- June 11, 2016: May Bumps
Last Friday M1 travelled to the Henley Royal Regatta qualifiers, in an attempt to qualify for the Temple Challenge Cup for university eights. The crew was unchanged from the eight that raced the May Bumps two weeks previously. Unfortunately, despite some hard training, they narrowly missed out, posting a time of 7:20.2 – four seconds short of the mark. Henley Royal Regatta is the pinnacle of club rowing in the UK and while the crew is very disappointed not to be taking part, they hope this sets a precedent for Pembroke sending more crews in years to come.
The PCBC constitution is available here:
|M1||Wednesday. Bumped by LMBC I. M1 set out with hopes of catching Caius for a chance to row over at head of the river for the rest of the week. Unfortunately it was not to be, with Caius resisting their early efforts, before moving on again down the reach. With hopes of the bump slipping away, the attention turned to keeping away from the fast-closing Lady Margaret 1 behind. Despite a push out of the P & E, the blade of the LMBC bowman made contact for the bump with 50m of the course left to go. Not the start M1 were hoping for, but with 3 days left, they will be hoping to make amends, and give the Pembroke crowd something to cheer later in the week.
Thursday. Row over. After a disappointing result on the first day, M1 set out to bounce back and catch LMBC off guard from the start on Thursday. Pembroke set off strongly, gaining one whistle around first post corner, and another coming past the plough. Unfortunately, the whistles didn’t come fast enough, and Maggie were just about able to hold them at arms length. Down the reach, the advantage started to shift in their favour, and M1 ended up rowing over, a comfortable distance ahead of Jesus in fourth. Another day, another tough race but, sitting in 3rd with two days to go, it is still all to play for.
Friday. Row over. M1 entered the Friday with dreams of a comeback to take the headship still alive. Characteristically, they set off hard, quickly gaining a whistle on LMBC, who had also gained on Caius in front. Into the gut, Pembroke established a more composed rhythm than they had found the previous two days, allowing them to make further headway on Maggie. Two whistles came on the entry into grassy but some rough water and a few missed strokes stalled their momentum. From there on out, Pembroke continued to throw all they had at Maggie, but with less and less of an effect. By the long reach, Maggie had slipped back to a length lead, and would finish comfortably ahead. A row over the final result. With a day left, the dream may be dead but the hopes of ruining Lady Margaret’s week remain very much alive.
Saturday. Row over. Report to come.
|W1||Wednesday. Bumped by Churchill I. Despite a very successful year so far, W1 faced a difficult first day, chasing a Lady Margaret crew with Novice pots from Nottingham regatta and being chased by a Churchill crew with four blues. An excellent start saw us push off Churchill and into Maggie by quarter of a length, which we maintained into the Plough. But Churchill were hungry for the bump, and having closed the gap made a big push into Ditton corner to a quarter of a length off us. A heroic drive out of Ditton meant we countered Churchill’s closing attack with a rate up, holding them off over halfway down the Reach with Maggie still a length in front. Unfortunately a determined second Churchill push finally forced the issue and gave them the bump. Nonetheless, a hugely impressive, gutsy row from W1 puts us in a strong position to fight back over the coming days.
Thursday. Row over. W1 went into today ready to hit right back at Churchill. Another fantastic start saw us gain rapidly on them, and we gained a first whistle going into First Post corner. A strong push by Churchill out of the Plough lengthened the gap out again to just under a length and a half, with Jesus still well clear behind. However, at this point the bumps gods worked their sorcery of carnage. A bump on Ditton corner meant Churchill and Maggie had to hold it up, with Churchill sitting almost perpendicular to the bank for long enough for us to close up. This forced us out to the widest possible line on Ditton corner, which gave Jesus the chance to claim back all the water we’d pushed off them. With the gap now closing to near-overlap on the reach, W1 went into overdrive, pulling off a superb row all the way down the reach to keep Jesus clear. Winding it up for a big finish just past the Railway Bridge, we shut the door on Jesus and took it home with a truly gutsy row over. The corner escapade has ignited the fire in W1, and we will come to tomorrow hungry for vengeance.
Friday. Row over. Yet another flying start from W1 saw us gain our first whistle on Lady Margaret going into First post corner. We kept our cool round bumps inside Grassy and took two whistles into Ditton. Just inside half a length, however, our legs began to fade slightly, and Maggie gained clear water in front as Churchill bumped out ahead. A determined push meant we still finished in style at the line, but din’t quite make it to the bump. We come back for one day more to settle unfinished business.
Saturday. Row over. With a spooning Christ’s crew in front of Lady Margaret, W1 knew that we had to go out hard on day 4. We had a characteristic strong start, but two days of row-overs began to show in the legs. We didn’t get the early whistles we had done on previous days, and with Lady Margaret also motivated for a bump, they pushed away and caught Christ’s outside the Plough. We held Jesus II off without too much trouble with another quality row. The down one over the four days does not quite do justice to a crew which has had a fantastic term and year, and has shown some excellent technical skill and properly gutsy rowing throughout the week.
|M2||Wednesday. Bumped Christ’s I! In M2’s first race they chased Christ’s M2, but the struggle was short lived. Pembroke had a good start from station 16, and heard the first whistle after 20 strokes. Christ’s crumbled under the road bridge, and Pembroke bumped early on First Post Reach, after just 90 seconds of racing.
Thursday. Row over. M2 had a good start, making slight gains on Corpus I. However, spurred on by whistles on FaT II ahead of them, Corpus surged on and pulled back to station. Pembroke kept up the pursuit, but eventually Corpus bumped FaT on the reach, leaving Pembroke with a lonely row-over.
Friday. Bumped by Clare II. M2 were sandwiched between FaT M2 ahead and Clare M2 behind. Under pressure from Clare, Pembroke lost length and power, and although they got a whistle on FaT, Clare made the bump on First Post Reach.
Saturday. Row over. M2 rowed up on the the final day of bumps determined to bump back Clare, or fly and die spectacularly in the attempt. After a good start, Pembroke gained slightly on Clare, but, spurred on by the whistles, Clare accelerated away and claimed their fifth bump. Not content to settle for a row-over, Pembroke pressed on, leaving Sidney Sussex M1 far behind, hunting Downing M2 for the elusive over-bump. But although the chase came within four lengths (down from six and a half lengths off the start), Downing escaped.
Having held station this year, the stage is set to continue pushing up Division 2 next year.
|W2||Wednesday. Row over. W2 had a tough day today, but successfully rowed over. After a solid start Emma W2 had an optimistic whistle on us but we pushed them back and continued on to row over. Onwards and upwards tomorrow!
Thursday. Bumped by Newham II. W2 had a really strong row today, putting up a huge fight against Newnham W2 who were chasing. Despite our best efforts, Newnham proved too strong and we were bumped on the reach – there is certainly motivation for tomorrow.
Friday. Bumped by Robinson I
Saturday. Bumped by Lucy 1. Report to come.
|M3||Wednesday. Bumped Christ’s III! M3 set off from station 3, chasing Christ’s M3, who were chasing Queens’ M4. Pembroke had a reasonable start and wore Christ’s down to half a length down First Post Reach. However, the bow man in the Queens’ boat caught an overhead crab, and Christ’s made overlap coming round First Post Corner. With a heroic effort, Pembroke pushed round the corner, moving to three whistles at the bottom of the gut. Queens’ pushed on, evading the bump from Christ’s. Pembroke surged down the gut, quickly got overlap, then caught the Christ’s cox a hefty blow with their bow ball, bringing an exciting race to a decisive end.
Thursday. Bumped Queen’s IIII in M5 and Selwyn III in M4. A quick two bumps for M3 today, taking them into the M4 division. With a solid start M3 rapidly gained on Queens’ M4 closing so fast at the end that Kevin didn’t have time to ring the bell for overlap before the Queens’ cox conceded, with the bump taking place just as they were coming around First Post Corner. This promoted M3 to the M5/M4 sandwich boat meaning they had to race again, this time chasing Selwyn M3. With a very strong start M3 was able to catch Selwyn before the motorway bridge, only having to row for a minute! Let’s hope the rowing tomorrow is over just as quickly! Video.
Friday. Bumped Selwyn III. M3 rowed up confidently to their new, consolidated start position at the bottom of the 4th division. The crew remained slightly nervous at the start (as all crews should be at their start positions), leading to a slightly messy start sequence. This did not prevent them from rhythming into a nice pace, bumping FaT IV well before the motorway bridge.
Saturday. BLADES! – BUMPED QUEENS’ IV AGAIN!
|W3||Wednesday. Bumped Anglia Ruskin I! W3 off to a really clean start, settling early into a strong rhythm and soon gaining on Anglia Ruskin W1. Anglia Ruskin took some “interesting” lines, but still managed to close the gap on Girton W2. Determined to put their teams tough training to good use, pushes were called to GET THAT BUMP! Anglia Ruskin gained OVERLAP on the boat in front – but couldn’t finish off in time to hold off the victorious W3. A first bump for nearly everyone in the boat- looking forward to tomorrow!
Thursday. Bumped Girton II. W3 started strong, powering through on the hunt for Girton W2. Anglia Ruskin valiantly tried to draw up to W3, and by the time we’d reached the motorway bridge, they’d drawn within station. But they stood no chance as W3 drove on, sitting up strong and relentlessly gaining on Girton. Several boat lengths upstream from the motorway bridge, the crews around W3 dropped away as Pembroke settled in and stayed strong. They bumped before first post, stealing the bump from Girton who were drawing close to St. Catherine’s W2. Hopes are high for tomorrow. May the fastest crew bump.
Friday. Row over. After a strong start W3 got the first whistle on Catz after 20 strokes, they held it there as Catz gained on Selwyn, but were not quite able to close the distance. Multiple bumps in front left the outside chance if a double over bump which they valiantly chased all the way to the finish line.
Saturday. Bumped up. W3 were in the middle of a sandwich. The pre race electric vibe became a tremendous start. We were soon a length down on Selwyn who responded with a push, but not enough to hold us off for long and after the second whistle the bump came quickly.
|Pemgibeers||Wednesday. Bumped Homerton III! The Pemgibeers were feeling good going into bumps today, having all just completed their pre-race weight loss program. The new guys did an excellent job with their first haka, putting fear in Homerton M3’s eyes from the start. After a bit of a frantic start, the guys settled into a good rhythm and started to close the gap in front, and stretch out the gap behind. Going into first post corner, the haka fully came into play – Homerton M3’s 7 man succumbed to his fear and came off his seat. This shortened the inevitable bump, as the Pemgibeers smashed Homerton right in the corner. They’re feeling good about Tit Hall M3 tomorrow.
Thursday. Bumped Trinity Hall III. As always, the Pemgibeers were feeling good going in today. Today we were graced by the presence Thomas Schute, here to keep the power in the arms and the speed on the slide. Following some excellent chat on the row up to marshal, the haka (as ever) petrified Tit Hall M3. The start was exemplary – at least 50% of our power went into the water. But truly what lead to our success today was the perfection of Izhan’s bung drop. Dropping the bung when the cannon goes is no small task, but we can rely on Izy to definitively release the bung into the water with grace and style. Propelled by this polished bung drop, the Pemgibeers rushed forward to happily bump Tit Hall on first post corner. Izhan, being a highly efficient cox, managed to combine the actions on bumping and pulling into the side in one magnificent surge to the inside of the corner. Jesus M4 look out.
Friday. Row over.
Saturday. Row over. Reports to come.
|M1||Wednesday. Bumped Queen’s M1! M1 set out for a powerful start, knowing some very competent crews lay behind them. It was a plan well executed with an aggressive first 15 strokes yielding our first whistle on Queens in front. Maintaining this pace with some clean rowing down into first post corner, we flustered our opposition, with the 2nd and 3rd whistles coming in quick succession. Coming into the gut, Kev’s dinner bell came out and despite some scrappiness as the water kicked up off their puddles, we eventually got the bump just short of Grassy. A very pleasing first day – onwards and upwards!
Thursday. Bumped Jesus M1! For M1, the plan was the same as on day 1 – start powerfully and try to rattle Jesus, whom we knew would provide stern resistance. Once again, all went to plan, settling down onto 40 off the start and getting the first whistle 10 strokes before first post corner. We maintained the punchy rhythm round the bend and were rewarded with our second and third whistles. Once into the gut, the crew did well to remain composed into the final strokes, with the bump coming just before grassy. Tough challenges lie ahead but a fantastic day on the river.
Friday. Row Over. M1 had a big challenge on their hands today, chasing Downing, who had been the crew to beat for most of the term. However, we planned to take just the same tactics to them as we had to Jesus and Queens on days 1 and 2. We attacked hard off the start and took this powerful rhythm into first post corner. Some good steering from Dom meant that we got a whistle just as we came into the gut. Spurred on by this, we pushed on, but so did Downing. This battle would continue all the way to the end of the course, holding them at 1 length until the pink house, finishing 2 lengths behind. We gave a strong showing today to row over in style. Tomorrow we have one last crack at Downing and that 2nd spot – here we go.
Saturday. Row Over. The final day and one last roll of the dice against Downing and a 2nd place on the river. We set off with venom, taking a small early lead, and pursued them harder and faster than we had on Friday. A whistle came at Grassy and we kicked on, pushing them to 3/4 of a length outside the plough, with LMBC well back. At Ditton, we went for one big push to reel Downing in. Unfortunately, our punch failed to land. Down the reach, they started to slip away and Maggie slowly started creeping back into view. As we tired from our early efforts, Maggie got to a length at the railway bridge and half a length at the P&E. However, firm in the knowledge we would be denying them their blades, we found the strength to hold them off to the line. M1 finished up 2 to 3rd on the river – a fantastic performance from an often unfancied crew.
|W1||Wednesday. Bumped Caius W1! After a hard-core pep talk by Mays veteran Charlie Chorley, W1 had a confident, assured row up to the start. With St Catz behind and Caius in front, we were looking for a strong start and to see where the race went after that. A strong start is exactly what we got, and we flew up on Caius immediately (who had not been so fortunate with their start, and had set off at 45 degrees to the bank). The first whistle came halfway down First Post reach, and the crew responded with a calculated fury, keeping a technical stroke and big power through the legs. Two whistles came on the approach to the corner, with three arriving in what seemed like only a couple of strokes. The moment was there, and we seized it. Halfway round First Post corner, we took the rate up two and charged. Caius were dead in the water. After the Caius cox took a blade to the back from Fran at 2, Caius made the concession just coming into the gut. A textbook start to the Lents, with a lot of excitement still to come!
Thursday. Bumped Murray Edward W1! Today was the grudge match. Last year W1 spent two days right on the tail of Murray Edwards, only to let them slip away. Not this year. Another strong start led to the first whistle on First Post Reach, with the second coming into the corner. We got a little overexcited and lost the shape at the finish, but a solid push coming out of Grassy took it up to three whistles. Our time had come. A perfectly executed bumping twenty saw Medwards off right outside the Plough. Justice is done.
Friday. Bumped Queens’ W1! W1 got off to a slightly more tense start than usual, but soon got into their stride and the whistles started to come in once more. By the time we hit First Post Corner we had drawn the third whistle, and from there a now well-practised bumping twenty saw Queens’ topple through the gut. We particularly enjoyed having PCBC President Sir Richard Dearlove on the bank in support! Saturday will most likely be the toughest day of the campaign, but with the momentum we’ve built up over the last few days, we’ll be going in calm, confident, and committed.
Video from Queens’
Saturday. Bumped First and Third W1! W1 came out today ready to row their own race. We set out with the powerful start we’d come to expect, and when the first whistle came halfway down First Post Reach we knew we had it in us. When the three whistles came into the gut we had a nervy start to our bumping twenty, but we came together for a clinical finish to an absolutely amazing row! BLADES FOR W1!!! Now off for the final outing of the week; a lot of champagne, and a magnificent BCD to come!
|M2||Tuesday. Row Over. Good result for a the second men, five of whom powered through their first row over for their bumps debuts. A good first corner from Gina kept us on station with Sidney M1. Pushing off Christ’s M2 until they were bumped in the Gut, but Sidney started to creep away as they chased the boat in front. Striding down on the reach to a sustainable race to begin recovery for Thursday, M2 have banished the first day nerves and plan to come back even stronger on Thursday.
Thursday. Bumped by Clare M2. With another change to M2’s lineup, Sidney Sussex still ahead, and Clare II chasing hard, Day 2 was set to be tough from the outset. M2 rowed a powerful start and showed real grit in pushing off Clare as they got one, two, three whistles on the Pembroke boys. In the end, Clare got the bump on First Post Corner.
Not to be phased, M2 are staying tall, ready to give Clare a good fight on the penultimate day tomorrow.
Friday. Bumped by St. Edmund’s M1. Starting the day in an impossible position between a rising M1 boat and the Clare boat that bumped them yesterday, M2 were unperturbed. A strong start and some chunky rowing saw them fighting off St Edmunds M1 and pushing Clare to within half a length before eventually being bumped on First Post Reach.
Saturday. Bumped by Christ’s M2. Rowing in a scratch crew yet again, M2 nevertheless rowed valiantly on Saturday. With a strong start, M2 gained on St Ed’s after they caught a crab. Unfortunately, Emma caught up with them at First Post and they were bumped. M2 have moved down three places this week, and have lost their place in Division 2. This demonstrates that despite hard work, commitment, and a level of keenness outshining even M1, injury and sickness can leave a crew devastated.
|W2||Tuesday. Bumped LMBC W2! W2 are off to a flying start this bumps, having caught Maggie W2 outside the plough today. A strong start set them off well, and they had 1 whistle by 1st post corner. Despite newnham gaining from behind, W2 pushed back and a fabulous line from Tom round grassy saw them move up to three whistles, and then the bell on plough reach. Maggie were stubborn but Pembroke did not give up – resulting in the Maggie stroke crabbing and thus the bump. Congratulations all round, especially given that we had 6 first timers in the boat, including Tom. Very proud coaching team!
Thursday. Bumped Christ’s W2! An incredible effort from the girls today saw them bumping well before first post corner. Expecting a big push from Maggie W2 behind, the girls gunned it out of the starting blocks and were very quickly onto a whistle. From there, it was a simple case of reeling them in, well done and well deserved! Tomorrow will be a tougher challenge but much faith!
Friday. Row over. A strong start from W2 today saw them up to 1 whistle on Darwin w1 by the end of newnham reach. Unfortunately Darwin were chasing a much slower Sidney crew, and bumped them out just before Grassy, with W2 about a 1/4 of a length behind at this point. A strong rowover, but much determination to bump Sidney tomorrow – we will also be watching our backs for Robinson W1 behind!
Saturday. Bumped Sidney Sussex W1! W2 set off on saturday knowing they had a very fast robinson crew behind. However, their strongest start yet saw them gain 1 whistle on Sidney W1 about 30m after the motorway bridge, and they did not hang around in finishing off the job, bumping about 100m after the motorway bridge, Up 3 in total, an ecstatic happy team!
|M3||Tuesday. Row Over. Despite a draw resulting in a first day racing between two M2 boats, M3 rowed up to the start unperturbed. An aggressive start and a poor line from a chasing crew kept M3 in station with the crew in front and comfortably leading the chasing crew. However, with two early bumps in quick succession either side, M3 were soon left with an empty river and an easy row over.
Wednesday. Bumped Queens’ M4! M3 began the day with one mantra – bump, or be bumped by the turbo charged Jesus crew behind them. Sure enough, whistles were soon blaring from either side and it was just a question of which boat could finish it first. With overlap on both sides coming into First Post corner, a stunning display of composure sealed the bump for M3 along with a much stronger position for the races to come.
Thursday. Bumped Caius M3! A new day and practically a new boat, as M3 pulled out all the stops for some of the best pieces of rowing they have ever done. A clean start saw M3 quickly pull away from Queens’ and rapidly gain whistles on Caius, with more soon following for a decisive bump before First Post corner.
Saturday. Bumped Trinity Hall M3! M3 were in no mood to mess around today. After a strong row down, we had closed Tit Hall M3 to 3/4 of a length before our boatman could catch up on his bike. From there it was not even clear which whistles were which as we closed down rapidly, bumping out less than 10 strokes after the motorway bridge. In the end, M3 are up 3 – congratulations on a fantastic Lents campaign!