Congratulations to the PCBC coxed four for their performance in the Qualifying Races for Henley Royal Regatta 2012:
S: Martin Kubie
3: Max Whitby
2: Simon Jennings
B: Paddy Daniell
Cox: Moses Hoyt
Entering the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, this Pembroke College lineup was the fastest non-qualifying crew with a time of 8:14.8. That result was against stiff competition from University crews including Goldie BC, Isis and Durham University.
The video below is from RowTV. For Pembroke, skip to 13:35.
After two weeks of outings with lots of subs due to exams, M2 were pleasantly surprised by the balanced boat we had on the row up to the start. We saw a very nice paddle up with some cool, collected and (more importantly) quick starts leaving us well buoyed up for chasing Wolfson M1.
We started from lucky station 13, with an excellent push out from Kev giving us a straight line across the corner and down First Post Reach. The start was good, and we settled into a nice rhythm despite the choppy water. We were aiming for the long bump on Wolfson, and saw our first whistle by the second half of First Post Reach. The boys held it together really well through the gut and round Grassy, despite my line being far from as tight as I’d’ve liked! By the time we finished our push out of Grassy, we had our second whistle, and whilst our rowing was perhaps not as neat as it could have been, we slowly gained ground coming down Plough Reach.
We knew that, as a crew, our stamina and ability to build up the power along the Reach would stand us in good stead for the next section of the course, and we came into Ditton ready to really start building up that momentum. However, coming round Ditton we seemed to suddenly eat up the distance between us and Wolfson and before we were halfway through our first push Kev’s bell of doom was tolling for overlap. That was all the encouragement the boys needed, and we had the bump before we were fifteen strokes out onto the Reach.
With a lot of row overs in the crews ahead, we can only be hopeful for the rest of the week’s racing – but a great result today, M2, very proud of you. Bring on Sidney Sussex tomorrow!
Today saw conditions very different to Wednesday: the water was very rough, and we had a lovely head wind during our row up to the start. However, the lads had what was termed ‘a bit of a show-off’ with their very neat paddle up to the start, trying our best to psych out some of the crews ahead.
Our start sequence was good, but with a determined Wolfson out for revenge after yesterday’s bump, the boys were feeling the pressure and the rate stayed a little high off the start. With the advantage of cutting the corner from their station, Wolfson got a whistle off the start, but we knew they would be no match for us in the long run – and we soon left them behind. However, the slightly rushed start didn’t set us up quite as well for the middle portion of the course as the previous day, and with our rate dropping off through the last part of First Post Reach and through the Gut, we only managed to hold station with Sidney Sussex ahead.
A much better line round Grassy than yesterday set us up for a better push out of Grassy than the one through the Gut. Whilst the rating was still a little low, we were holding our finishes out much better and had a much neater row down Plough Reach. However, coming up towards Ditton we suddenly seemed to perk up, and both the rate and power came back up for a lovely, well-sat Ditton.
Our monster push out of Ditton backed up this change, and suddenly saw us gaining ground on Sidney Sussex. With a low power build coming down the second half of the Reach, and our signature last-minute build for the finish line saw us get two whistles on Sidney crossing the line – a gain of a length over the course of the Reach. So, it looks promising for tomorrow – we’ve shown we are faster than them, we just need to eke out another half a length! Tomorrow, Sidney, we are coming for you.
The wind had picked up again today for the M2 division – but this time in the opposite direction, giving us a terrible headwind to contend with (17mph winds with gusts to 33mph, according to the Met Office). M2, however, were very prepared, and were looking upon the wind as an advantage to us compared to the crews around us – we knew we could handle it!
Our start was not bad, especially considering the headwind, and despite worries that Wolfson might try to go hard off the start after us today, there was no sign of them ever getting within station. We settled into a much better rhythm than on previous days, and kept moving strongly into the wind, staying on station with Sidney. We kept the nice rhythm round into the Gut, where unfortunately we had to steer to avoid bumped crews who were being blown across the river (naming no names, FaT), resulting in a bit of imbalance and a loss of speed through the Gut. However, the boys picked it up heroically round Grassy and a good push into Plough Reach, and we managed to hold station with Sidney.
We knew that we were going to face a massive headwind again on the Reach, so we prepared with a good push into Ditton, really setting us up for our characteristic ‘impressive Reach push’ (so termed by Wolfson rowers post-race). Despite the horrible headwind, the boys gave a really amazing performance on the Reach, bringing the boat speed up and really eating up the distance between us and Sidney Sussex. Our final push from the houses was especially good, and despite the wind we finished within half a length of Sidney, again – and they looked really rattled as we gained so massively after the railway bridge, leaving Wolfson some four lengths in our wake. So tomorrow, with a strong Christ’s II crew behind Wolfson hopefully knocking out the crews behind, and an even bigger headwind forecast which is all in our favour, there really is all to play for, boys…
After two days of rowing over (including an epic row over on Thursday with Clare Hall M1 chasing us all the way and having overlap at some point) we wanted a bump on Friday. We knew that we had gained up on Cauis M3 on Thursday and were hoping to get them this time.
The start was good and we managed to fend off Clare Hall M1, which actually crashed into the bank and were bumped by Downing M3. However, due to an expected head wind that almost made us stop dead in our tracks around Ditton corner, we were not able to catch up on Cauis M3 who eventually bumped Kings M2. This again left us with a bitter taste in our mouth as everyone around us had bumped out and we were in for a row over again – third time in a row! If this happens tomorrow again we should get spades for 4 row overs (somewhere there between spoons and blades – a consolation prize for our stamina!).
Nikola Novcic, M3 6-seat
Saturday: 3rd in Division 4 – Technical Bump by Downing IIII
As I’m sure you’re aware, the problems in your division were caused by Kings and Caius bumping in the gut and not clearly as effectively as we would have liked. As this happened at the head of the division, everything behind backed up and was stopped. Pete Convey, one of the DCUs, collated evidence from the SU and JU teams immediately afterwards, and I joined him halfway through this process. The available evidence from the umpires was that crews 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 were sufficiently close (i.e. 4 had caught up on 3 and 6 on 5) that a bump was likely and so a technical bump was awarded by the DCU. I reviewed the umpires information and Pete’s decisions and confirmed them.
An optimistic crew turned up to race today after some very positive outings building up to Bumps. With things running late, the rowers did well to keep their focus during the marshalling and row down to the start. Starting from the difficult Station 10, Kevin made an excellent push out that positioned the boat well for First Post Reach.
Our starts have been fast, and today was no different; we sat comfortably on station with the Selwyn crew ahead who themselves were closing fast on Magdalene. The Selwyn-Magdalene bump came early on, and both crews were still in the middle of the river as we were approaching at speed! The call came from the bank to hold it up which we did briefly before the river cleared and we picked it back up with a second race start. Now our sights turned to Girton who were just disappearing around First Post Corner…
We had a couple of nice pushes out of the corner and through the Gut, so everything was going well until mid-way around Grassy Corner when Catherine’s blade came out of the gate. She managed to keep her head and secure the blade again saving us from an epic, Oxford-style 7 person row over!!! Disaster avoided and with the pressure from Catz behind minimal, the attention turned to reeling in Girton who this time were disappearing around Ditton Corner.
I was really proud of the crew’s determination and how they responded to several pushes down the Long Reach. By the finish line we had closed the c.5 length gap to a length and a half. It was a brilliant start to what will hopefully be a successful week.
M4 had a terrific start and showed that despite their comparative lack of experience they definitely belong in their division. M4 closed in on Sidney II off the start and looked to be the faster crew, but were unfortunately bumped by Hughes Hall II before the opportunity to prove this. In all, they had an excellent row and Hughes Hall were simply the faster crew, but all 8 rowed brilliantly and we have high hopes for the remaining days of Bumps.
Chris Slade, M4 Cox
Thursday: 8th in Division 5 – Bumped by First & Third IV
M4 pulled clear of Robinson with a strong start and made a move to gain on Trinity through the gut. Robinson were bumped out leaving no threat from behind and despite an initially strong catch on Trinity, they were able to pull away and bump Sidney. This left the river clear for M4 to have a strong but relaxed row over, leaving us chasing Sidney and being chased by Kings on the final day of bumps. It looks to very much be a matter of who can bump first on Saturday.
M4 put in a sterling effort to pull away from King’s who had thus far bumped every day and were looking strong. They managed to close the gap on Sidney II in what could have been a convincing bump, but sadly were caught by King’s just round First Post Corner in what could have very nearly been a very damaging bump to the Bill Hutton. Despite not making the bump any day, M4 showed real aptitude considering their minimal training and should be proud of the effort made each day.
A re-run of our part of the division and a couple of bumps ahead of us on the first couple of corners left W4 with nothing on and a tough row over. Although chased by a Clare III boat who were given an occasional (purely motivational) whistle from their bank party, we easily matched their pushes and maintained a distance that never put us under any pressure despite our stroke’s feet coming out down the long reach. Really solid row. Selwyn III look catch-able tomorrow and we know Clare can’t get us. Game on.
Another long row over for W4 today. Clare III being bumped behind us took the pressure off at the start of the race and made for a promising start. Although the rowing got a little scrappier as the race developed we pretty much held station with the Selwyn III crew in front – pushing them to a length gap at one point. Unfortunately King’s II deciding to sit and straddle grassy corner forced a line – effected with the type of power slide only possible with the brown boat’s rudder – which left us with a lot of work to do to recover the distance and despite positive pushes down both reaches, we were never in a position to threaten. The Selwyn Bump is still on tomorrow.
Benedict ‘Bendy’ Collins-Rice, W4 Cox
Friday: 16th in Division 4 – Bumped by Murray Edwards III
Before we could capitalise on our early gain on Selwyn III, W4 got bumped hard and fast by a quick Murray Edwards III crew set to get blades tomorrow. We will have to work hard tomorrow to fight off The Blondes In Red who are also set for blades. The overbump is potentially on though if we can hold them off.
Benedict ‘Bendy’ Collins-Rice, W4 Cox
Saturday: 17th in Division 4 – Bumped by Lady Margaret III
“Above all, be positive” – this was the message from Olympic silver-medallist and PCBC Alumna Cath Bishop at tea with the Pembroke W1 this weekend.
It’s a huge boost to be able to welcome one of the PCBC Olympians to the river for a guest coaching spot. Alongside Cath, who won silver in the women’s pair at Athens 2004, the Club is also proud to count Kieron West (Gold, men’s 8+, Sydney 2000) as a former PCBC rower. Both have returned to coach the Pembroke women in their recent Mays campaigns.
The outing on Sunday was productive and high-spirited, proving to the girls that they’re capable of the speed and composure that will be needed throughout the four days of the Bumps. Working alongside Steve Fuller, Head Coach for W1 this term, Cath focussed on developing conviction in the ladies’ rowing – adjusting power application through the stroke to maximise acceleration and boatspeed.
The crew returned to College with Cath for post-outing tea, and were treated to stories of Olympic training in far-flung locations across Europe – some more memorable than others, as Cath reflected “In my experience, Belgium smells like poo!”
The lasting memory of the afternoon will be that of confidence and optimism. To aspire to the best, a crew should believe in themselves and their abilities absolutely. On Cath’s reflection, this crew certainly has much to be positive about.
The race began with a punchy start immediately pulling away from Trinity Hall, settling into a nice rhythm coming into First Post. We moved well around First Post and maintained good pressure on Queens’ who stayed on station. We lost speed coming round Grassy and through Plough Reach, allowing Queens’ to pull away slightly. Pushing off Ditton allowed us to regain speed and put in some good rowing for the second half of the race leading to a solid row over about 2 ½ lengths behind Queens’.
Day 2 showed the crew step up a notch and put in a strong race pushing off Jesus. This led to a second row over, executing the race plan well and putting a significant gap between us and Jesus of 4-5 lengths, and finishing closer to Queens’ than on Day 1.
Scott Warden, Men’s Captain
Friday: 7th in Division 1. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Jesus
The crew geared up for a third consecutive row over, with a very fast start and an improved section around Grassy and the Plough. Jesus pushed the crew hard but we executed the race plan as on the previous days, pushing out of Ditton and setting up a long and strong rhythm for the Long Reach. Unfortunately the crew suffered a crab just before the railway bridge and subsequently were bumped by Jesus. The quality of rowing was good, with only an unfortunate incident ending our Day 3.
Scott Warden, Men’s Captain
Saturday: 8th in Division 1. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Peterhouse
The crew set out to retake the bump from Day 3, and once again put in a solid start to the race into windier conditions. The race plan as before was executed well, with the expectation to catch Jesus towards the end of the Long Reach. A fast Peterhouse crew were to cut our campaign short as they caught up on us quickly around Ditton and eventually we conceded near the Railings after a well fought side-by-side race.
Tuesday: 10th in Division 2. UP 1 – Bumped Wolfson
Buoyed by some really good training, M2 were feeling confident about our chances bumping Wolfson but with a crew half full of novices there were certainly some nerves at the start, and we knew it would not be easy. Nevertheless, a rapid start ensured we gained a whistle on our last wind stroke and a second soon followed. At this point, the choppy water and anticipation of the bump led to technique dropping off a bit, but we soon regained our composure and closed in, getting the bump just after First Post Corner.
After an easy bump on Wolfson on Tuesday, today was looking much harder. LMBC II ahead of us were out for revenge after missing out on a bump on Jesus II due to a controversial re-row, so we were looking for a quick bump on them before they caught Sidney I, or failing that an overbump on Jesus II. A characteristic nippy start from us saw the distance between us and LMBC fall but, as they got whistles on Sidney, they began to pull away and bumped out pretty quickly at First Post Corner. The call to stride came just before this, and an excellent line through First Post Corner by Victoria ensured we were clear of the carnage to begin attacking Jesus for the overbump. A spirited row saw us close on them by 2.5-3 lengths by the start of the reach, but after that we began to tire and they started to pull away from us. Nevertheless we kept pushing them all the way to the top finish, and gave a performance we could all be proud of.
As we had rowed the longest Bumps course possible (station 10 to mens’ top finish) yesterday, we were glad that today looked like a relatively easy bump on Sidney. A punchy start led to the first whistle at First Post Corner, but then LMBC II ahead of Sidney bumped Jesus II so Sidney reaped the advantages of clear water and the chase got harder. Between the Gut and the start of the Long Reach we maintained a position between 1/2 to 3/4 of a length away from Sidney, closing on them slightly in the corners, but halfway down the reach we started to feel yesterday’s long row in our legs and they pulled away slightly.
Arun Lobo, 2-seat
Saturday: 11th in Division 1. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Homerton
With the disappointment of not catching Sidney on Friday, we were determined that the same would not happen today. An aggressive race plan was formulated involving not striding and maintaining a blistering rate until we bumped. This translated into a lightening start and steadily gaining whistles. By Grassy Corner we had overlap on Sidney and according to spectators in five seconds we would have got the bump. However, at this point Jesus II crashed into the bank and Sidney rowed past for an easy bump. Still, the race went on for us, but as we turned round Ditton Corner and into the headwind on Long Reach our fatigue and inexperience began to show as we both technically and physically fell apart. As Homerton started gaining on us there was a push back from the crew, but it felt as if each man was trying to move the boat on their own, and the inevitable happened and we conceded half way down the reach.
Arun Lobo, 2-seat
Tuesday: 12th in Division 2. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Hometon
Wednesday: 13th in Division 2. DOWN 1 – Bumped by First and Third II
Thursday: 14th in Division 2. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Christ’s II
Friday: 15th in Division 2. DOWN 1 – Bumped by Anglia Ruskin
The PCBC returned early to Cambridge this January for a head-start to the Lent Bumps 2012 campaign.
The Club recognises the outstanding support of the following Alumni and friends of the PCBC, who gave of their time and expertise: Geoff Zeidler, Chris Bryan, Peter Dickson, Bill Edgerley, Anthony Finbow, Jon Garner, Paul Lyristis, George Savage, Matthew Stallard and Russell Thornton.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get more exercise? The 38 participants of PCBC’s Lent Training Camp certainly did!
Four crews followed a packed schedule on the water, in the erg room, and on their yoga mats, driven by the aim of beating off competition from the other Pembroke boats in the week’s climactic 2x 2km Head race. Racing on the water is always fiercely competitive, particularly when against other Pembroke crews, so in the build-up to Friday’s pieces there was evidence of real determination and a noticeable improvement in technique.
It was also an opportunity to meet some faces from Pembroke 1st boats in years past, with water coaching brought together by a team of Alumni keen to maximise our crews’ performance in the run up to the Lent Bumps. The Old Boys proved a force to be reckoned with as a quiz team too, finishing in 3rd place just 2 points behind the winners – their downfall must have been the music round.
The addition of a four-man (quad) sculling boat to Pembroke’s fleet for the first time meant this was also a chance to try something new. Demanding a different technique and lots of coordination, the quad provided an enjoyable challenge and has prompted many to take up sculling alongside their traditional sweep rowing sessions.
Conditions for the race were near-perfect, with barely another crew on the course and very little wind. The men’s novice crew turned this to their advantage, and produced the winning time (after adjustment was made for their relative inexperience). As with all well-earned victories, this was celebrated liberally at the Club’s final night social in the Mahal…