Lent Bumps 2018


Men’s First Boat

Lent bumps 2018 started off with a strong first day for Selwyn’s M1 who rowed-over. The comfortable row-over saw Selwyn move away from Downing, who bumped out early one, and put pressure on First and Third. This was to set the tone for the rest of the week. Despite cancellation of racing on Thursday due to cold and icy conditions, this did not disrupt the crew. Friday saw a good warm up for the crew on the way to station, with a punchy start to the race. Selwyn quickly put serious pressure on Homerton out of the gut and into the plough reach. Homerton soon succumbed to M1’s “standfast” call and could no longer hold off Selwyn. The crew had now built up a good level of momentum that was to carry through into Saturday. Once more M1 managed to get off to a calm but assertive start allowing gains to be made on FAT by first post corner. With excellent steering and calls made by our cox Rose, M1 were able to keep driving towards FAT and execute the second bump of the week just at the start of the reach.

Overall this Lent bumps campaign was successful for the Selwyn M1 despite harsh conditions. The crew were able to settle into a relaxed but assertive rhythm each day and work well together.

Hector Gardiner,

Men’s Captain 2017-2018

Women’s First Boat

Day One – Tuesday 27th February 2018

W1 were full of enthusiasm, nerves and excitement after a term of hard work and training. For a couple of our crew it was their first experience of bumps, so they were blissfully unaware of the carnage that can unfold! We went off with a strong start, holding off a very strong Darwin W1 until Grassy corner, where Kenneth, our cox, made the correct and safe decision to concede early to an imminent bump, as continuing around the corner would have resulted in a crash. Kenneth was complimented by CUCBC for his sensible and smart coxing during the race!


Day Two – Thursday 1st March 2018

Unfortunately Thursday did not see any racing. Races were cancelled for all divisions due to the heavy snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures.


Day Three – Friday 2nd March 2018

After a monumental effort, starting at 7am to clear the snow and ice from the towpath, racing went ahead on Friday 2nd of March. Today we were being chased by Sidney W1, and chasing Darwin W1 who had bumped us on Tuesday. The bitter temperatures and harsh wind meant that the whole crew were suffering a bit in the cold after sitting around at the start. Unfortunately, various blunders during the count-down meant that we did not push out straight and the crew were not ready for the start. This resulted in us rowing straight into the bank on the start, with Emma’s blade getting stuck under some metal and wooden framework sticking out into the water. Amazingly, after a catastrophic thirty seconds, we were still managing to hold of a strong Sidney Sussex who had beaten us convincingly in a head to head race a couple of weeks before. The crew put in a valiant effort, managing to pull away from Sidney and consolidate slightly, but in the end of we just couldn’t make up for our start, and Sidney caught us on plough reach. Despite the result, the crew rowed exceptionally well and with guts and determination.


Day Four – Saturday 3rd March 2018

After another early start shovelling snow and ice on the tow path, W1 were ready to take on their final race. Saturday saw us chasing Sidney Sussex W1 and being chased by Robinson W1. We had a strong start, but Robinson appeared to be storming off the start and quickly gained to within a boat’s length of us. After initially looking like it might be a very swift bump for Robinson, we managed to keep holding them off, pushing away slightly, with Robinson then gaining back, and us pushing away slightly again. This determined row continued right up until Ditton corner, when the strong Robinson crew eventually got the bump.

Despite the results, we are so proud of the W1 crew this term. They have been full of determination, enthusiasm and hard work and have made such massive improvements.  Their commitment was highlighted when they all turned up at 8am to shovel snow and ice off of the towpath, meaning that bumps could go ahead for us and other crews. We are very excited for training camp and for our May Bumps campaign.

Abbie Barnes and Emma Harper,

Women’s Captain’s 2017-2018

Emma Sprints Report 2017

Emma Sprints this Sunday 19th November was a steep learning curve for NM1. Drawn against the hosts, Emmanuel NM1, Selwyn had a very panicked start which unfortunately was never recovered from, allowing the Emma crew to stay ahead. Despite this, Selwyn’s power closed Emma’s lead to ¼ of a length until, with only 100m of the long reach to go, a crab saw us collide out of the race. Emma would go on to lose to Cauis in the final. Drawn next against Peterhouse NM1, and after a talking to from myself, the boys were confident they could have a very different second race. The start was much better, and we pulled ahead almost immediately. However, the two crews veered into each other with some scrappy strokes on strokeside needed to draw clear. Despite this, we managed to finish the race with a lovely piece of clean, rhythmic rowing that was the best we’d seen all term. Going into Clare Novices next week and looking to the senior men’s squad next term, NM1 are showing real promise.

Sam Wisbey, Men’s Lower Boats Captain

NW1 showed a strong start to their racing careers at Emma Sprints on Sunday. In their first race the girls started beautifully and quickly pulled away from Wolfson NW2. Some rocky timing in the middle of the sprint allowed Wolfson to catch up, but (with enthusiastic encouragement from the bank and cox) Selwyn quickly recovered. Some great rowing in the last 100m led to a well deserved win, meaning we were then racing against a formidable Hughes Hall NW1 in the Quarter Finals. Once again, we started strong and were doing well until an unfortunate couple of crabs lead to a loss of timing, enabling Hughes to draw away. The girls pulled together to finish well, but unfortunately were unable to make it up to Hughes, who went on to win the division. For a first race experience the whole crew did amazingly (and made their LBCs very proud!), showing a lot of potential for this term.


Charlotte Benham, Women’s Lower Boats Captain

The nominations are in…

We sent out a boat naming appeal in autumn to rename M1’s uninspiringly-named ‘Sims VIII’ boat. Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. It’s obviously an important issue, and we were pleased to get some input from Selwyn’s top celebs, including Hugh Laurie, The Most Reverend John Sentamu, George Augustus Selwyn, and Usain Boat.


The most popular names were:

  • Owen Chadwick (x10)
  • Boaty McBoatFace (and variants thereof, x6)
  • Sel-win (and variants thereof, x5)
  • Felicity Webster (x2)
  • Viracocha (x2)
  • Donald Bump (x2)

There were dedications to:

  • Robert Galbenu
  • Roger Mosey
  • Cath Elliston
  • Heather McKay
  • Ellie Nye
  • David Barton
  • Craig Peter Winfield
  • Ran Laurie
  • Ian Cooper
  • Titan Nick
  • Mac
  • Ariana
  • Hamish
  • The Gnome

(Though I cannot guarantee these people didn’t nominate themselves…)

And the best of the rest were:

  • 1882
  • Does my bump look big in this?
  • Sims (VIII)
  • Bishops Boat
  • The Courgette
  • Harambe
  • The Unsinkable II
  • Rowna Bout
  • Sinky McGee
  • Oar Righty-Then

The Henley Fund will make the final call (so they’re the people to lobby…!). We’ll get the boat and board painted and announce the new name as soon as we can.



Hi Novices, Welcome to Senior Rowing!


We’d like to give you a quick insight into senior rowing and everything that encompasses.
Firstly, congratulations you’ve completed novice term and made it through fairbairns! The good news is that the racing in lent and easter term is much more exciting. Bumps races will take place at the end of week 6, and this is your first taste of proper senior rowing races. The aim is to hit the boat in front of you before you’re caught by the boat behind. As you may have heard, M1 had an incredibly successful bumps campaign last year and we’re hoping that with the help of our new seniors, both the men’s and the women’s squads will match their success.
We also have many fun social events for you this term. As well as Boatie Curry and Boat Club Dinner, we have a swap with Kings BC to give ourselves a chance to get to know our fellow boathousers (I think I made up that word), and we will hopefully have some boat club bonding with a paintballing trip at the end of term.
Your captains, Maria and Harry (both legends), will be in touch soon about some fairly chilled trials to set boats for the term. See you next week.
Boatie love x

W2 May Bumps 2016 Race Reports


On our first day we were all very excited but also nervous, as for some of us it was our first time rowing in bumps. Our nerves were exacerbated by the knowledge that we were being chased by Jesus. However with adrenalin and some really gutsy rowing, we managed to hold Jesus off, they were to close to getting a bump at grassy corner but we kept pushing off of them, until Ditton Corner where they managed to bump us. A very gutsy row from everyone and good coxing calls.


On day 2 we were ready and excited and determined to row a good race, however, we were being chased by St Edmunds W1, a very competent crew, and they bumped us very quickly, with a very quick start and very strong rowing. We were disappointed but knew we could not have put any more into the race.



We were ready and raring to go for day three of bumps. Whilst we were marshalling Pembroke’s coach pulled us aside and asked us to hold St Cats off for a few minutes, until Pembroke could bump St Cats, however this plan did not unfold. Pembroke were too slow off the start, and St Cats put in a solid, strong row, gaining on us quickly and bumping us by 1st post before Pembroke had chance to bump St Cats.


On our final day we were as determined as ever, although a little tired by this point, we were ready to put everything into our final row.  We had a fast start, gaining slighting on Cats, getting our first and only whistle in our bumps campaign. However Pembroke carried on solidly gaining on us until they achieved a bump and brought an end to W2’s May Bumps 2016. Despite being awarded spoons, we all knew that we could not have rowed any harder, or put any more effort in and in that respect we were happy and proud of our performance.

Back Row: Mollie Cornell, Mascha Mironova, Jemma Offley, Abbie Barnes, Freya Hufton, Amy Bland (coach). Front Row: Aimee North, Kenneth McHardy (cox), Harriet Brien.  Absent: Annabel Allison

New SCBC Committee

Now that Henley is over it is time to announce our new committee. This past year has been a huge success for SCBC. The new boat house was finally completed, M1 got blades and despite boating from a shipping container for the majority of the year we had more keen rowers then ever, including a great group of novices. I want to thank all those who made that possible, especially Teresa and her outgoing committee.

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing committee to make it all happen with many experienced hands and at least one member from every boat Selwyn put out in Mays this year.

Introducting the SCBC committee no stripes

I’m looking forward to working with this lot and the Henley Fund to make this the best year yet (it will be my 5th). It’s also the first year the overall captain isn’t also the Men’s/Women’s captain so I’ve really got no excuses. Do get in touch if you any questions at all.

Charlie Nye – SCBC President (cjsn3@cam.ac.uk)

Selwyn M1 Race Report – Thursday Mays 2016

We approached today’s racing with the momentum of yesterday’s over-bump, but also the knowledge that we would be chased by a hungry “fly and die” Magdalene crew. Our warm up was strong and effective, having got rid of nerves that seized us yesterday, and the crowds were cheering “GO SELWYN”. We bumped Catz in 400m after opening a wide gap on Magdalene, and watched joyfully as they rowed past with the clear expression of sorrow on their faces that read “what might have been”.
On Friday we will be chasing Kings and a bump will place us at the top of our combined boathouse, a position Selwyn has not held for at least 20 years.

Technical improvements for May Bumps 2016

Of course, the training doesn’t just start now. The athletes of SCBC have been working since Michaelmas with this goal in mind: success in May Bumps. It’s been a long time coming, with many outings and many, many hours on the ergs logged, and now with only a few months remaining we need to pick up the pace.

But it’s not just about fitness, it’s also about finesse, and some of SCBC’s engineering undergrads have put their heads together to make sure Selwyn’s boats are the best on the water before the rowers even get into them. They’ve spent hours making sure our boats are are streamlined as possible, that they ride high enough but not too high in the water, etc. As an experiment, which we will repeat with Selwyn’s other boats if successful, we have coated John Farr with a hydrophobic chemical which repels water, which should shave valuable seconds off the crew’s time by reducing drag between the boat’s surface and the water, the air layer causing slip through a two-phase flow.


By far the most drastic change, however, has been the decision to remove the cox from our upper boats (something which currently is not a financially viable plan for the whole squad) so as to reduce the weight of the boat. It was, in fact, one of our recent ex-novices who came up with this- at first quite shocking- idea, and they got together with two other engineers and a non-SCBC friend in Computer Science. Together, they have produced an ingenious system whereby the rudder has been connected to a radio-controlled operating frame, using which the cox can steer the boat without even leaving the boathouse. This has actually enabled our coxes to use even greater precision in manoeuvring the boat than before, allowing them to adjust the rudder by fractions of degrees. With one GoPro at the bow and one at the stern, our cox is afforded an excellent view (though with a blind spot behind the boat, to which the only solution so far has been to leave stern pair in charge of spotting possible hazards behind the boat) with the feed from both cameras displayed side by side on their laptop back at the boathouse. Finally, the simplest part of this set-up is a fairly normal radio-link between a headset and the boat’s speaker system, allowing the cox to maintain their important motivational role.

We currently have the two upper boats kitted out in this way, and W1 and M1 will be trialling the system in the first fortnight of term- we have high hopes for success! Of course the significant weight loss from the boat certainly won’t be enough to get us all blades by itself, but together with all our other technical improvements and some intense training and commitment, it might just do the trick…

Happy April Fools

An interview with Charlie Cullen, President Cambridge University Lightweight Boat Club and SCBC



Our very own Charlie Cullen will be leading the Cambridge Lightweights in this Sundays Henley Boatraces.GO CHARLIE!

See our exclusive interview:

SCBC: How did you get into rowing?
Charlie: I started rowing at school in Norwich, when I was about 15 and just did more and more every year.
SCBC:  Do you have any nicknames?
Monty Wetwipe
SCBC: What has been your best moment at SCBC?
Charlie: May Bumps, of course, has to be the highlight of anyone’s rowing year. Staying away from Robinson in my first year with overlap for about a kilometre was a really strong memory.
SCBC: What was the greatest challenge as lightweight president?
Charlie: I think the hardest part of being President has been trying to set an example when you really want to take your foot off the gas. All in all it’s been incredibly rewarding and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
SCBC: What’s been your best moment with the Lightweights?
Charlie: Every year just before the race we row our boat from Ely to Cambridge through the locks. It’s quite an exciting trip and a great tradition – it really brings the season to a fitting end.