Lady Margaret and Jesus retain headships of the May Bumps
Maggies make it three years in a row at the top
Caius M3 bump Darwin M2. Picture: Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic
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Charlie Fisher signed off his Cambridge University rowing days in style by helping Lady Margaret Boat Club to their third May Bumps headship in a row – a feat they last achieved 37 years ago.
Having won the headship in 2016 and 2017, they rowed over for the first three days, but were cautious of a rampaging Pembroke on the final day.
However, those fears proved unfounded as they cruised to a hat-trick of headships – last achieved by the Lady Margaret crews of 1979, 1980 and 1981 – as Pembroke were bumped out of second place by Clare.
Fisher completes his Masters this summer, and it has been a great rowing year for the Lady Margaret BC No 6 man, who was also a victorious Blue with Cambridge University Boat Club in this year’s Boat Race.
“The last time we had three in a row was almost 40 years ago, and I only found that out on the Friday, so it was a bit more motivation,” said Fisher, who was rowing in the top boat for a fourth time in the May Bumps.
“We knew Pembroke would have a quick start, that’s what they usually do, so we were prepared for that and when we hit the headwind coming round Ditton [Corner] there was a bit of concern, but thankfully Clare helped us a bit and got Pembroke.
“All credit to them as well, they had a great row.”
Comparing the bumps to the Boat Race, Fisher said: “When you do something a second or third time, it’s a bit different. My first Boat Race win and the first time we came head of the river, the headship is not that far behind.
“It [the Cam] is like a stadium, unlike the Thames where it’s a much wider river – and it was great to have the crowds out and all the Maggie supporters; that was great.”
Lady Margaret Boat Club captain Rob Blyth added: “We’re fantastically happy. The issue was Pembroke bumped Clare on day three, so we were expecting to have to row the whole course.
“So thankfully Clare did us quite a big favour. It’s a great end to the year – we trained all year for this.”
Jesus College kept the women’s headship – and were the only crew in the four divisions to maintain the same spot that they started the four days’ racing.
Newnham were their lead pursuers on the final day, but could not mount a serious challenge.
“I think the mark of a good crew is to make a row like that look easy,” said Jesus women’s captain Alex Gutai.
“It was not easy for us, we were pushing with everything we had. The most pressure day was the final day, which I think is a good way to go.
“There was a bit of pressure from Newnham and they made up a bit of distance on us so we felt the pressure. That was good as it pushed us on and felt like we earned it as we had to pull something out of the bag.
“We put in a tremendous amount of work this year, countless sessions on the ergs, water and the gym.”
Gutai has rowed in the crew for five years, starting down in W3 having taken up the sport at Jesus.
She added: “It’s been the most perfect year I could have imagined. We got the Fairbairns win, the Lent headship, the Mays headship and I’m not sure how we could have done any better.”
Blades – for a bump on each day – were earned in the men’s divisions by Magdalene, Trinity Hall, Emmanuel II, Emmanuel III, Clare Hall, Pembroke III and Jesus V, and in the women’s divisions for Wolfson, Emmanuel II and St Catharine’s IV.
Wolfson won the Pegasus Cup.