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Easter Newsletter 2020

Recap of Lent Term

Men’s Side

After rowing through every day of 2019 Lents, members of the crew returned with a solid will to earn some bumps. At the first race of the term – Winter Head to Head – we came a very close third, with a massive gap behind. Robinson Head came next, which we won comfortably, 27 seconds ahead of Girton M1 in second place. With a second place on Newnham Head (previously Newnham Short Course) we developed a solid reputation for being one of the fastest boats on the river. From there it was clear that Lents Headship would come down to us or LMBC. Sadly, a pre-race incident resulting in a technical bump on Thursday robbed us of this chance, but it did not stop us from going up two, and ending second on the river. This is the highest place Pembroke has held in Lents since 1990, and six members of the crew are returning next year to finish the job. The crew was disappointed not to have had the chance to take on LMBC, but they were aiming to redeem themselves as the fastest Cambridge crew at HoRR. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.  We would like to personally thank PCBC alumnus John Hughes for his amazing support, coaching and even jumping back into the cox’s seat in desperate times.

 M2 had a strong start to the term winning our first race of term, Winter Head to Head. We continued this form into Robinson Head and won this race too. Next, for Newnham Head, we finished as the second fastest M2 on the river against strong opposition, only being beaten by Queens M2. Going into Lent Bumps, the crew knew it would be tough being surrounded by fast crews. To make things even more challenging the weekend before Bumps, injury and illness struck meaning that on every day of bumps we needed at least one sub.  Despite the setbacks, the crew showed their form during the week of racing; on the first day they held a fast Homerton M1 from station 14 all of the way until Ditton before being bumped. For the second and third days, M2 had comfortable row-overs, easily opening up the gap to Emmanuel M2 who was chasing on both days. On the final day, it was our chance to bump back up as we were now chasing Jesus M2, who were decisively slower than us in the previous races of term. However, Queens M2 were behind us and weren’t going to let us get complacent. We rowed well, consistently eating into the gap to Jesus whilst holding Queens off until bumping Jesus outside the Plough, thus ending the week net zero at station 14 of the M2 division, an outstanding achievement nonetheless due to our position amongst many first boats.

Following one of our strongest ever novice turnouts last term, hopes were high for what our lower boats could achieve this Lents. M3 got off to a strong start to term, with great support from long-term PCBC alumnus Alan Foster. M3 won our division in Newnham Head, beating all but three second boats in the process. The following week, we also won our division at the Pembroke Regatta, and were looking strong for Bumps. Even though this year was one of the most competitive in recent history, with 44 crews competing for 16 spaces in the Getting on Race, M3 smashed it and easily got on. We started Bumps in a good position, surrounded by Boats we knew we could beat on a good day. After quick bumps on Day 1 and 2, we narrowly missed out on bumping on the third day due to being at the wrong end of a three-boat sandwich. However, we had a strong row over and came back even stronger on the Saturday, bumping Wolfson M2 and going up three overall, one of the best results for a Lents Pembroke M3 in recent years.

M4 similarly put in an impressive performance this term, recording solid times in both Winter Head-to-Head where they battled Downing M3 and in Newnham Head. M5 also competed in Newnham Head, one of only two M5s on the river! We are especially proud of M4 for putting in an incredible performance in the Getting on Race for Lent Bumps, the first time in recent memory since Pembroke has fielded an M4 for Lents. Although they missed getting on for Lent Bumps, we can’t wait to see where they take the men’s side in future years!

M2 racing Newnham Head
M4 racing Newnham Head

Women’s Side

W1 grew in strength every week this term, as proved by a very strong performance in Bumps. They moved up one, finishing sixth on the river at the end of the campaign, with each day presenting a challenge to the crew’s grit and determination. The first day presented the challenge of catching First and Third, who finished Newnham Head with a marginally faster time than W1 earlier in the term.  W1 caught First and Third on the Reach, after a painful thirty seconds of overlap, demonstrating not only the crew’s progression through term, but their fierce determination. The third day was further testament to the crew’s mental strength, as they successfully pulled away from Clare’s overlap, allowing them to finish the final day of bumps having not only put a comfortable distance between themselves and Clare, but crossing the finish line within station of Lady Margaret. Following success in bumps, W1 had hoped to race Women’s Head of the River on the 7th of March, but unfortunately the event was cancelled due to the unsafe strength of the tideway’s stream.

W2 have grown each week this term and have worked so hard to achieve the best result that the boat has seen in 4 years of Lent Bumps. They started the term with Winter Head-to-Head and then went on to race Newnham Head, pulling impressive times in both – and earning themselves a spot as one of the strongest second boats on the river. Progressing on to Bumps, they then went on to within 45 seconds on Day One. While they continued to gain on crews ahead of them throughout the week, there were unfortunately no more bumps, although the crew was pleased with a very strong set of row overs. Their net result of +1 was a very impressive feat and we are so proud of the success that W2 earned with their dedicated training this term.

A huge turnout in Michaelmas term meant that the lower boats were bound to be a force to be reckoned with in Lents! Our W3 put in a strong performance for Newnham Head, although they narrowly missed out on qualifying for Lents Bumps, placing only two seconds behind the Kings’ II, the first non-qualifying boat. W4 made some major improvements this term, massively stepping up their commitment to PCBC and proving their resilience in some unfavourable weather conditions. They put in a strong effort for Pembroke Regatta – their first race of the term – and only narrowly missed out on the win to Lucy Cavendish W3. They then went on to compete in the Getting-On Race. Although they did not qualify for Lent Bumps, the crew put in a fantastic effort and we are so proud of how much they have improved over the term. While all members of the crew were hoping continue rowing in Mays, which has now been cancelled, we are looking forward to their bright future with PCBC next year!

W3 racing Newnham Head

Pembroke Charity Ergathon 2020

On 2nd February, 54 PCBC members completed a 12-hour ergathon to raise money for the Jo Cox Studentship. Together they rowed 522,096 meters over twelve hours and raised £634.24!

For many, the erging formed part of their usual weekly training plans, which is a testament to how much hard work PCBC puts in every week during terms that are already very busy. With that in mind, special mentions go to Callum Bowler (M2), who rowed 50k, Toby Chesser (M1) for completing a full marathon, Daniel Harwood (M2), Jenny Hill (W1) and Ben Hatton (M2) for completing a half-marathon, Steph Jat who rowed furthest as a cox (M3), and to M2 who covered more than 164k in total.

We also had two PCBC alumni drop in, and one person from outside the boat club (!), proving once and for all rowing is not, and never has been a cult. The Master, Lord Smith of Finsbury, also popped his head in during the afternoon, but unfortunately did not get on an erg. We look forward to trying again next year to persuade him to put in some watts. Finally, a big thank you to Jan Deller for sorting out all of the tech and to Dan Shailer for organising the whole event. A massive thank you to everyone who took part, contributed to the donations and for all of the support.

Pembroke Regatta 2020

This year Pembroke Regatta took place on Saturday 15th February. The preparations were running smooth, we had more than 90 boats signed up to race in eight divisions, and 50 current PCBC members offered their hands with marshalling and umpiring. With the help of Darwin College Boat Club, PCBC entered one men’s and one women’s crew in each alumni division. However, a couple of days before the event is was clear that storm Dennis would make the Regatta challenging.

After discussion with CUCBC and PCBC boatman Kevin Bowles, we decided to proceed with the event following the original division schedule, allowing crews to scratch if they did not feel safe to race, and refunding their entry fees. The weather conditions were carefully assessed at 6am – light crosswind allowed the W3 division to start shortly after the sunrise, with Lucy Cavendish W3 finishing victorious. The M3 division kicked off right after W3, and its thrilling finals saw Pembroke M3 winning over First and Third M3!

Towards the end of the M3 division the wind picked up and further racing was deemed unsafe. Thus the first boats, the second boats as well as the alumni divisions were cancelled. After a speedy prize giving in the Boat House, Pembroke Alumni joined the current boat club members at the celebrations at the Regatta and Association Dinner.
A big thank you to Roxy Southern for organising the event second time in a row, and for dealing with the uneasy conditions! We would also like to thank to Pembroke College Development Office for their support and for providing the pre-dinner and post-dinner drinks. Congratulations to all crews, and see you in Pembroke Regatta 2021, which will provisionally take place on Saturday 20th February.

M3 celebrating their victory

Lent Bumps


Overall, PCBC has had an incredibly strong Lents campaign. All five of our racing crews either maintained or increased their position on the river, an impressive achievement and a promising sign of things to come for the club as a whole.

We are so proud of the performance across the board of every single crew, with M1 ending their campaign second on the river, their highest placement in 30 years, and M3 going up 3 places. The women’s side had similar success, with both W1 and W2 proving that they are forces to be reckoned with. Congratulations to all our rowers and coxes – bring on Mays! Full race reports are now available here.

M3 (Photo: Giorgio Divitini)

Pembroke Trialists in the University Squad

Two Pembroke rowers – Jonty Page (Blue Boat-elect, 4-seat) and Rob Harris (Goldie-elect, 5-seat), celebrated the New Year at a CUBC training camp in sunlit Banyoles. For the first time we remember, a third eight was boated to broaden the squad and continue to develop the athletes for as long as possible. After the training camp, two fixtures were announced – Goldie and the CUBC 3rd Eight against Imperial College London’s 1st and 2nd crews on 3rd February, and Blue Boat and Goldie against Oxford Brookes’ 1st and 2nd crews on 1st March.

At the beginning of February, the Goldie crew won both pieces against Imperial easily, the second by four lengths! The 3rd Eight lost their first race, but took the lead at the beginning of the second piece and finished victorious. 

Oxford Brookes turned out to be a tough competition. In their first race against the Blue Boat they beat Cambridge after numerous blade clashes. Following an aggressive start from CUBC, the Cambridge crew was in the lead for most of the race course, but were beaten by OBUBC in the final stage of the race. Unfortunately, Brookes moved away from Goldie to a victory in both pieces as well. As a result of the current situation with COVID-19, The 166th Boat Race on 29th March has been cancelled. It is the first time since the Second World War for the men’s rowing competition and the first year since its inception for the women’s race.

CUBC in Banyoles with Pembroke trialists – Jonty Page (top row, 7th from left) and Rob Harris (top row, 8th from left). Photo by CUBC.

Thoughts from the Head Coach

PCBC’s results in Lent Bumps really reflected the hard work all the students and coaches put in in the Michaelmas Term. After being hit with a number of storms this term, we struggled to get a lot of our boats out on the water. Many of the boats persevered and were able to complete the training program. Despite wet and windy bumps conditions, all of them were able to cope with the pressure and come out with some great results, with no crews going down in the bumps charts. I would like to say thank you to all of the coaches, boatman and captains that helped this term. If there are any alumni that wish to coach in the future, please get in contact with the Head coach, Seb Matthews ( We have ten boats that had hoped to race in May Bumps that will be eager for the chance to prove themselves next year!

Diary Dates

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, there will be no face-to-face teaching in Easter term this year. All planned rowing events are cancelled and we are unsure exactly when regular rowing will be able to resume. In the meantime, we would like to thank you for your support for all of our PCBC family this past academic year and into the future. We hope to return in Michaelmas 2020 even stronger than before, and we look forward to having additional clarity in the coming months.

However, we do have one set of dates for your diary! Without any May Bumps on the river, some Cambridge boaties are organizing a Virtual May Bumps! Additional details can be found on the Facebook event here and we will be keeping you updated on social media as the time approaches.
 If you would like to participate in an alumni boat for Virtual May Bumps, please email the Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives!

June 24 – 27: Virtual May Bumps Thanks again to our sponsors, King and Spalding, for their continued support. They have allowed us to continue investing in high quality coaching and equipment, as well as injury prevention and recovery for all of our athletes.

Volunteering and Staying Connected

If you would like to be involved in the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with the Overall Captain, Jenny Hill, or the Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives. It would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by previous successes!

Seb Matthews, our head coach, has been particularly grateful for the help of John Hughes, Alan Foster, Emily Bowyer, Lata Persson, Emma Andrews and Laura Stewart in Lent. Volunteer next year to earn your very own special shout-out in future newsletters!

And, as always, follow our social media for the latest news!





Pembroke Regatta Twitter:

We are especially pleased to have rolled out a Facebook group for PCBC alumni in September 2019. If you are not already connected, please visit us here to join in order to stay updated with the latest news and alumni rowing opportunities!

Row on PCBC!

Lent Bumps 2020 Reports

Men’s Crews


Women’s Crews


M1Wednesday: Bumped Downing I
After rowing through 4 times behind Downing last year M1 returned with determination to get the bump. Although we did not have the best start, we gained our first whistle in the gut, and from there on we knew we are not going to let them get away. With perfect execution of our race plan, we slowly reeled Downing in, and caught them around Ditton.

Thursday: Technically bumped by Downing I
Due to incident before racing.

Friday: Bumped Downing I
M1 returned with determination for a good race after the setback yesterday. With amazing support from PCBC alumnus John Hughes, we had a good warmup. Our start was much better than on day 1 and whistles started coming before first post corner. We did not let them get away, and swiftly bumped coming out of grassy.

Saturday: Bumped Caius I
M1 had an amazing last day. Despite the strong stream and headwind, we had a really quick start and the first whistle came in 20s. From then on there was no stopping and overlap was achieved coming out of grassy. Caius put up a good fight, but it was over by the plough. With this M1 is now second on the river, highest in lents since 1990.
W1Wednesday: Bumped First and Third I
W1 made a great start to their bumps campaign in a hard-fought race. They managed to get a whistle on First and Third pretty quick off the start, whilst also being unfazed by Clare’s whistles behind them. With some beautiful lines round the corners and big pushes, W1 pulled away from Clare and gained inch by inch on FaT, bumping them on the reach.

Thursday: Rowed Over
After a slightly nervy start, W1 found a strong rhythm for their second race. Building on yesterday’s experience they knew they could avoid being caught by FaT and moved away smoothly past the Plough. Maintaining this discipline down the long reach they rowed over confidently, and are looking forward to chasing the bump on Maggie again tomorrow.

Friday: Rowed Over
W1 went into today with confidence, knowing that they had both stamina and strength. As expected, Clare came up fast, and had overlap out of grassy. However, W1’s grit and determination never wavered and they cruised away, breaking Clare’s spirit and finishing a strong row over several lengths ahead of them. They still have Maggie in their sights for the final race tomorrow.

Saturday: Rowed Over
Today W1 were keen to keep up the momentum of the previous two days. With Clare chasing them again, the crew knew they would have no issues escaping them, and kept them further away than yesterday. With lots of experience training in tough conditions, the headwind did not shake the crew, and they maintained station on Maggie in front all the way to top finish. With this the crew finishes at an impressive 6th on the river, having gone up 1, and are immensely proud of their achievement.
M2Tuesday: Bumped by Homerton I
M2 had a tough position in the draw, behind a speedy FaT M2 and in front of an even speedier Homerton M1. They had a good start, and made small gains on FaT while they kept Homerton on station as they came down from the lock into First Post corner. At this point there was little more left in the tank to keep out a formidable Homerton, but the boat held out for an impressive distance and only conceded on Ditton.

Thursday: Rowed Over
After a strong effort of holding off Homerton yesterday before being bumped on Ditton, M2 managed to hold them at two lengths consistently throughout the row over, with a solid rhythm. Emma M2 offered a challenge, gaining one whistle on us coming into First Post Corner, but we held them off and walked away from them on the Reach.

Friday: Rowed Over
Following a strong start, M2 gained one whistle on Homerton M1 coming onto First Post Reach and fought to reel them in. Unfortunately, they were quick to bump out coming around the corner, so we settled into a sustainable rhythm for our second row over of bumps.

Saturday: Bumped Jesus II
M2 secured our long awaited bump on the last day, bumping Jesus M2 just round Ditton corner. With a strong, rapid start, we quickly gained one whistle and built up momentum to gain another half a length coming into the gut. We were overlapping coming round Grassy, however had to fight a little harder to secure the bump as Jesus fought back. Regaining three whistles past the Plough, we heard the sweet sound of the bell just around Ditton. It was a bump that was well and truly earnt!
W2Tuesday: Bumped St Catharine’s II
W2 got their bumps campaign off to the perfect start, bumping St Catz W2 in less than 30 strokes! With 8 members of the crew competing in their first bumps (including our cox – who handled the entire situation incredibly well despite the chaos!), it was a fantastic introduction to the thrill of bumping. They are chasing St Edmunds tomorrow.

Wednesday: Rowed Over
W2 made it through a tough day with a really gutsy row over. Holding off St Catz with ease, despite another really impressive start St Edmunds W1 proved just out of reach. They will get another chance to chase them down on Friday!

Friday: Rowed Over
Pembroke W2 built on their strong start earlier in the week with another solid row over. Despite awful conditions, with many of the crew remarking their hands were frozen to their blades, W2 maintained a strong rhythm throughout, just missing out on bumping St Edmunds but were under no threat at any point from boats further down the division. They chase Maggie W2 tomorrow.

Saturday: Rowed Over
W2 battled strong winds to make it to an impressive 3rd row over, meaning they finish their bumps campaign on +1, following that spectacular bump on day 1. The W2 mentality of battling through to the end was on full display, and all the girls can be incredibly proud of their efforts this term.
M3Tuesday: Bumped Darwin II
M3 also had a great first day, bumping Darwin M2 in the gut. After a quick start, where they gained one whistle (in less than 30 seconds)!!, a crab out of nowhere caused the boat to grind to a halt. Nevertheless, M3 picked it back up and managed to avoid Magdalene M3 who were snapping at their heels from behind. Over the next couple of minutes they gained gradually on Darwin, and a well earned bump sets them up well for the rest of the week.

Wednesday: Bumped Selwyn II
Another good day for M3, who today were chasing Selwyn 2. A strong start, followed by an even stronger rhythm call allowed them to make up ground very quickly on Selwyn, with the bump over and done with in about a minute. Now they are chasing Downing 3.

Thursday: Rowed Over
An unlucky day for M3, as they missed out on the bump by a fraction. They made early gains on downing M3, and were on 2 whistles by the gut. However, Downing were also gaining on Wolfson M2, and just managed to bump them before Pembroke secured the bump. A solid row over today sets them up well for Saturday, where they will be chasing Wolfson M2.

Saturday: Bumped Wolfson II
M3 were determined to finish their week on a high, as they chased Wolfson M2. After the disappointment of thursdays row over, the crew picked themselves back up and started strongly, making huge gains on Wolfson up First Post reach, eventually bumping them on first post corner. Up three is the best result a Pembroke third Lents boat has had in a long time, and the crew should be really proud of what they have achieved this term!

Lent Bumps 2020 – Crews

M1 (Reg Howard)

1Tom Sharp
2Fran Gomez-Medina
3Toby Chesser
4Rob Perry
5Ben Edmans
6John Hudson
7Bence Kovacs
8Paul Cumner
CoxOli Millington

W1 (Sir Richard Dearlove)

1Abby Robinson
2Jenny Hill
3Jessie Wellington
4Julia Fleming-Dresser
5Julia Ruddick-Trentmann
6Evie Hair
7Mairenn Collins
8Candice Griffiths
CoxPetra Bachrati

M2 (Geoffrey Perret)

1Lester Li
2Tobias Schaich
3Ben Hatton
4Dan Harwood
5Sam Beer
6Callum Bowler
7Tom Woolterton
8Charles Dudley
CoxVic Moreland

W2 (Rebecca Caroe)

1Laetitia Maurat
2Margherita Volpato
3Natalie Stokes
4Felicity White
5Ellen Sparshott
6Lauren Miller
7Ella Eagle-Davies
8Jade Jesty
CoxAmy Richardson

M3 (James Crowden)

1Josh McEvilly
2Jan Deller
3Sebastiaan Hoek
4Itay Yaniv
5Quim Baixeras
6Michael Kretowicz
7Rob Panyi
8Patrick Steichen
CoxSteph Jat


1Aziliz Le Bourhis
2Lily Young
3Anna Gardner
4Maribel Ercilla
5Miriam Clifton
6Arabella Zuckerman
7Lucy Holland
8Amy Richardson
CoxCampbell McLauchlan


1Omer Elchanan
2Rohan Shah
3Anake Singh
4Igor Sterner
5Andrew Gray
6James Roy
7Angus Clelland
8Brendan Huo
CoxBeth King


1Nathalie Warke
2Maya Bahra
3Christine de Kock
4Huma Ramazan Ali
5Ella Jollands
6Jasmine Lee
7Chloe McCarthy
8Emily Jefferson
CoxYaseen Alkhazali

End of Michaelmas Newsletter 2019

Senior Boats

It has been a busy term for everyone at PCBC. We’ve welcomed many rowers back to our senior
squad and also had a huge intake of novices on both the men’s and women’s sides. It has been good to
see everyone enjoying being out on the water and we have had some great results from many of our
boats. All this success has been due to the hard work and commitment from everyone in the club and
has set all the crews up well for an exciting Lent term!

Men’s Side

M1 was off to a flying start after the training camp in Budapest, winning Autumn Head in both the
IV+ and VIII+ categories. Training was focused around IVs for the first half of the term, with aims
towards competing in University Fours. Both crews reached the semi-finals, with M1A having a
three-way race with Magdalene and LMBC after a rerow in the quarter-finals. Sadly, this is as far as
we got, losing to the eventual winners.

Training for the second half of the term was mixed between VIIIs and IVs with the aim to contest
Fairbairns in both the senior VIII+ and IV+ category. The first eight came second in their category,
third overall, which is the best result Pembroke M1 has achieved since 1994. The first four
unfortunately suffered with a steering issue, but the second four came third in their category, despite
being impeded by Caius M1B.

The second boat had a rocky start to the term with initial training in IVs before finally setting a
crew in week 4 of term. However, they recovered spectacularly with a crew of mixed ability
members, from complete novices to a national-level Spanish rower. They trained hard, and the fruits
of their labours came in Fairbairns where they came third out of the men’s second VIIIs, beating a
substantial number of other college’s first boats. These results show a promising future for M2 in next
term’s Lent Bumps.

Women’s Side

This term, the women’s side was bolstered by several rowers who committed to W1 for the first
time, strengthening the experienced senior women’s side. W1 trained primarily in IVs for the first half
of the term, and a top four was entered into University Fours. The crew rowed a very strong race, but
ultimately lost to the top Jesus crew who went on to become the overall winners of the W1 category.

For the remaining weeks of term, W1 trained in VIIIs in preparation for Fairbairns. For half of W1,
this was their first year rowing the gruelling 4.3 km senior course, and the whole crew showed great
commitment throughout the race. W1’s dedication to their training all term has set a very strong foundation
to build on as we approach Lent Bumps.

Michaelmas Novices


It’s been a successful and busy term for coxing at PCBC! The novice coxswains have really taken
to the sport, with some coxing senior crews in the Fairbairns races having worked with them all term.
We have a strong platform to build off going into next term and look forward to training week, where
novices will cox boats of a senior and novice mix, allowing them to further develop their skills.

Lower Boats

Women’s Side

The novices on the women’s side have had a fantastic term! In total, we had four novice crews
learning to row, and all have shown determination, enthusiasm and commitment throughout their
water and land training sessions. This was certainly reflected in their successes at the Clare Novices’
Regatta and Fairbairn Cup!

Both NW2 and NW3 had strong performances in Clare Novices’ Regatta. NW2 made it to the
quarter-finals, showing incredible resilience in the stressful environment of a head to head race. In
addition, NW3 stormed through to the finals, only narrowly missing out on winning the Women’s
Plate. A full race report of NW3’s incredible performance can be found here. Unfortunately, while NW1
beat Selwyn’s NW1 in the first round, they lost to LMCB NW2 in the second round before
they reached the quarter-finals.

Our novice crews showed similar strengths in Fairbairns. NW2 completed the course in 13:13, far
quicker than many other NW1 crews! NW1 finished the course with a solid time for 13:49, coming in
ahead of the NW1s from both Murray Edwards and King’s. Although rowing for time only, NW3
also saw success, finishing the course with a time of 14:06, which was again faster than both NW1
and NW2 crews from many other colleges!

We’re incredibly proud of how our novices have performed, and many of them have expressed
how much fun they had along the way. The vast majority of our novices are keen to commit to PCBC
next term, which should contribute to a competitive and enjoyable Lent Bumps campaign!

Men’s Side

The men’s side started the term strongly, with a mass signup of novices (40+!) from both the
Freshers’ squash and the PCBC BBQ (helped by a brunch closure on the day of the BBQ). Following
a couple of weeks of taster sessions, we were able to begin setting crews with 32 of our novices still
interested in rowing in a set crew. This is the first year for a long time (as long as anyone in the boat
club can remember) that the men’s side had four novice boats, and with 27 committing to continue
rowing next term, PCBC has much to look forward to for the future.

NM1 “Griffin” were entered into Emma Sprints and Fairbairns. Following significant development
all term on both the ergs and the water, Griffin were able to reach the semi-final of Emma sprints
division, and eventually delivered a strong row in the 3 rd -place race to finish 3 rd overall. They
raced strongly in Fairbairns, but a series of unfortunate crabs meant it was not to be their year –
we will take
the successes from this term forwards to a build towards bumps next term!

NM1 “Condor” made a big impression on some of the senior members of the boat club, posting
some impressive erg scores (and some impressive heights too!). Condor raced in Clare Novices’
Regatta, Emma Sprints and Fairbairns. They reached the semi-final of their division in Emma Sprints,
and in Clare Novices’ Regatta they managed to reach the final, narrowly losing to Caius by a length.
In Fairbairns, Condor raced a strong race, finishing eleventh overall, and the crew look forward to
rowing next term (with all eight rowers continuing!)

NM2 “Eagle” performed well in Clare Novice regatta, reaching their semi-final (where they lost to
Pembroke Condor!) They were the highest placed third boat in Fairbairns, and we have many
returners for next term – a lot to look forward to!

NM2 “Hawk” pushed hard through the entire Fairbairns race course. After a clean row, the crew
finished with the time 13:05 as the first NM4 on the river, beating several higher novice boats.

Pembroke Trialists

In Michaelmas Term, Pembroke College fielded three trialists for the University Boat Clubs: Jonty
Page, Robert Harris and Laura Stewart. On Saturday, November 23 rd , Jonty Page rowed with CUBC’s
second coxed IV (Goldie B) in Fours Head, placing fourth in their category, immediately ahead of
Oxford’s corresponding B and C boats even with a 5-second penalty for late marshalling.
Additionally, Jonty Page and Robert Harris rowed as the 5-/6-seat pair in the wining boat for CUBC’s
Trial Eights Race on Monday, December 16 th . You can read the official report for their exciting race
on the Boat Race website here. We wish all of our trialists the best of luck in Lent Term!

Thoughts from the Head Coach

Overall, we have had a great Michaelmas Term. We started the term in Budapest with a preseason
camp which I hope will become an ongoing activity. I feel the majority of the athletes gained a lot
of understanding of a training camp and we made some big technical changes for all of the individuals
who participated. From this, we had two wins in the Autumn Head race. Our Men’s Captain, Bence,
made a big effort this term to organise afternoon outings. I think this led to some very positive results
in University Fours and the Fairbairns Cup, where we placed second in the VIIIs – the highest place
we have had in 25 years.

I have been thoroughly impressed by our Lower Boat Captains who have been able to get over 90
novice signups this term, which led to the club entering 7 novice boats into the Fairbairn Cup. We
benefitted massively from our alumni coaches, Sam Deacon and John Hughes, who have been a great
help to myself. I look forward for their help in the future.

I do ask if there are any alumni available to coach next term, it would benefit the club massively. I
am really looking forward to our next term after all of the hard work the captains have put in this term
we will see the benefits. I am hoping to enter our top boats into an off-Cam race in Boston in January.
All crews should be set by this race and we will then continue to get ready for Winter Head to Head,
Newnham Short Course, Robinson Head and, of course, Lent Bumps at the end of term.

If you are interested in coaching PCBC to future success, please get in touch with Seb Matthews,

Lent Term Diary Dates

For anyone who lives in Cambridge or fancies making the trek on a weekend, we would love to
have the support of PCBC members past and present on the bank at our upcoming races!

January 6-14 – Pre-Term Cambridge Training Camp
January 25 – Winter Head to Head
January 31 – Robinson Head
February 2/9 (TBC) – Pembroke Charity Ergathon
February 8 – Newnham Head (previously Newnham Short Course)
February 15 – Pembroke Regatta
February 21 – Lent Bumps Getting on Race
February 25-29 – Lent Bumps
March 7 – WEHoRR (London)
March 21 – HoRR (London)

Thanks again to our sponsors, King and Spalding, for their continued support. They have allowed
us to continue investing in high quality coaching and equipment, as well as injury prevention and
recovery for all of our athletes.

Alumni Rowing

For the first time since the 1970s Town Bumps,
Darwin and Pembroke College Boat Clubs entered a
composite men’s crew into a rowing competition. As
some of the rowers do not live in Cambridge, only two
training sessions were organised prior to the race. The
crew spent truly enjoyable moments on the river, had a
smooth row in the race and finished with a time of
13:24. We would like to thank to Cantabrigian Rowing
Club for allowing us to use their equipment.

We are gearing up for Pembroke Regatta 2020 which will be taking place on Saturday 15th  February. If you would like to take part, please get in contact at

There are more details to come about booking your place at our Regatta Dinner, which will be happening on the same night.

Pembroke Charity Ergathon 2020

At the start of February, Pembroke will complete a 12-hour ergathon to raise money for the Jo Cox
Studentship set up in memory of Jo Cox (an alumna of the college and boat club). For more details,
follow our fundraising progress on the event webpage here and our progress during the event on any
of our social media!

Volunteering and Staying Connected

If you would like to be involved in the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in

It would
be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by previous successes!
Head Coach Seb Matthews has been particularly grateful for the help of Sam Deacon and John Hughes,
who have assisted coaching our senior crews this Michaelmas. Volunteer now to earn your very own
special shout-out in our next newsletter!

And, as always, follow our social media for the latest news!

Pembroke Regatta Twitter:

We are especially pleased to have rolled out a new Facebook group for PCBC alumni in
September 2019. If you are not already connected, please visit us here to join in order to stay updated
with the latest news and alumni rowing opportunities!

Row on PCBC!

Start of Michaelmas Newsletter 2019

PCBC at Henley Royal Regatta 2019

After their successful showing last year, Pembroke College Boat Club and Clare Boat Club again joined forces and put together a composite crew with the aim of qualifying for Henley Royal Regatta in July 2019. After a few training sessions on the Cam after May Bumps, the crew made a strong effort, but unfortunately did not manage to qualify for the Temple Challenge Cup. The rowers enjoyed the racing day, however, and we look forward to entering another strong crew next year and we wish them the best of luck in 2020! Congratulations to the 2019 crew: 

Cox John Hughes (PEM)
Stroke Greg Drott (PEM)
7 Calum McCain (PEM)
6 Matt Simpson (CLA)
5 Stephen Kindness (CLA)
4 Peter Rees (CLA)
3 Bence Kovács (PEM)
2 Rob March (PEM)
Bow John Hudson (PEM)

We would also like to congratulate the Pembroke trialists who rowed at Henley this year. Rob Harris and Jonty Page rowed in a IV+ for CUBC in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. They easily beat Purdue University from the USA in their first heat before losing by a length in the second to Harvard University, who ultimately won the final against Durham University. Lily Linsday raced with the CUWBC IV- in the Town Challenge Cup, losing to the ultimate winner of the cup, Hollandia Roeiclub from the Netherlands. Congratulations to all of our rowers for an excellent showing at Henley 2019 against such strong international competition!

Kicking Off Michaelmas 2019

The Budapest Training Camp

From 24th September to 1st October, five senior Pembroke rowers eager to take their rowing to the next level participated in a training camp in Budapest. This was the main training camp for the PCBC men’s side, kicking off our year with an international experience. There were amazing conditions on the Danube, with perfect temperatures for rowing, clear skies and minimal wind. Complemented by a wide river – so different from our beloved Cam – this allowed for side by side training in sculls, pairs and coxless fours, shells that we don’t often use on the Cam. No one was let off easy, as our new Head Coach Seb Matthews had put together a training plan of twenty sessions throughout the week. On Sunday the 29th of September, we took part in the Széchenyi Balatoni Regatta a coastal rowing race in Tihany on Lake Balaton. In the PCBC men’s side’s first international race in years, we are pleased to say that our 4x+ posted the fastest time on the course (36:14.0), and we look forward to building on this success in the coming year on the Cam. We would like to thank our alumnus, Bálint Homonnay for hosting us at Soroksári Rowing Club. Excellent work from the racing crew:

Cox Bálint Homonnay
Stroke Rob Perry
3 Bence Kovács
2 Ben Edmans
Bow Dan Shailer

Women’s Side on the Cam

In the week before the start of term, while some of our rowers were training in Budapest, the PCBC women returned to the Cam for their own training week. The week proved a fantastic opportunity for all rowers to improve technically, despite the river closure under the Railway bridge and a couple days of torrential rain! The women’s side trained in IVs during the week, with two sessions run each day, coached by Pembroke alumna, 2019 Blue Boat and W1 Mays stroke Lily Lindsay, and Head Coach Seb Matthews. On the weekend, former Blue Boat and French International rower Myriam Goudet coached two VIIIs sessions. Throughout the week, seniors from both the men’s and women’s side also helped cox-train semester students, who are sure to be assets to the club in the weeks to come. The women’s side is lucky this year to have experienced rowers returning to Cambridge and PCBC for Masters degrees and from a year of studying abroad. The whole side is looking strong, and ready for the term ahead.

Welcoming New Novices

PCBC is very excited to welcome an absolute horde of new novices this year! Our committee made a significant investment in our PCBC BBQ on 12th October, ensuring that the event was well-publicised, well-run and, of course, well stocked with food! Our LBCs did a fantastic job in converting that interest into actual sign-ups for seats in novice boats, with the women’s side able to field three full VIIIs and one IV and the men’s side currently with four VIIIs. We are very happy to report that we’ve had exceptionally high interest in coxing this year as well! Coming into Week 5 of Michaelmas term, there are nine novice coxswains training with the aim that they will cox novice boats on both sides. Some are also being considered for M2 as they have shown significant improvement since the beginning of term. 

Your PCBC LBCs, Coxing Rep and coaching team have been hard at work to convert the enthusiasm shown by our new undergraduates, graduates and semester students into on-the-water speed. If you are in the area, make sure to stop by novice Fairbairns on 5th December to cheer them on!  

Pembroke Trialists in the University Squad

We are pleased to report that two Pembroke trialists rowed for CUBC in the Head of the Charles in Cambridge, Massachusetts on 19th October. Congratulations to Rob Harris and Jonty Page for earning their seats in the first VIII, which placed 10th overall in the Men’s Championship Eights category. We look forward to following the success of all our Pembroke trialists in the upcoming months!

Diary Dates

For anyone who lives in Cambridge or fancies making the trek on a weekend, we would love to have the support of PCBC members past and present on the bank at our upcoming races! 

4th-8th November – University Fours
10th November – Queens’ Ergs
16th November – Winter Head
24th November – Emma Sprints
30th November – Clare Novices’ Regatta
5th-6th December – Fairbairn Cup
7th December – Christmas Head

Alumni Rowing Opportunities

Furthermore, we would like to enter an alumni crew into the Fairbairn Cup on 6th December and Christmas Head on 7th December. If you are interested in rowing for PCBC again, please email the Sponsorship and Alumni Reps (Štefan Stanko and Sophie Van Horne) with your details and availability at by 15th November.

Staying Connected in the Year Ahead

If you would like to be involved in the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with the overall captain, Jenny Hill, or the Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives. It would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by previous successes! 

Overall Captain:
Sponsorship and Alumni:

Follow our social media for the latest news!

We are pleased to have rolled out a new Facebook group for PCBC alumni in September. Please visit us here to join! 

The 2019-20 Committee

We are also proud to introduce your new PCBC Committee for the 2019-2020 academic year!  

President: Sir Richard Dearlove
Senior Treasurer: Dr Johannes Kromdijk
Boatman: Kevin Bowles Esq.
Captain of Boats: Jenny Hill
Men’s Captain: Bence Kovács
Women’s Captain: Julia Ruddick-Trentmann
Men’s Vice Captains: Paul Cumner, Ben Edmans
Women’s Vice Captain: Abby Robinson
Men’s Lower Boats Captains: Charles Dudley, John Hudson, Julian Kitsz
Women’s Lower Boats Captains: Tilly Harrison, Jade Jesty, Najung Lee
Coxing Representative: Victoria Moreland
Junior Treasurer: Robert Perry
Secretary: Petra Bachrati
Social Secretary: Daniel Harwood
Regatta Secretary: Roxy Southern
Internet Secretary: Evie Hair
Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives: Štefan Stanko, Sophie Van Horne