Please see the Bumpers results at the bottom of this page for details of the latest races. You may also be interested to read 'View from the Towpath', written in 2013 by the Bumpers Umpire Rob Wilson.
The Bumping Races or ‘Bumpers’ are the climax of our inter-house rowing races, and many pupils get involved – although the 1st and 2nd VIII's are often competing at Henley when Bumpers take place.
The Bumping races have been taking place since the 1860s, when the objective was to catch up and literally ‘bump’ the house boat immediately in front. These days we’re a little less cavalier, and the objective now is to catch up with and overlap the boat in front by approximately 6 feet.
There are four rounds of Bumps and three divisions. Each house will has a crew for each division, so there are up to 13 crews/boats racing in each division. Since 2009, we have had the added excitement of the girls working their way up the third division.
The eleven (or thirteen) boats line up one behind the other before the start, with about 30 metres of water between each boat. The order of the boats is determined by their position in the previous year’s race or round, with the winners at the front.
If one boat ‘bumps’ the boat in front, both boats pull to the side of the river and drop out of the race. The boat in front will drop down a place at the next round, swapping places with the boat that bumped it.
Very occasionally, the next boat behind manages to ‘bump’ the boat that was three in front, which results in a dramatic position change for both boats involved.
Bumpers generally take place during the last week of the summer term. They are fun, exciting races and anyone is welcome to come along and watch.
Ed Carroll (Ch IV) has put together the Bumps Charts from 1997-2012 in one graphic file: Bumps 1997 to 2012.png. More years will be added in the future.
The Bumpers races take place at the end of the Summer Term, and the results below will then get updated after each day's races. Previous years' races will be here too, starting with the 2010 ones.