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2004 Introduction

The Oxford City Bumping Races were founded in 1889 and held annually  - apart from during World Wars I and II - until 1968. They were revived for a year in 1994 to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the City of Oxford RC and then formally reinstated as an A.R.A.-affiliated event with a slot in the National Rowing Calendar in 2000. They are now the only bumping races in the country which are open to all club and college crews under A.R.A. Rules. The current holders are City of Oxford RC (Men) and City of Oxford RC (Women).

The centrepiece of this traditional event is the  magnificent 1889 Bumping Races Challenge Cup, a large silver cup mounted on a 5-layered plinth covered with silver plaques which bear the names of every member of every crew that has won the event. They represent clubs such as Neptune RC and Hannington RC (which merged to form City of Oxford RC in 1968), Hinksey RC, SS Philip & James RC, YMCA RC, Sculloars BC and  Godstow RC which no longer exist, as well as local clubs which still thrive today, including Abingdon RC, Cherwell BC, College Servants BC (renamed as Sons of the Isis RC), Falcon RC, and Wallingford RC.


    The Bumps are raced in coxed fours over the same 1900 m course on the Isis as the Oxford University Bumping races, starting below Donnington Bridge and finishing at the Cox Stone (opposite Christ Church Meadows) (see map). 
This year a record 54 crews will take part of which 15 represent local rowing clubs City of Oxford, Falcon, and Abingdon. The crews are arranged in 4 divisions, with each division racing 4 times at 2-hourly intervals. Thus there will be 16 races during the day, one every 35-minutes, staring at 9.30 am and finishing at 6.15 pm. 

     A presentation ceremony will be held in the bar of the City of Oxford Rowing Club at 6.45 pm. Special medals will be awarded to the crews at the Head of the River at the end of the day's racing, and miniature blades will be awarded to crews that achieve four physical bumps. 

Photo courtesy of West Sea Company

    Spectators can watch the races for free from the towpath along the Isis between Folly Bridge and Iffley Lock, or enjoy grandstand views of the Start from Donnington Bridge or from the balcony of the City Boathouse on Meadow Lane (see directions).  

     Refreshments will be available throughout the day from the bar in the City Boathouse.

The Committee

Paul Azzopardi Chairman
Robin Edwards Site Manager, Catering, Course
Elaine Johnstone Catering
John Hill Trophies, Race Control
Tim Nixon Safety Adviser
Ruth Sanders Rota
Anna Storrs Press Officer
Ailsa Thom Barbecue
Andy Weekes Chairman of Race Committee
Barbara Wilson Entries Secretary

The Committee would like to express its thanks to all those who have helped to plan and run the Regatta this year, especially:

ARA Umpires

Brian Dunning Pat Lunney
Robin Edwards Rod Murray
Sarah Edwards Barbara Wilson


Peter Bowley, Pete Burden, Steve Gaisford, Jim Ronaldson, Tom Rose.


Environment Agency, Oxford University First Aid Unit, Riverside Centre.


Revised: 21 April 2004 .

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