Totally Punted

Cantabs are in uproar over a move by Cam Conservators to ban punting under the influence.

New regulations are set to sober up Suicide Sunday this year, after authorities slammed students who are planning to punt while drunk.

Cam Conservators have demanded that organisers of the annual boat race from Darwin Island to Trinity Punts monitor students for drunkenness and even provide proof of insurance from competitors.

The race, which this year is set to feature an on-board ceilidh, has been blasted as a “drunken boat fest” by the kill-joy river officials. The silly punts seem hell-bent on keeping Cantabs firmly on dry land.

What a load of punts: racing under the influence

But Ed Emery, who founded the race back in 2008, hit back at the officials’ criticisms. He pointed out that each year “There are a lot of drunken punters on the river but they are not our racers”.

He also assured that risks were firmly taken into account, and added that “it’s a wonderful event”.

Olivier Grouille, the honourably titled Clare Admiral of Punts, is outraged. “I think it’s preposterous – for centuries, punting in the Royal Navy has been run on the traditions of rum, sodomy and the lash.

“It’s health and safety gone mad: you might as well ban gambling at Ascot.”

But it seems that the whole thing is nothing more than a booze-cruise in the eyes of the Conservators, who are not in students’ good books at the moment. Earlier this month it emerged that they had failed in efforts to relocate the dangerous swan and local menace, Mr ASBO.

But now that students are set to enjoy a well-deserved celebration, the fun police have suddenly decided to make health and safety on the river a top priority.

  • Synchronised.

    I would have to agree that we should indeed ban betting at horse races.

    • Teetotaller

      why don't we also ban drinking at cindies and life, so we can really get the most out of otherwise such glorious establishments?

      • Synchronised

        Well now I'm being eaten by a Frenchman.

        Great :-:(

      • Ricky Alty

        I agree

  • might as well

    ban sex under the influence.

    • Ched Evans

      Why ever so dear chap?

  • Prunk Dunter

    Cam conservators are the captains of our ship, of our ship
    Cam conservators are the captains of our ship, of our ship
    And our ship is a punt cos cam conservators are all cunts
    Cam conservators are the captains of our ship, of our ship

  • Totally Punted

    Not entirely sure what the writer of this headline was driving at…

    • Pun(t)master

      I can do better:

      Pam Ponservators are all Punts
      CamCon couldn't organise a piss-up in a punt… so they're trying to stop us too

      Or if they can't think of a pun:
      Inept River Authority is still shit

  • Me!


    • What what

      Half French, all chap.

  • voice of reason

    I find the sense of entitlement felt by some students sickening.

    The Cam is a narrow, shallow, and overcrowded river, and whilst a punt might not be as fast as a car, it is still capable of causing injury or damage to other people or property. Indeed, this is one reason why the authorities have been tightening regulations on punting touts, who have been known to break into physical violence.

    Also, to cite some anecdotal evidence, I heard a story the other day of a person who had impaled themselves on a broken punt pole upon jumping into the river for a swim. Whilst I have no idea from whence such an article of detritus originated, it seems obvious that inebriation renders the creation of such highly dangerous items significantly more likely.

    • James D. Wenn

      Yes, but you have to remember that such festivities are part of the tradition of town, gown and crown. As a founding elected former officer of the Cambridge University Punting Society (m. 2007, g. 2010), I would refer you to the alcohol policy we (and a few other societies) use. The basic principle is that the Tab in charge of the boat must be sober, along with one other in the craft to cope in the event of an emergency. Ideally, if you are punting out to Grantchester or a long way in the other direction, you should save up some people to punt back again. If somebody has stayed off the drink for the purposes of taking charge of a boat, it is polite to have an after-party after final mooring. As for the passengers… the only rules are the rules of decorum!

      • E Howard

        Naturally, as one of Mr Wenn's colleagues in the Punting Society, I would agree with his comments. I admit that an agreeable afternoon's punt along the Meadows is often rendered all the more agreeable by the addition of a liberal splash of tipple, provided one is able to remain agreeable company for other river users.

        The Backs, on the other hand, are a different proposition. Not only are they a lot busier and dirtier (making control of both vessel and footing essential), a higher standard of conduct always has been expected there. Rivington (the author of a notable book on punting) remarks that historically "a fairly high standard of presentableness and decorum was observed" and that users were expected "to punt well and dress well." It would excellent to see a return to such a state of affairs, if only to set those tourists hopelessly pirouetting under the Wooden Bridge an example!

      • voice of reason

        In that case, why is it so objectionable that the conservators are asking you to monitor and enforce a policy you obviously have?

    • You

      have shit chat

      • James D. Wenn

        Meh. If somebody asks a question in in Swahili, answer in Swahili 😛

    • ???

      You appear to have misunderstood the Tab. If you want to read reason, or indeed voice it, this is not the place.

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