Torpids 2023 – Update from the JCBC President

6 March 2023

Updated race results from Torpids week:

Original news article 22/2/2023

Ahead of the start of Torpids on Wednesday 22nd February Jesus College Boat CLub (JCBC) President, James Perkins, provides an update on the Club’s hard winter training programme, recent racing successes and how you can get involved. 

For the crews of JCBC, nearly two terms of training reaches its culmination with Torpids this week (Wed 22nd -Sat 26th Feb). The Hilary term bumps racing will see four Jesus crews battle it out on the Isis in pursuit of other colleges. They will be hoping to ‘bump’ on each day (ie. make contact with or gain concession from the boat ahead) in order to win much coveted painted-blades and chalk murals in the College quads.

Close up view of Jesus Boat Club women in boat, wearing green tops, oars in water

The W1 celebrate bumping into Division I in 2022. They will set out to defend their position this year.


The Club has been training hard all through the year, and all are excited for the prospect of a thrilling week of racing. A large number of novice rowers joined JCBC in MT22 and spent the term getting to grips with rowing – proving their ability and enthusiasm with strong performances from both men’s and women’s crews in the Michaelmas Novice Regatta in late November 2022. Meanwhile, the first boats have been busy putting in the hard yards on both land and water to improve technique, build strength and power, and develop set and gelled crews. Along the way they have posted impressive times in the Isis Winter League head races, competed in Nepthys Regatta, travelled to JCBC Cambridge for the Fairburns Cup, and, for the men’s side, won Autumn Fours on the Isis.

In January 2023, twenty JCBC members kicked off their year with a week’s training camp on the Tideway in London. This was generously facilitated and supported by members of the Cadwallader Club, JCBC’s alumni group. Nearly 100km of training was racked up as the crews took advantage of the unique tideway conditions and long paddling stretches to build fitness and fine-tune their skills. Given poor weather conditions that prevented training on the Isis for several weeks at the beginning of term, this was an invaluable opportunity and fantastic foundation for the Torpids campaign. All four boats (M1, W1, M2, W2) have been putting the finishing touches to their preparations over the past week, working on maximising speed off the start and their high-rate pieces. As some final race preparation, the first crews competed in Bedford head on 12 February, gaining valuable race experience from the sprint 1700m course.

The 2023 campaign has already got underway with the W2 successfully ‘Rowing-On’ (ie. qualifying for their division place, other crews are in ‘fixed’ divisions) on Friday 17 February. Bumps racing in earnest begins on Wednesday, with Jesus crews in action throughout the afternoons through to Saturday. Do come down to the banks or boathouse and cheer the crews on if you are able. The W2 start on bungline 12 in Division VI, the M2 on bungline 10 in Division IV, the M1 on bungline 3 in Division II, and the W1 at bungline 9 in Division I.

Spectators will also be able to see the club’s new blades in action for the first time on the Isis. These high-end blades are an important investment for the club’s future, with existing sets having served the club for several decades. The purchase has been generously supported by the David Rhys Foundation and the Cadwallader Trust. Some funds remain to be raised, and so the club asks you to #backourblades and contribute at if you are able. Currently, the blades are plain white, having arrived just in time for Torpids, but will subsequently be painted in the traditional Jesus green with the JCBC dragon emblem on the front of the spoons.

JCBC are excited for the week ahead and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible by the river. Racing begins at 11.45am each day.

You can follow all the action on twitter at and on Instagram at

Please contact Cadwallader Club Secretary, Duncan Lillie at if you are interested in being involved with the Club.

Bleed Green!