Lent Newsletter 2022
2021-2022 Spring Newsletter
Hello, and welcome to PCBC’s Spring Newsletter!
Words from the Overall Captain
Lent term saw the return of Bumps after a 2 year hiatus. This, understandably, made everyone very excited, with a large part of the membership looking to partake in the event for the first time ever. PCBC attacked the term with on Cam training week on both sides, and looked to field 4 boats on each side, with a 5th boat of novices and semester students. In terms of participation in bumps, we have managed to get 6 boats on. This put us as one of the only 4 clubs with this level of participation. I’m really pleased to have one of the biggest, and most competitive clubs on the Cam. With everyone getting their first taste of bumps, everyone is very excited for the main event of next term, May Bumps. Row on PCBC!
W1 started Lent term with a bang winning both City of Cambridge Winter Head to Head and Quintin Head in London, the first time on the Tideway for most people. In the run up to Lent Bumps, we had several injuries and COVID cases which meant training was slightly disrupted but, with the help of our super-subs, we managed to maintain the quality of W1. On the first day of Bumps we bumped Maggie, we then rowed over on days two and three, and got bumped by Caius on the final day. Given the disrupted term and the fact that only one person in the crew had raced bumps before, maintaining our position of 6th on the river was a good result. We finished off the term by racing at WEHoRR which was very long and very choppy but we came in the top 100 ahead of most other Cambridge colleges. Now we have some bumps experience in the boat, we’re even more excited about next term and May Bumps!
W2 had a stunning Lent term, starting off with an impressive win at Winter Head to Head in Student Lent Div 3. We took on the Thames for the first time at Quintin Head, coming 4th out of 17 boats in our division. We then came second at Newnham Head and first in Pembroke Regatta in respective divisions. The highlight of term was Bumps, in which we moved up from the third division to the second, and achieved Blades! On the first day we bumped St. Edmund’s W1 within 500m, on the second day we bumped Clare W2 within a minute. On the third day we were sandwich boat, quickly bumping Wolfson W1 and Downing W2 to solidify our position in the second division. On the last day, we had overlap with Queen’s before they bumped Maggie, so we had an unlucky but strong row-over, maintaining on station with Hughes Hall W1 in front. Overall, we are extremely proud of our performance at Bumps and look forward to May Bumps. The term ended with WEHoRR, where we put up a valiant effort against the strong wind, overtaking three boats in the process! We were faster than many Cambridge W1s in the race, and are very pleased with our achievements. W2 has had impeccable team spirit and bonding this term, and cannot wait to return to the river!
W3 have had an incredible Lent term! Starting strong they finished 5th in their division at Winter Head to Head followed by 8th place at Newnham Head. Despite some difficult weather during Pembroke Regatta, W3 managed a spectacular win in a very close race against Maggie W3, beating them by half a length. Following this they easily bested Murray Edwards W3, before meeting their match with Trinity Hall. Smashing the Getting on Race the very next week, W3 secured themselves a spot in Lent Bumps – the first time a Pembroke W3 boat has managed this since 2018. During the entire boat’s very first Bumps campaign, they performed incredibly well. Unfortunately, on day one they were bumped by Peterhouse W2. But, not allowing this to phase them, W3 came back with a very strong row over on day two. Day three saw another bump, this time by Kings W2. Then, once again, on day four they had another very strong row over, holding off Maggies W3 in what was a very close race. Overall, W3 have had a fantastic term. Their rowing has improved so much, and their team spirit is second to none. The entire boat is full of enthusiasm and support for each other, and their love of rowing is infectious! Bring on next term!
This term, W4 have demonstrated commitment and enthusiasm towards both their water and land training, despite setbacks of yellow flags and covid isolation. They have been eager to sub into the higher boats and have improved massively over the term. Competing in their first race as a full crew, W4 did well to complete Newnham Head, despite gusty winds which prevented many other W4 crews from competing. Unfortunately, due to crew availability, W4 were not able to enter the Getting On Race for Bumps. However, some members subbed into W3 for their Bumps races. Next term, they are determined to improve their rowing further and get on to racing in Bumps.
Lent term this year has also brought the return of the Semester students. We were able to recruit a lot of enthusiastic novices at our taster day. The novice crew have been eager to learn to row and are enjoying their training, learning to row in often very windy and rainy conditions. We can’t wait to see them further improve over the next term, and hope to build on their racing experiences too.
M1 has had a great term. It’s been fun, fast and a joy (almost) every step of the way. Despite 3 weeks of our Bumps preparation disrupted by Covid cases, fast improvements were made throughout the term. A 30 second deficit to a lightning fast Caius crew at Head to Head was gradually and consistently reduced throughout the term. Despite a first day bump by Caius under the Railway Bridge from 2nd to 3rd, we made improvements throughout the competition such that after row overs on day 2 and 3, we finished within a quarter of a length of Caius on the final day. The margins to the crews behind in 4th repeatedly exceeded 10 lengths, leaving us in no doubt that the top 3 crews, of which we were a part, were in a separate league. We cemented that status at the Head of the River 3 weeks after Bumps, placing in the top 3 Oxbridge colleges, the top 100, and beating Caius. In an unusually fast year at the top, we are proud of the speed at which we rowed and the bonds formed as a crew. We are hugely excited to see how we can develop into Mays, with opportunities available for progression up the river from 6th.
M2 had a successful start to the term, coming second at Winter Head to Head and third at Newnham Head in the Lent Bumps Second Division Category. M2 also had the chance to race at Quintin Head – with a couple of emergency subs filling the ranks, they had a very promising first Tideway race, gaining a lot of valuable experience and finishing an impressive 9th in the Open Development Category. After a couple more weeks of steady progress, M2 was ready to prove themselves in Lent Bumps. Unfortunately, a quick bump by Homerton M1 ahead of them on Day 1 resulted in a row-over, despite consistently gaining on First and Third M2 throughout the race. A quick bump of St Edmunds M1 on day 2 was followed by another unfortunate row-over on Day 3, as Darwin M1 wasted no time in bumping Wolfson M1 ahead. This meant that M2 had a second attempt at the over-bump on First and Third M2, and they impressively managed to reduce the gap down to half a length by the finish, despite ultimately rowing over. Day 4 saw a rapid bump of Wolfson M1, ending a strong Bumps campaign, demonstrating that M2 was still in a position to compete with other college M1s. Eager to return to the Tideway, M2 ended the term with a strong performance at HORR, finishing 177th, beating all the other Cambridge M2s as well as some M1s. M2 is now in a strong position for racing in Easter Term, and are ready to make a splash at May Bumps.
M3 have had a strong lent term, starting with Winter Head to Head where we finished 10th in Division 3. We then looked on to Newnham Head where we had to battle some tough weather conditions and strong winds to achieve a respectable 16th place in the lower boats division. From there it was onwards and upwards all through the second half of the term. We rowed well in the Getting on Race for bumps and was successful in getting on and proceeded on to our bumps campaign. We were very happy with the outcome of our bumps campaign, with lots of excitement every day. Unfortunately we were bumped on day one after a valiant battle with Selwyn M2. We then rowed over twice as the sandwich crew on day two and threatened to over-bump Lucy Cavendish, but unfortunately were not able to catch them before the end of the course. On day three we were bumped by Girton M2, another very strong boat which we were able to hold off for a large stretch of the course. On day four we had a fierce battle with Addenbrooke’s where we had overlap for the entire reach before succeeding in bumping them under the railway bridge giving us an overall bumps result of -1. This placed us 1st in Division 3, which is the highest ranking finish of a Pembroke M3 boat since 1989, something that we are very proud of. We then moved on to the Talbott Cup regatta race, which yielded yet more success. We were able to win the M3 division, beating Churchill/Selwyn composite M3 (2.5 boat lengths), Christs M2 (1.5 boat lengths), First and Third M3 (2.5 boat lengths) and Trinity Hall M3 (1 boat length) over the 800m course. The crew spirit has been very high this term and we are looking forward to a strong Mays campaign and cannot wait to get back on the river!
M4 had an admittedly rocky start to Lent, with multiple injuries and covid cases, we struggled to get a consistent crew for outings. The large number of yellow flags and windy conditions also didn’t help, but despite all the obstacles, M4 has improved massively this term. Doing well in both Newnham Head and Pembroke Regatta. Unfortunately, we did not have a full crew on the day for the Getting on Race for Bumps. However, full credit must be given to all members of the crew and coaches in the week leading up to the GoR, for completing 3 consecutive morning outings to fill the 12 outings quota. Despite the disappointment of having to scratch from the Getting on Race, there was a big improvement in commitment and technique from the crew which must be applauded, and Easter promises to be an exciting term.
In Lent term M5 was hit by a wave of covid cases that meant that outings were very limited. That being said, by the end of term M5 proved to be an impressive force on the river and received numerous compliments on their ability to keep the boat set and build serious power. Overall, I have been incredibly impressed with M5 and their willingness to improve and work together. I look forward to seeing what Easter has to offer and the opportunities that will come M5’s way.
Amy Richardson has been selected to cox the Women’s Lightweight Blue Boat. The boat has won by a decisive margin of 15 lengths over OUWLRC on the Championship course, breaking the course record. We are very proud of Amy and her achievements.
Thoughts from the Head Coach
It has been great to finally coach another set of bumps after two long years. We came away from some good results and plenty to learn from. It was great to see so many of our rowers experience their first bumps and get a feel for what all the training is for. As we look forward into next term, I am already beginning to organise coaches for crews next term. So if any alumni are interested please do get in contact.
Easter 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 if the COVID-19 rules and regulations allow! The following dates are provisional and will change according to the pandemic situation.
30 April: Spring Head to Head
15 May: Champs Eights Head
22 May: 99’s Spring Regatta
15-18 June: May Bumps
We are looking to have a marquee on Ditton Meadows on the Saturday of May Bumps (18th June). Stay tuned for details.
Thank you 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
In order to maintain a lively relationship between PCBC and our alumni and alumnae, and to strengthen the community, we would like to morph the PCBC Association into a full-blown organisation in the form of a trust. If you are keen to get involved, please get in touch with the sponsorship and alumni representatives – particularly if you have any law work experience!
Alumni support is crucial when it comes to coaching of Pembroke crews – we can all think about the alums who sharpened our catches back in the day! If you would like to contribute to the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with the Head Coach Seb Matthews, Overall Captain Tom Sharp, or the Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives. It would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by previous successes, especially in these challenging times!
And, as always, follow our social media for the latest news!
Pembroke Regatta Twitter: 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!