Isle of Ely enjoy bump-er weekend on River Cam

PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 July 2014

Isle of Ely women's crew rowing back home wearing the traditional willow branches signifying they had just made a bump. From l to r: Christian Schosland (cox), Jill McCulloch, Alison Davies, Elzabeth Kerr, Rachel Watson, Jane Atkinson, Nicki Glen, Nicola MCarthy, Zoe Owen

Isle of Ely women's crew rowing back home wearing the traditional willow branches signifying they had just made a bump. From l to r: Christian Schosland (cox), Jill McCulloch, Alison Davies, Elzabeth Kerr, Rachel Watson, Jane Atkinson, Nicki Glen, Nicola MCarthy, Zoe Owen



Isle of Ely Rowing Club revelled in their best result in the Cambridge Bumps for a decade.

A men’s eight and a women’s eight joined more than 100 other boats for the annual bumps event - where crews compete in pursuit races over four nights, trying to catch and ‘bump’ the crew ahead of them.

Both Ely crews achieved two bumps, moving them up the Cambridgeshire rankings; and putting them third out of 11 clubs in the John Jenner Trophy, which is awarded to the club with the best average performance over the week.

Tuesday night saw both crews finding their feet, rowing over the course without bumping. The men pressed Champs 7 hard, and exercised their right to row an extra distance in their attempt to try to catch them, but Champs managed to hold them off. The women were closing on City 7, but when the City crew bumped a Champs crew ahead of them, and so dropped out of the race, Ely lost their opportunity for a bump. Having put everything into their attempt to catch City, they then had to draw on all their reserves and determination to hold off the X-press 2 boat chasing behind them, which they did to the line.

Tuesday night had proved both crews were capable of catching the boat in front; and there was high optimism on Wednesday.

The men were off first and, in a tight race approaching Grassy Corner, Ely were closing on the heels of Champs 7, whilst St Ives were pressing Ely hard from behind. As the three boats came into the tight bend together, they found another boat which had already been bumped had stopped right on the bend, restricting the water.

Ely clashed blades with the parked boat and had to stop. Behind them, St Ives did exactly the same and also had to stop. Ahead of them, Champs, presumably seeing St Ives and Ely stop, and presumably thinking they had bumped and that the pressure was off them, relaxed their effort.

From this melee, the Ely men were first to recover their wits and, after a fresh start, quickly pounced on Champs to bump them at the Plough Inn.

The women’s bump was much more elegant. After a good start they steadily overhauled Champs 6 to bump them at First Post Corner, a mere third of the way down the course.

This provided a double benefit - firstly a short race; followed by the opportunity to parade their victors’ willows all the way along the course past their cheering supporters.

Thursday was an easy second bump for the men. A mistake by Cantabs 9 meant that Ely were able bump them early in the race at First Post Corner.

The women had a harder time chasing City 7. Although they closed the gap, City held them off, and as pursuing boats had not been able to catch Ely, the Ely women were awarded a row-over.

Friday was the final night. The men pursued City 9, and although gaining ground on them were unable to bump them before the end of the course, and were awarded a second row over.

The women faced a tough challenge. Ahead of them was the City 7, crew they had failed to bump the night before; and behind them was the in-form St Neots 2 crew, who had bumped every night, and therefore moving up the start order to challenge Ely from behind. After a fast start, they caught City 7 early in the race at First Post Corner.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

The county council says it will make the Traffic Commissioners aware of a major investigation being undertaken into the Fenland Association of Community Transport (FACT) when they decide on whether to allow them operator licences to run commercial services through new limited companies.

A man familiar to people in and around Ely for dressing up as Father Christmas is hanging up his red jacket and white beard, having collected over £2,800 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).


‘Houston we have a problem’ admitted county councillor Bill Hunt, vice chairman of the county council highways and community infrastructure, when he offered a public apology today for the number of potholes across Cambridgeshire.


Jean Herrema, artist, dressmaker and co-founder of a long-running Ely women’s group, has died aged 86.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter