. Nevertheless, our M1 IV swiftly rose through the ranks, going from an almost dead-last result in Autumn Head at the start of the term, to coming second in Fairbairns! In Uni IVs, M1 achieved a strong dead heat with Jesus, despite Jesus’ crew being composed entirely of M1 Mays returners. A composite M1/W1 Maggie crew also came second in Senior QErgs (Queen’s Ergs)!

M2 had a very successful term whether in IVs or in the VIII. In Uni IVs they beat Caius M2 and made it to the semi-final, where they lost to a strong Pembroke crew in a re-row that followed an intense dead heat. In Winter Head the M2 VIII topped their category, taking home some shiny new prizes. Fairbairns brought yet more success, with M2 placing second in the M2 VIII category.

Michaelmas term also means novices. Despite the abnormal number of yellow flags, there has rarely been a more keen and motivated set of novices as this year’s! In QErgs NM2 reached the finals; Emma Sprints and Clare Novices brought lots of nail-biting side-by-side victories for all crews; and in Novice Fairbairns, NM1 managed a strong top ten finish and NM3 beat every other NM3 and all but 6 NM2s! 

M3 racing Newnham Head. Credit: MVRN

The successes of Michaelmas, especially considering the uncertain start to the year, are in large part due to the continued generosity of our alumni. The club is extremely grateful to you all.

Lent term saw LMBC go from strength to strength, with our dedicated novice cohort becoming strong additions to the senior Men’s side. Our competition results in Lent term reflected this continued commitment from all of our boats.

M1 racing Uni IVs. Credit: Alex Chlimbs

M1, M2 and M3 remained consistently top of their class in the Winter Head To Head in January and in Newnham Head and Pembroke Regatta in February. Coming in as the fastest college first, second and third boats, respectively, in all of their races, LMBC M2 and M3 were regularly outpacing other college M1s and M2s, and M1 won every race they entered.

M1 racing Newnham Head. Credit: MVRN

The Lent Bumps brought with them continued triumph. Despite adverse weather conditions that prevented lower boats from racing, M3 did exceedingly well as the only college third boat racing that week. M2 maintained their position as highest college second boat, at the top of division two. The Bumps also saw M1 defend their Headship, which they have held since 2020, with a week of comfortable row-overs.

The term was capped off with racing on the Tideway. M1 and M2 competed in the Men’s Head of the River Regatta in March, finishing a respectable 98th and 252nd overall out of 318 boats.

Finally, this year also saw LMBC’s incredibly successful contribution to the Boat Races. A total of five rowers, two of whom learnt to row as novices at LMBC, raced Oxford on the Thames this year. Two LMBC men contributed to the Men’s Blue Boat and Lightweight Men’s Blue Boat victories.

We hope this successful streak for LMBC continues into Easter term.

Theo Langslow (2021, Third Year, Philosophy) and Billie Williams (2019, MPhil, Classics)

LMBC Women’s Update:

The last two terms have showcased the power and determination of the women’s side. Consistently being among the fastest crews on the river, as well as fielding four novice boats in Michaelmas term, there has been strength and breadth demonstrated so far this year.

The start of Michaelmas saw an influx of novices who started the term strong with NW1 and NW2 both reaching the QErgs final, one of only two clubs to achieve this. NW1 went on to Emma Sprints where they were victorious in their first race before a tough fight to be knocked out in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately bad weather prevented more crews from racing and we had to wait for Fairbairns to showcase some more Maggie might. NW1 put in a strong row, overtaking on the long reach after having being hampered by slower crews earlier in the race, while W2 came a respectable eighth in a tough field.

W1 racing Uni IVs. Credit: Alex Chlimbs

Not to be outdone by the novices, the senior women sent crews to Small Boats Head, Autumn Head and Winter Head. The W1 IV+ came third at Autumn Head and an impressive fourth out of ten at Winter Head. University IVs was a particular highlight this term with a strong W1 IV+ competing in this knockout regatta beating Emmanuel, Homerton and Magdalene in quick succession to reach the final where they fell to the victorious Jesus boat. To wrap up the term, W1 and W2 took part in Fairbairns with W1 achieving a respectable third in the IVs category while W2 dominated the lower division to finish second!

Lent term saw four senior boats take to the water and an unfortunate continuation of the bad weather and yellow flags which had plagued the previous term. W1 and W2 started the term off with tough races in Winter Head to Head, Newnham Head and Pembroke Regatta. W1 placed 7th out of 17 competing W1s in Winter Head to Head and 7th again in Newnham Head. W2 performed admirably in Winter Head to Head and were the sixth fastest W2 at Newnham Head, but they were unfortunately knocked out in the first round of a windy Pembroke Regatta. These tough races only fuelled the women’s side’s determination to train hard which paid off when W1 secured a speedy second place in the second leg of Winter League. This was a perfect way to enter the week of Lent Bumps.

W2 racing Newnham Head. Credit: MVRN

Lent Bumps saw two women’s side boats racing, with the poor weather preventing the lower boats from having even the opportunity of the Getting On Race. (Luckily the Talbott Cup later in the term gave W3 the chance to showcase their ability). W2 started off with a strong row-over on the first day but were unfortunately bumped by an exceptionally strong Wolfson W1, even after gaining on Hughes Hall W1 in front of them. The next day saw another solid row-over followed by being bumped on the last day to finish 17th in Division 2. 

W1 racing on day 2 of Lent Bumps. Credit: Giorgio Divitini

W1 had an incredibly successful Lent Bumps campaign with the first bump of Lents for Maggie on their first day against Newnham W1. They followed this success with a spectacular bump on Emmanuel W1 at Ditton corner, placing them second on the river – the highest they have been since 1994. Friday saw a strong row-over behind Jesus W1 and then, after a long chase down the course, Caius W1 eventually caught them at the P&E on the final day to finish third – the highest they have finished since 2002.

LMBC Women also had three athletes representing CUBC in the 2024 Boat Races against Oxford. Gemma King (2018) and Jo Matthews (2018) raced in bow and 2 seat, respectively, in the Openweight Women’s Blue Boat, who were victorious over Oxford in a dramatic race, whilst Rowan Saltmarsh (2019) raced in the Blondie crew. Jo and Rowan learnt to row at LMBC, which is a real testament to the club!

LMBC CUBC triallists, left to right: Jo Matthews (Women’s Blue Boat), Thomas Marsh (Men’s Blue Boat), Rowan Saltmarsh (Blondie), Harry Fieldhouse (Lightweight Men’s Blue Boat), Gemma King (Women’s Blue Boat). Credit: Nordin Catic.

Many thanks to everyone who has coached, bank-partied and cheered for the women’s side this term – we couldn’t have done it without your support. We are now looking forward to a promising May Bumps as the hard work continues.

Ellie Laughton (2020, Fourth year, Veterinary Medicine) and Beccy Pickering (2019, Fifth Year, Veterinary Medicine)
Women’s Co-Captains