Decade wait is over for Jesus College as they claim May Bumps Headship
PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 June 2017
And Lady Margaret BC take men’s honours
Abi Smith hailed her Jesus College Boat Club crewmates after they ended a 10-year wait to take the women’s May Bumps Headship.
Hopes were high after they again ended the Lent Bumps at the top of Division One, and it was in the middle two nights of the summer challenge that they made their move.
After bumping Downing on the second night and Caius on the third, they looked at ease and in a smooth and fluid rhythm on the final day to take the Headship of the May Bumps for the first time since 2007.
“It’s been a fantastic four days, quite stressful, but at the start of every race we’ve just said ‘do it for each other girls, do it for our coach’ and we’ve just stormed away,” said Jesus College captain Smith.
“We knew that we had a solid rhythm and that we could keep it up for the whole course. For Lent Bumps, we were training to maintain Headship so we knew we had to row the course every day, so we had that fitness that the other crews just don’t have.
“We knew we could get into our rhythm and keep it up, but I don’t think we were expecting to fly away as much as we did.
“We’ve got a new boatman this year, Jonathan Conder, and it foreshadows his success – he’s fantastic. I don’t know how he does it. He doesn’t really say that much but everything that he does say is very useful.
“This year’s crew was completely new, everybody basically quit last year so it was from scratch, we had a lot of work to do but being the underdogs spurred us on.
“It was a really fantastic way to end it, and I never in a million years thought we would get May’s Headship because you get so many amazing rowers come back from the Boat Race.”
Lady Margaret Boat Club retained the Headship of the men’s divisions for the first time since 1988 and 1989.
It was anticipated that they may face pressure on the final day from Clare, whose progress saw them make two bumps during the week.
But Lady Margaret had too much left in the tank to be caught.
“I think it’s pretty satisfying,” said LMBC captain Paul Myatt. “We won the Lents Headship and then we’ve had three additions to the crew this term.
“Clare were pretty strong but ultimately I think we just had a better top speed and a better base fitness which has carried us through. We’re developing a better structure at the club now that means that we will be able to reproduce these results year in, year out.
“I think there was quite a lot of hype around Clare. Physically, they were bigger than us but I think they were more a bunch of individuals and we were a team of nine, I suppose.
“Our M2 are in Division One as well so I think that bodes well for next year, whereby there will be a continuity into the first boat.”
It was the first back-to-back Headships for LMBC for 27 years and Myatt added: “We had six returnees from last year’s crew so there is that as well and the experience of how to do it. As captain, you put a lot of work into it to get what you want out of it.”
Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish College Boat Club had a May Bumps to remember as they won the Pegasus Cup.
Their three crews improved by a cumulative of 11 places, with their W2 crew earning blades.