Wednesday: Up 1 – 16th in Division 2. Bumped Queens’ II.
Although a lot of things have come right in the boat over the last two weeks, the row down to the start was still a little tense. Corpus Christi (sandwich boat) came at us hard off the start and gained to within a length before falling back after the initial sprint. M2 had a solid start and stride; once the rough water was negotiated at the motorway bridge the crew got into a good strong rhythm and closed the gap on Queens’ II going down First Post Reach. Kev got his bell out as we nipped round First Post Corner and the bump on Queens’ II came almost immediately. A good solid start to the Mays!
Douglas Phillips, Cox
Thursday: Up 1 – 15th in Division 2. Bumped Christ’s II.
A good steady row down but during the practise start on Plough Reach Jon’s hand caught the rudder wire which snapped, making the boat a little odd to manoeuvre. When it came to the race, M2 had a solid start and like yesterday quickly got into a good strong rhythm. Wolfson bumped Darwin on First Post Corner, but were slow to clear and caused Christ’s to go wide. M2 rowed a much tighter line and the gap was closed to within half a length. Kev got his bell out half way down plough reach and a tight line into Ditton gave a convincing bump on Christ’s, which was a big relief as the broken rudder wire kept jamming making the boat very difficult to keep on line. Another solid performance!
M2 had a good focused row down to the start with powerful rhythm being achieved during the bursts. I share Chris Bryan’s sentiments from his race yesterday where they were chasing Darwin M2, it is not easy to share the boathouse with ones opponents!! We got a decent start and kept station until after the gun shed. Over the second half of First Post Reach the gap closed to a canvas. We were moving so fast on Darwin by that point that Kev only got to shake his bell a couple of times before the bump came on First Post Corner. All credit to Darwin for giving us a good race off the start.
Douglas Phillips, Cox
Saturday: Up 1 – 13th in Division 2. Bumped Anglia Ruskin University. BLADES WINNERS – Bumped Queens’ II, Christ’s II, Darwin, ARU.
Cox: Douglas Phillips, Stroke: Jon Gregory, 7: Matt Wraight, 6: Chris Hinde, 5: Paul Ledwon, 4: Scott Warden, 3: Max Whitby, 2: Eddy Flower, Bow: Adam March.
With three bumps already during the week and being the only Pembroke boat still eligible for blades, the pressure was on as we pushed off for this final race. Nevertheless, we had our well-rehearsed and effective warm up which settled everyone. A nice start gave us the first whistle just after the gunshed and we continued to close on Anglia Ruskin down First Post Reach. Coming into the gut we got three whistles and shortly after, Kev got his bell out. We bumped a couple of times in the Gut and finally Anglia Ruskin conceded on Grassy Corner. Blades for M2. A fantastic end to a most enjoyable week.
Douglas Phillips, Cox
Wednesday: Rowed Over (x2) – Head of Division 2 and Sandwich Boat.
Thursday: Down 1 – 2nd in Division 2. Bumped by Selwyn.
Friday: Down 1 – 3rd in Division 2. Bumped by Peterhouse.
Wednesday: Up 1 – 5th in Division 3. Bumped Jesus III.
Having beaten Jesus III by 15 seconds over 1500 metres at Champ’s Head, we were quietly confident going into this first race. As we rowed up to the marshalling point, the crew we approached looked far stronger than when we’d last seen them – we had to make this our own race. The first whistle took a while to arrive but the crew was prepared for the long haul and Selwyn III disappearing into the jaws of Clare Hall behind us was a huge incentive to push. Two whistles were quickly followed by three as we rounded Ditton and the crew felt strong. A sudden breeze and a tough line took us wide onto the reach but memories of Lent spurred the crew into action. A rate increase and combined push brought us back on canvas and overlap soon followed – our bowman could taste the bump. Jesus weren’t giving up that easy though and steered away from us. We maintained our push and soon our 2-man, 3-man and even our 4-man had their cox in their peripheral vision. Half way down the reach was longest bump most of this crew had ever achieved but a blade clip was enough to secure the victory.
Chris Bryan, Stroke
Thursday: Up 1 – 4th in Division 3. Bumped Darwin II.
Sharing the boathouse with Darwin means that being chased or chasing one of their crews is never easy. A more relaxed start took us through the first 40 strokes feeling calm and prepared. Jesus III, the crew that we fought hard against yesterday, stayed strong and gave us a good pace to push off. Our better rhythm and determination gave us the first whistle earlier than yesterday. Taking it round Grassy we gained another half a length but at two whistles excitement took over and a few scrappy strokes set our progress back. The push out of Ditton has always been a favourite for our crew and today was no exception. Sitting tall into the breeze, three whistles were soon followed by the bell and a tidy bump. As we pulled into the bank we didn’t hesitate to give 3 cheers to our worthy competitors.
W1 and W2 both competed in the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race in London on Saturday – a great experience for all and especially since for most this was the first time they had rowed on the Tideway.
W1 finished 89th overall (exactly 1 place higher than last year!) in a time of 21:01.55, and W2 finished 214th overall in a time of 22:28.77 which is massively better than last year’s result. A spledid way to round off what has been a good term, but we are now all now focussed towards the summer, with its warmer weather and the somewhat shorter races!
Pictures below are taken close to the finish line (Courtesy of Pete Twitchett, Emmanuel Boat Club)
At the Henley Boat Races on Sunday, Pembroke W1 were delighted to represent Cambridge in the recently established Inter-Collegiate Women’s race, competing against Magdalen College who hold the Headship in Torpids (the Oxford equivalent of Lent Bumps). It turned out to be a close race, but we gained about 1/2 length lead soon after the start and held it to the finish, despite a late Magdalen surge. On a glorious sunny afternoon at Henley, it was a brilliant way to round off what has been, overall, a successful term.
However, the day belongs to the Cambridge rowers who spend all year training to beat Oxford at Henley. Congratulations to Sarah Robley who had a brilliant race in the women’s lightweight crew, beating Oxford by 1 1/2 lengths. John Hale was also competing in the men’s lightweight crew, and aiming for his third successive Boat Race win, but unfortunately lost by only a canvas in a very close race.
Many thanks to Richard Hamersley for his help in arranging for us to compete.
Tuesday: 13th in Division 2. UP 1 – Bumped Queens’ II
M2’s starting position was 14th. Queens’ II were in front and Christ’s II behind. M2 got a good start and built to rate of 42 before the first stride, a second stride at the motorway followed by push off the bridge brought the rate down to a sustainable 33 but by lengthening out good boat speed was maintained. Good strong rowing down first post reach brought the boat within a quarter of a length of Queens’ by first post corner. In front of Queens’, Homerton bumped Corpus on the entrance to the gut which resulted in some quite difficult steering to avoid Homerton whom had not had the chance to clear. Queens’ went a little wide which let M2 close the gap further. An eight man push in the gut gave the crew a well earned bump on Queens’ II before Grassy corner.
Thursday: 12th in Division 2. UP 1 – Bumped Corpus Christi
A good row down settled the crew after a day off yesterday. M2 got an excellent start and went quickly into a strong rhythm after the second stride. Corpus had lost three quarters of a length by the motorway and although they tried to push away at the gun shed were still quickly caught, being bumped halfway down 1st post reach.
Friday: 11th in Division 2. UP 1 – Bumped Homerton
The Cam provided good flat water and sunshine for the racing today. A sensible row down allowed us to prepare well and get in some decent high-rate bursts. When the gun went off, M2 made a good solid start and quickly got into the race. There were one or two stumbles going down first post reach, but we quickly got back into the action with the boat only losing half a length on Homerton. The gap was swiftly drawn back to a length by the gut and at grassy we kept a good tight line to the left. Homerton went wide and hit the bank giving M2 an easy bump without contact being necessary.
Saturday: 11th in Division 1. Rowed Over whilst chasing Wolfson
With the threat of Homerton behind seeking revenge and the goal of Wolfson in front, M2 got off to a really good start taking the second stride at the motorway bridge. M2 slowly closed to within a length on Wolfson by 1st post corner. All the crews got through 1st post and grassy without incident. M2 closed the gap further on Wolfson to within about half a length by Ditton. Wolfson went slightly wide on Ditton corner which brought M2 to within three whistles. Wolfson pushed hard down the reach which M2 managed to match, but despite all efforts by the crew, M2 were unable to close the last two or three feet to be able to make the bump. Homerton drove hard in their quest for revenge and pushed right to the finish line but ended up rowing over behind M2. A good race by all three crews who gave it everything right to the line.
M2 Saturday Race Video (click the link to YouTube for a high-definition version):
On what was the first ever day of bumps for most of our crew, we were more than a little nervous rowing down to our station (12th in the division). However, Kev pushed us out at the perfect angle and the start went according to plan. After a few jittery strokes, we settled into our rhythm nicely, and benefitted from Kat’s experience in stroke, as well as Lizzie’s great coxing calls. Unfortunately, in front of us Corpus bumped Homerton very quickly, and the four boats ahead of them also bumped out early on, so there wasn’t anybody left for us to chase (triple overbumps being pretty rare!). We had a good solid row over though, with no boats troubling us from behind, and gained confidence in the knowledge that we could in fact survive this eventuality!
Thursday: 13th in Division 2. Bumped by Lucy Cavendish
On our second day, we were more confident that we knew what we were doing, and we had our usual stroke, Izzy, back. Keen not to let the boys show us up, we were hoping to bump Homerton. We gained a whistle on them off the start, but an unlucky overhead crab just afterwards meant that we lost our momentum and were soon bumped by Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall.
Friday was a beautifully sunny day, and we came back determined to bump up. Tactically it was difficult: if Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall bumped Homerton before we caught them (likely), we wanted to (optimistically) go for the overbump on Corpus, whilst keeping well ahead of the pursuing First and Third crew who knocked us out of Pembroke Regatta. We had a good start, and Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall did indeed bump Homerton very quickly, but the two boats did not clear the river. We went ploughing into the Lucy Cavendish/Hughes boat, forcing their cox to leap onto stroke’s seat to avoid us as we held it up! We were given a technical row over, but were disappointed that we hadn’t been able to attempt the overbump on Corpus.
On Saturday the weather had changed, but the drizzle didn’t dampen our spirits and we were determined to finally bump Homerton, who were once again ahead of us. We had a good row down, and a very supportive bank party, including the Master! The start went according to plan, and we quickly got a whistle on Homerton. This was shortly followed by two, then three, and then the bell soon after the motorway bridge. Before we knew it, Lizzie was shouting hold it up and steering us over to the bank. After a couple of people asking "did we actually bump this time?", we realised that we had! It was an amazing feeling, and we felt very proud rowing home with greenery to cries of "well done Pembroke!" after our first bump. Bring on the Mays!
Tuesday: 11th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Downing III
Tuesday’s Race Video (click the link to YouTube for a high-definition version):
Wednesday: 10th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Homerton II
Wednesday’s Race Video(click the link to YouTube for a high-definition version):
Thursday: 9th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Christ’s III
Saturday: 8th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Sidney Sussex II
M3 are awarded their blades for bumping up on all four days. Saturday’s Race Video: