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LMBC Newsletter – May Bumps review

Posted on Aug 17

5 min read

College Events & News

As we come to the end of an incredibly successful year for LMBC, we wanted to send a thank you to all of our incredible alumni who support the club – whether by cheering for our crews along the reach, attending our boat club events or through financial donations to the club. We hope you agree that it is the LMBC community that makes our club so special, and we value all of our alumni and members.

We must say a huge thank you to all of the 2022/23 LMBC committee who have done such a fantastic job of leading the club. It is with great pleasure that we introduce our incoming Men’s and Women’s Captains for the season. Ellie Laughton and Beccy Pickering will be taking on the role of Co-Captains for the Women’s side, and Billie Williams and Theo Langslow will be the Men’s Co-Captains. The full 2023/24 committee can be found on our website, and we look forward to the club’s future successes.

Viva Laeta

Jo Matthews and Harry Fieldhouse,
Honorary Secretaries 2021–24

Men’s side report

Rupert Gardiner, Men’s Captain 2022/23

Rupert is in a red LMBC blazer with a white shirt and black boe tie. He is smiling.
Rupert Gardiner

Easter term saw the men’s squad continue its run of successes both on and off the Cam. Vacation training produced preseason victories in a number of categories at the Small Boats Regatta for Thomas Marsh (1x), Josh Kershaw (2x), Robert Powell and Rupert Gardiner (2-). Returning to VIIIs, and bolstered by two returning triallists, M1 performed strongly at BUCS regatta – the flagship event for university rowing – missing out by less than a second on the AB semi-final to finish in the C final among several top-tier university First Boats.

On the Cam the crew remained unbeaten, winning Champs VIIIs Head for the second year running with an extended margin, as well as Cambridge Spring Regatta, despite breaking a rudder in the final. Taking this side-by-side experience to heart, we departed for the Metropolitan Regatta, dismissing all other college opposition in the time-trials and, in the final of our lives, going toe to toe with the Oxford ‘Isis’ 2nd crew. In a nail-biting finish we crossed the line one seat up.

The eight rowers from the M1 squad stand behind their cox in front of New Court. They are all wearing black shorts and white polo shirts with red piping around the collar and short sleeves.
May Bumps M1 crew. Photo: Nordin Ćatić

M2 had a similarly excellent term, placing an incredible fourth overall at X-press Head and winning several rounds of the Cambridge Spring Regatta against 1st boats before losing by a canvas to Jesus M1 in the semi-finals, for which M1 took revenge in the final. Among the lower boats M3 also performed well, and it was joined on the water by the Rugby Club in the form of M4, which won its division at the X-Press head and later blades in the Mays, bumping Clare M4, Christ’s M3, Fitzwilliam M3 and St Catharine’s M3.

M2 are in their white boat rowing on the Cam. Another crew are blurred out ahead of them. M2 are all wearing red shirts with white collars and sleeve piping. The rowers are facing the camera and the cox is facing away.
May Bumps M2 crew. PhotoNordin Ćatić

In the May Bumps the club was plagued by high positions stemming from previous successes, and so bumps saw slimmer pickings than the dominance of the term might have suggested. M3 was bumped by a low-starting Clare Hall M1, Selwyn M2 and Fitzwilliam M2, before a heroic row over ahead of Caius M3 on Saturday preserved its position as second highest 3rd boat. M2, while remaining the highest 2nd boat on the river (and the only one to start in division 1), was forced by bumps ahead to row over, before eventually being bumped by a triallist-filled St Catharine’s M1. Finally M1, despite closing to two whistles on Friday against Caius, was unable to bump to headship and rowed over commandingly all four nights at second place on the river.

Rounding off the term, the attractions of May week detracted somewhat from M1’s ability to qualify for Henley, although we were once again the fastest non-qualifying Cambridge crew.

The eight rowers from the M3 squad stand behind their cox in front of New Court. They are all wearing black shorts and red polo shirts with white piping around the collar and short sleeves.
The rugby team/M4 stand outside of the Lady Margaret Boat House. Their blads are beind them.
M4/Rugby Boat

Although without the crowning achievements of Mays headship or Henley qualification, the men’s side has nevertheless attained many incredible achievements this year, with the squad excelling both in the height of its success and the depth of its talent. We remained the largest, and arguably the most competitive, club on the Cam. We must as ever thank our dedicated coaches, Pere Gisbert, Jon Rhodes and the new and invaluable Rory Clark, the College for its continued commitment to the club and the LMBCA for their generous support. It has been a pleasure to captain the men’s side through such a magnificent year, and I wish them many more to come.

Women’s side report

Rowan Saltmarsh, Women’s Captain 2022/23

Rowan is wearing a red LMBC blazer and black shirt underneath. She is smiling.
Rowan Saltmarsh

Easter term saw another hugely prosperous term for the Women’s side, as successes were enjoyed in Cambridge and beyond. After a busy preseason, we sent a composite crew of half W1, half W2 rowers to row in Oxford City Bumps just before the start of term, to get a bit more bumps practice in. The day proved hugely enjoyable for all those racing, with the crew bumping five times to be awarded blades, never having had to row more than 200m before bumping the Oxford college ahead. The same crew raced in Nottingham City Regatta at the end of May, winning the Development VIIIs category against a field of 11 other crews, proving we could hold our own against college and university crews alike. 

The eight rowers from the W1 squad stand behind their cox in front of New Court. They are all wearing black shorts and white polo shirts with red piping around the collar and short sleeves.
May Bumps W1 crew.

Success was also seen on the Cam, with W2 winning Radegund Mile, and both W2 and W3 winning the plate final of the Spring Regatta in their respective divisions. It has been great to see all the women’s boats coming out on top, regardless of the race. All three boats then went on to race in the May Bumps. 

Wednesday saw row overs for all three crews, with W2 rowing over twice, once as sandwich boat at the top of the W3 division, and then again in the W2 division after a crash four boats ahead halted the racing. Thursday was much more successful, with all three crews bumping in each of their divisions; the last time all the women’s side’s boats bumped on the same day was in 1991. W1 caught Pembroke in a spectacular fashion around first post, W2 finally caught Downing W2 to move out of sandwich boat position, and W3 bumped St Catharine’s W3.

W2 completing its race. The rowers are wearing red shirts with white piping. They all look pleased and relieved.
May Bumps W2 crew. PhotoNordin Ćatić

Friday brought more bumps, with W1 bumping Emma and W3 bumping King’s W2. W2 rowed-over comfortably with no competition from the boat behind. Saturday saw a bump on Newnham for W1, leaving it 3rd on the river for the first time since 1999! W2 again rowed over, and W3 bumped Fitzwilliam W2 after the railway bridge, with a gutsy row and having chased it down for over 2km, catching it just before the finish line. This brought the end to a hugely successful year for the Maggie women.

W3 in red shirts all stand with their arms folded in front of New Court.
May Bumps W3 crew. PhotoNordin Ćatić

A big thank you is due to Karen Weimer and Lisa Silk whose coaching of W1 this year has been second to none, Anna Odorici for the time she dedicated to W2, and likewise to Lauren Kelly for her skill in coaching W3. Finally, thanks are due to the Lady Margaret Boat Club Association (LMBCA) for their continual support. I can’t wait to see the club develop even further next year as we target double headship! 

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The Lady Margaret Boat Club Association

The alumni group invested in the successes of the Lady Margaret Boat Club both off and on the Cam each year. We encourage experienced rowers to give their time to the new generation of LMBC members. The LMBCA also co-ordinate with St John’s Development Office to help support the Club’s finances.

Learn more

Lots of people in red LMBC blazers stand on the grass in front of the LMBC gazebo.
LMBC and alumni at the Henley Regatta picnic