Michaelmas Newsletter 2019
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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
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: www.twitter.com/pemregatta
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!