A collection of hilarious bumps photos

PostA collection of hilarious bumps photos
AuthorPhil McCullough
Posted At22:24, 25th Feb 2015
198 weeks ago
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a previous OURCs secretary, who decided to stick around on committee because I really enjoy bumps racing, and want the next generation of Oxford rowers to enjoy the experience of Torpids and Eights just as much as I did when I was a student. I live 3 hours away from Oxford but I (and a number of ex-secretaries) come back out of a pure love of the sport.

I wanted to send you all a message, as a casual outsider, in advance of bumps. If you read to the end, I will provide you with a photo album of bumps, crashes and damaged boats that will keep you amused for days :)

We all dedicate lots of time to this sport, and as a result we always take races very seriously. I'm sure that lots of you took part in IWL E this weekend, where there were over 100 boats that raced. That's a phenomenally large number. It beats our record of ~95 boats that we achieved for IWL E in 2012. To put that in context - I now race with a club in Yorkshire, where I live. Entire local boat clubs hold head races, they tend to get ~180 entries, they charge at least twice as much as OURCs do, they have the luxury of an entire day to hold races in, and have an entire boat club who run the regatta, do commentary, provide all the marshals, provide timers, provide results, prizes and run the catering. Compared to all the other clubs out there, we run racing on a shoe-string, and don't make very much money out of it. We do this to give you the chance to experience head races.

I know loads of you really enjoyed the day. If you did, why not send an email to Gavin and Stewie who made this all possible? It'll only take 3 minutes, you can find their addresses here (http://www.ourcs.org.uk/ourcs/contacts), and I'm sure it would really make their day as well.

Running racing in the conditions we had on Sunday is really difficult. When it rains, all of the timing sheets get soaking wet. When it's cold, even simple things like typing in times on a laptop at racedesk become unbelievably difficult - trust me, I've done it for the last 4 years. I know that everyone really wants to know their times as soon as they can, but it's also important for the committee's sanity and wellbeing to pack up, have some food, and change in to a dry set of clothes. I know it's probably quite frustrating that you had to wait until late into the evening to get the results, and due to a spreadsheet malfunction, a small number of the results were incorrect. These things happen really frequently outside of the Oxford bubble - a regatta I raced in a fortnight ago, with 200 crews, faced a similar problem, and as a result they abandoned the prize giving and sent out the results the next day.

I suppose I wanted to say that you are really fortunate to have a committee and a group of Senior Umpires who work incredibly hard to provide you with the best racing experience they can. All but one of them are completely unpaid (and the one who is would easily get paid a lot more in the real world for what they do). Torpids is always a big big week, and there's always a lot at stake too.

We've always had a small problem with people who like to anonymously post on forums, be it Talk Rowing (rest in peace) or RowChat, which seems to be the new kid on the block. There seems to be a very small minority of people who think that the experience you got on Sunday was unsatisfactory, and is worthy of making very vocal and repeated complaints about OURCs or its committee.

I'm asking those people very nicely to refrain from the temptation to harass the committee, especially over the next couple of weeks, as I don't think those people understand the situation properly. As I've done in previous years, I extend my offer that if anyone wants to speak on a one-to-one basis, you can email me at my address above, and I will happily and non-judgementally help you to understand what happens behind the scenes, and why certain things have to be certain ways. If you wish to do it through an anonymous email account, that's cool with me too. If you wish to do it in person, I'll be at racedesk all week and be happy to sit 15 minutes aside to talk to any of you if you would like.

Thank you for reading. I made a promise, so here you go:
If you have any amazing rowing photos you wanted to share, send me a copy and I will add them to the board!