Posted on: June 18, 2018

Magdalene Boat Club Sponsorship

Magdalene College is our closest neighbour on the river, so it made perfect sense when they offered us a sponsorship deal for their rowing teams in this year’s May Bumps. We naturally jumped at the opportunity!

What are the May Bumps?

Confusingly at Cambridge, the May Bumps take place each year over 4 days in June. Because our beloved river is too narrow to race abreast, the University Colleges have invented a way to compete and thus formed a new Cambridge tradition.

In a race, teams start about one and a half boat lengths ahead and race on the signal of a cannon. The objective is to bump or overtake the boat ahead before being bumped. Both the team that bumps and the team that have been bumped must pull over to allow all other crews to continue racing. If a team bumps the boat 3 places ahead after two have bumped out, the crew has successfully over-bumped. If a team neither bumps nor is bumped then they are said to have rowed over and stay in the same position.

After the race, the bumping activity is used to draw up the starting positions for the next day, with the race positions on the final day forming the start positions of the following year.

What did Rutherford’s do?

Saturday was the final of the May Bumps 2018, the biggest day of the week for the team and also the day with the most supporters cheering.

The races took place between 11am and 5pm and we were on hand all day. We organised free punting river crossings for the Magdalene College team and supporters at Fen Ditton. We were all very excited watching the many College crews battle it out to see who was the head of the river this year.

How did Magdalene Boat Club perform?

The women’s team an excellent effort, but unfortunately got bumped each day thus falling 4 places. The men’s A team on the other hand were one of the strongest team in the competition. Every day they made bumps early in the opening stages of each race. At the end of the week they finished in 5th position. This puts them in a great place to try for Headship next year (position 1 in division 1) and was rightly cheered by the many supporters on the meadows.

At the end of the 2018 tournament the victorious men’s team performed a display of their powerful start to the delighted Magdalene College supporters area. Many of this crew will be staying on for the 2019 May Bumps, and with their drive it makes it very likely that they will succeed in their goal to make ‘Head of the River’.

What Next?

Next year everyone here at Rutherford’s hopes to sponsor Magdalene once again and to be there to cheer them on as they aim for the coveted title.

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