Contact us to update this information

Lent Bumps 2011 – Reports

Pembroke College Boat Club

proudly sponsored by:

Lent Bumps 2011 – Results

Click a face to go to the race report and video, if available.

M1 -2
W1 +3
M2 +3
W2 0
M3 +4

Videos of all this week’s races are available on Girton College Boat Club’s You Tube Channel.
(All credit to Girton for such a useful resource – thanks guys!)

Race Reports


Wednesday: 5th in Division 1. Bumped by Caius

Thursday: 5th in Division 1. Rowed Over

Friday: 5th in Division 1. Rowed Over

Saturday: 6th in Division 1. Bumped by Queens’


Wednesday: 5th in Division 1. Rowed Over

Thursday: 4th in Division 1. Bumped Christ’s

Friday: 3rd in Division 1. Bumped First and Third

Saturday: 2nd in Division 1. Bumped Emmanuel


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.

Douglas Phillips
Cox, M2

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.

Douglas Phillips
Cox, M2

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.

Douglas Phillips
Cox, M2

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.

Douglas Phillips
Cox, M2

M2 Saturday Race Video (click the link to YouTube for a high-definition version):


Tuesday: 12th in Division 2. Rowed Over

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!

Emily Maw

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.

Emily Maw

Friday: 13th in Division 2. Technical Row Over

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.

Emily Maw

Saturday: 12th in Division 2. Bumped Homerton

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!

Emily Maw


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:

Fairbairns 2010 Results

The postponed 2010 Fairbairn Cup races were held today – Wednesday 19th January 2011.

Following on from what was clearly a solid week of work on the water at Lent Training Camp, M2 were today unquestionably on-form and fired up. Our crew finished as the fastest Men’s 2nd VIII, winning themselves a Fairbairns shield. Congratulations to them, and to all the crews that competed today:

M1: 9th place, 8th fastest College VIII, 14min 24s
M2: 14th place, the fastest College 2nd VIII, 14min 52s
W1: 4th fastest College women’s VIII, 16min 09s

Today’s winning M2 crew was:

Cox: Douglas Phillips
S: Jon Gregory
7: Matt Wraight
6: Carl-Philipp Eberlein
5: Scott Warden
4: Roger Lightwood
3: Nenad Bartonicek
2: Ian Johnson
B: Adam Sharpe

Chris Hinde

May Bumps 2010 – Reports

Pembroke College Boat Club

proudly sponsored by:

May Bumps 2010 – Results

Click a face to go to the race report, if available.

M1 +3
W1 Head
M2 +5
W2 +2
M3 +3
W3 0
M4 +4
M5 +3
M6 +4
M7 +4

FIVE of the ten Pembroke crews won their blades in this year’s May Bumps:

– Women’s 1st VIII
– Men’s 2nd VIII
– Men’s 4th VIII
– Men’s 6th VIII
– Men’s 7th VIII

Many congratulations to all our crews – Row On, PCBC!


Race Reports


Wednesday: 4th in Division 1. UP 1 – Bumped LMBC

A nervous start led to the crew not hitting their rhythm and Downing came up significantly to around two thirds of a length. Ahead of Pembroke, LMBC moved up very quickly on Jesus and opened up a gap between us. This was how the crew entered Ditton corner, but coming out they hit their stride and began to wind in LMBC. At the railway bridge the gap had closed to just half a length, but the river was rapidly running out and Pembroke put in a very big push. This moved Pembroke further up onto LMBC reaching a canvas by Morley’s Holt. What followed was a great race to the finish, a huge push by Pembroke and some great steering got us the bump about 15 strokes away from the finish.

A fantastic result and great race.

Adam March

Starting 5th on the river, the challenge for this bumps was obvious. After a slightly shaky start, we failed to hit a decent rhythm around the corners. LMBC ahead moved out to some 2.5L clear, and a fast Downing crew behind started making ground steadily. At the top of the reach, with Downing about 2/3L behind us, we finally found a good rhythm. Downing soon blew up behind us and LMBC were reeled in stroke-by-stroke. With just 10 strokes to go until top finish, contact was made (arguably for the second time) and LMBC had to concede.

John Hale

Thursday: 3rd in Division 1. UP 1 – Bumped Jesus

A much better start than the previous day saw Pembroke push onto Jesus very quickly and gain several whistles along Plough Reach. Coming out of Ditton the crew again came together very well and moved up on Jesus with every stroke getting the overlap fairly early once on the long reach. They bumped convincingly (and possibly more than once) after an extended period of overlap. Again a great result and the crew were happy to have a shorter row!

Adam March

After a tough first day, we knew we had to get off to a faster start to challenge the crews in front. The start was indeed faster, and we found a good rhythm quickly which helped us through the corners (along with some great lines by Tim). Jesus were soon feeling the pressure and the bump became inevitable after a great Ditton corner. After we picked up the pace once more, Jesus had no chance and were caught just before the railings.

John Hale

Friday: 3rd in Division 1. Rowed Over

Saturday: 2nd in Division 1. UP 1 – Bumped Caius


Wednesday: Head of Division 1. Rowed Over Head

After a confident warmup, we had a fairly good start. We moved away from Jesus, despite settling into a very relaxed rhythm. After Ditton, we paddled over at 26 or so, yet still pulling away from Jesus, who were under pressure and got overbumped by Downing.

Very much looking forward to proper racing tomorrow! Bring it on!

Samantha Bennett

Thursday: Head of Division 1. Rowed Over Head

Our pre-race preparation was calm, focused and strong, and we handled the windy conditions well. After an easy first day, we were facing stronger opposition from Downing on this second day of racing. We were able to ignore the crew behind and focus on hitting our rhythm after the start. In the strong tailwind, we found a solid rhythm and started moving away from Downing in the gut. By Ditton, we were two and a half lengths clear, and had a great row down the reach, easing out to four lengths at the railway bridge. We let the rating relax as we took the extra distance, crossing the line comfortably at 28. We know we can do it – bring on Friday!

Samantha Bennett

Friday: Head of Division 1. Rowed Over Head

Saturday: Head of Division 1. Rowed Over Head


Wednesday: 4th in Division 3. UP 1 – Bumped St Catherine’s II

We had a good warm up with a powerful practise start leaving us confident for the race. The boost of adrenelin at the start caused us to rate several pips higher than our usual but no one panicked and we gained steadily on Catz. We bumped at the start of Plough Reach. The chemists in the boat were particulary pleased to have bumped one of our lecturers!

Jon Gregory

Thursday: 3rd in Division 3. UP 1 – Bumped First and Third III

After a fair start, we failed to settle to a lower rate (again!) and had to have a second stride. Despite struggling to find our rhythm in a strong tailwind and being thrown off by the dirty water we kept the strokes powerful if a bit lacking in finesse and secured an easy bump just over a minute into the race. A successful continuation of our slap’n’dash campaign, but I think we’d all like to bump and stay dry tomorrow!

Jon Gregory

Friday: 2nd in Division 3. UP 1 – Bumped Selwyn II

The crew responded fantastically to the possibility of a slightly more challenging race. A very powerful and relaxed paddle to the start made up for the delayed division time. Thanks to a bit of practise on the ergs the crew strode the rate down successfully off the start and hit a really enjoyable rhythm. Strong pushes out of First Post and Grassy Corner gained half a length each; after this it was just a matter of holding the rhythm and waiting for the bump on Plough Reach. A vast improvement on yesterday’s row, and a real reflection of the crews true potential.

Jon Gregory

Saturday: 17th in Division 2. UP 2 – Bumped Corpus Christi I and Emmanuel II


Wednesday: 2nd in Division 2. UP 1 – Bumped Peterhouse

It was a short and sweet bump on the first day for W2. After a solid row down to station the crew were rearing to go. When the gun went they got off to a powerful and fast start, getting the first whistle whilst still on their starting strokes. It didn’t take long for them to convert this to two, then three whistles, at which point the "unleash the martlet!" call came in and W2 went in for the kill and got the bump on Peterhouse W1. A great start for W2 and their move to the second position of division two sets them up for a very exciting second day.

Alex Page

Thursday: Head of Division 2 & Sandwich Boat. UP 1 – Bumped Jesus II

Friday: Head of Division 2 & Sandwich Boat. Row Over (Div2) + Tech. Row Over (Div1)

Saturday: Head of Division 2 & Sandwich Boat. Row Over x2


Wednesday: 8th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped St Catherine’s III

After a solid start we settled well. The rate meter was broken so we can’t be sure how fast we were really going but we definitely weren’t getting carried away with the occasion as we maybe did in Lents. It soon became apparent that Clare III behind us weren’t a threat but that still left the task of chasing down St Catz III who we hadn’t seen all term.

It took until close to First Post for the first whistle but after a strong corner we were on top of them and caught them at the start of the Gut. Tomorrow we will be chasing Downing III who were caught by Caius III on the same spot where we ended our race today. We feel confident that we can catch them but it could be a longer and harder race.

Paul Ledwon

Thursday: 7th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Downing III

Today we expected a slightly harder race than yesterday but were still confident we would bump out pretty soon. After a mediocre row up we had another solid start, rating over 40, and after a stride to 34 ate up the boat lengths on Downing III. We soon heard whistles and bumped them so quickly that Kev didn’t even have time to ring his bell. We ended up half way down First Post Reach having started under the bridge. 42 strokes says it all. Caius III did us a favour today and overbumped Kings II. Tomorrow will be a much tougher race as we try and catch Kings before they bump Selwyn.

Paul Ledwon

Friday: 7th in Division 4. Rowed Over

After a good row up we found ourselves under the motorway bridge – terrifyingly close to the gun. A good start followed by some slightly poor rowing around First Post Corner saw us close slowly but surely on Kings II. We were well on course for bumping them on Plough Reach but sadly Selwyn III’s resistance crumbled and caused Kings to not only bump out but also block the river slightly.

After holding it up for a short time we were instructed to continue rowing. Even then Downing III behind us weren’t anywhere near us. On the reach we found our rhythm and gained a few lengths on Emma III in the distance. Unluckily for us, this is one of the stronger crews in our division and they overbumped out shortly after the railway bridge. Had we had either a bit more time to catch Kings or a slower boat for the overbump, we would have been rewarded for our effort. Tomorrow we can have our revenge on Selwyn by getting them spoons!

Paul Ledwon

Saturday: 6th in Division 4. UP 1 – Bumped Selwyn III


Wednesday:10th in Division 3. Rowed Over

Thursday:11th in Division 3. Bumped by Emmanuel III

Friday:10th in Division 3. Bumped Emmanuel III

Saturday:10th in Division 3. Rowed Over


Wednesday: 13th in Division 5. UP 1 – Bumped King’s III

Three eager draw strokes coupled with an excellent starting line (thanks to Kev) gave Pembroke’s 4th Men’s boat their first whistle before reaching their stride stroke. The distance continued to decrease as they rapidly approached Kings III. As the two crews passed under the A14 road bridge and Kev prepared to give 2 whistles, Kings’ 6 man decided to catch an overhead crab and sit out the remainder of this very short race. Pembroke sailed by the floundering crew ahead of them and pulled in to watch the rest of the division with smiles all round – M4 make it 4 out of 4 bumps so far on Day 1.

Chris Bryan

Thursday: 12th in Division 5. UP 1 – Bumped Sidney Sussex III

The start was strong, and the crew began to take distance off Sidney III immediately. Going under the Motorway bridge, we as bank-party could see that this wasn’t going to be a long race; the crew was really gaining ground fast. A quick bump a couple of boats up left some traffic to navigate going into First Post Reach, and cox David really made the most of Kev’s early warning to “stay left”. It was to our advantage that the Sidney cox wasn’t so aware, and therefore had to employ some evasive steering that really didn’t do anything for the speed of their boat.

At this point, one whistle swiftly became two, two became three, and before we knew it there was the bell and a bump. Even without the traffic, the bump would’ve come soon enough. A great performance to watch – keep it up for tomorrow, gentlemen!

Chris Hinde

Friday: 11th in Division 5. UP 1 – Bumped Robinson III

What a weird race. The boat set off well; we were just finishing the start sequence and moving into our race pace when one of the Robinson crew crabbed spectacularly. The cox, seeing us advancing at quite a gallop, then threw her hand up as we were still a quarter-length off! Anyway, we bumped – which is fantastic – and tomorrow we’ll be going for the full set. We’ll give it all we’ve got!

Chris Hinde

Saturday: 10th in Division 5. UP 1 – Bumped Jesus V


Wednesday: Head of Division 6 & Sandwich Boat. UP 1 – Bumped LMBC VI

M5 were the epitome of cool as they swooped in for the bump on LMBC VI to take the top spot in Division 6. They kept calm through the bells and whistles, even those in the crew making their Bumps debut, and quickly converted the signals into a bump. Nabbing their prize in the Gut (seems a popular place for Pembroke bumps today!), the crew had only a few minutes’ rest before a row back to the top to assume their position as sandwich boat at the foot of Division 5.

The day’s second row remained strong, but resulted in a row over. We will have to work harder tomorrow to get Fitz III ahead, but with nothing behind us, we can safely give it all we’ve got.

Chris Hinde

Thursday: Head of Division 6 & Sandwich Boat. Rowed Over x2

The crew’s row over at Head of Division 6 was very convincing; we opened up five lengths over LMBC VI, and were taking it steady by the end of the Long Reach.

However, race number two as sandwich boat proved a little frustrating. Despite our best efforts off the start, a very quick bump between Fitz III and LMBC V left a huge amount of open water ahead, and it became clear that there wasn’t to be an over-bump for us today. On the bright side, there is a good chance that we’ll enter the Division proper tomorrow, with the twice-bumped LMBC V as our targets. This will certainly be a very fit crew by the end of the week…

Chris Hinde

Friday: 17th in Division 5. UP 1 – Rowed Over (Head of Div 6) and Bumped LMBC V (Div 5)

No more double row-overs! Yes, M5 have made it to Division 5. As part of the bargain, we’ve helped set up an interesting LMBC VI vs LMBC V battle back in Division 6… we’ll be waiting to see how that pans out for them. A good row from us, holding steady and winding them in along First Post Reach. More of the same tomorrow, please.

Chris Hinde

Friday: 16th in Division 5. UP 1 – Bumped Kings III


Wednesday: 9th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped Girton IV

As we waited at the start, a YOUNG BUNCH of 8 rowers, we knew we had the potential to bump. A jockey may use a CANE to make his horse go faster, but instead we had our cox (who is from Belfast, not from DERRY) to encourage us.

We were chasing Girton IV off the start, and they had a good start, but shortly after we started catching them and the whistles came. Rounding First Post CORNER, the Girton cox CUSD-IN her seat as we rapidly approached, and it was clear that we would get them, and sure enough we got them shortly after. WELLER it was a good first DAY for Pembroke M6, with a victory, just like the NORMAN forces at Hastings.

Elgon Corner

Thursday: 8th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped Clare IV

O-WEN shall we catch them today, was the question we were all asking before the start of the race, about the crew we were chasing; they CALL-‘UM Clare IV the boat in front. It was windy today, and we got off to a bit of an unbalanced start, but soon settled down into a rhythm. The boats behind us were EL-GONe a long way off in the distance with no danger of catching us, which was ‘ANDY as we could just focus on bumping the boat in front. We started gaining on them but still pushing hard; it took us a long time from one whistle to 2 whistles, but once we had 2 whistles they PETERed out. We quickly got the 3 whistles AN’-DREW level shortly after, before 2’s blade contacting their bow gave us the bump, after a great line from our cox at First Post Corner.

Today’s race was A-LANdmark victory, and we are now looking forward to TOMorrow when we’re chasing FaT. As a German rowing fan shouting on the bank put it “You guys could VIN-AY race against anyvone.”

Elgon Corner

Friday: 7th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped First and Third VI

Today we were chasing FaT VI, and after a good row down we were ready to race, but the start was delayed by half an hour. Anyway this gave us an opportunity to chat to our bank party, who we are very grateful for.

FaT’s boat was old, it had obviously been CHRIS-tened a long time ago, but that was still no excuse to steer it into the bank, which is what they did shortly after setting off. As the cox KIRST-‘Ymself about his mistake, he managed to steer his boat back into the middle of the river, but the damage was done. Like a CAT chasing a mouse, it was only a MATTer of time before we caught them, and sure enough we caught them before First Post Corner.

Rowing back, and not wanting to be PETTY, we gave our unfortunate victims the obligatory 3 cheers. The whole crU-GLOWed with excitement after 3 successive bumps. We are now nervous about tomorrow’s potential opportunity to become king of the CASTLE, and maybe win blades. The delayed start meant we were all hungry for lunch, and so rushed home for some well deserved MCKANE oven chips.

Elgon Corner

Saturday: 6th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped Downing IV

Today we were chasing Downing IV who had rowed over the previous 2 days, so we weren’t sure how good they would be. All we could tell was that they were not FAT, and seemed to have some degree of technique. With some of us having been to balls the previous evening, and having to be up at 9:30, we knew today would be tough. We set off well, and gained rapidly however, catching them in front of the early morning crowds on First Post Corner.

Just to CLAREify, our bump today was our 4th, meaning that we got blades – get in. That is definitely something to celebrate, and we will be DOWNING a drink or two to celebrate this evening. Mays have been great, I’m sure the memories of the past few days will linGIR-TONight, tomorrow, and for many months to come.

Elgon Corner


Wednesday: 13th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped King’s IV

Thursday: 12th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped Downing V

Friday: 11th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped First and Third VII

Saturday: 10th in Division 6. UP 1 – Bumped Clare IV

[To Top of Page]

M3 On Tour 2010: Gunning-it in Galway

Report by Chris and Chris
Result: 2nd placed Novice VIII, 20th overall in Head 3.


Training | The River Corrib | Another Disaster?! | Saturday: Race Day | Race Over: Let’s See Ireland! | A Success! | Photos | Links |

  Rounding off an action-packed term of rowing, our sprightly combination VIII of M3 rowers and their LBCs travel to Ireland and the Tribesmen’s Head of the River Race.

Training: A few spanners in the works…

There were hurdles to overcome even before we left Cambridge, when a surprise research trip stole Alex Ritter from the line-up during training. Nevertheless, and thanks to Jon Gregory’s helpful subbing-in, we took a productive few days on the Cam to blend as a crew. On the eve of our departure, things were looking promising!

Promising, that was, until mere hours before the flight when we received some potentially show-stopping news. Having rearranged the morning outing to get his Visa application to London, Nenad realised that in the process he’d personally handed his Passport away to the Kenyan Embassy. Nice work! To Nenad’s relief, the crew had all left the Boathouse by the time this dawned on him, leaving just Chris and I to beat him about the head with our blades…


The River Corrib

Fortunately, we had planned to take Matt Wraight as a spare rower all along (what luck!) and so the PCBC bandwagon rolled into Ireland as a full eight, ready for two days’ training on the River Corrib in Galway. We were fortunate to be offered the loan of a boat from the local university, NUIG. Once we got the boat off the racks, we discovered a good deal of ‘construction work’ to be done before we could go out (finding shoes and footplates, attaching them without a spanner, searching for backstays… standard stuff!), but in the end we’d pieced together a boat that was rowable, and all was well.

The Corrib proved a whole new experience for our crew; for some this was the first chance to row off-Cam on a river so much wider and, in parts, far choppier than usual. With Rosamund riding high alongside us in a hilariously over-powered launch, we took a leisurely 5km sight-seeing trip to the top of the river and the gigantic Lough Corrib.

Our photos (taken on day 2) show the Lough in fine conditions, when it really was an awesome rowing playground. Don’t be fooled, it’s not always like that! Our first excursion turned into a battle to stay afloat, as some very choppy and windy conditions conspired against our best efforts to spin and get back to sheltered waters. Eyewitnesses commented on a terribly frightened expression from the six-seat…

A calmer outing on Friday morning helped cement our river knowledge, and we then took the afternoon off for some exploration of the City of Galway. To our great surprise, we were reunited with Nenad who’d managed to wrangle his Passport back from the Kenyans, rearrange two coaches and grab a last minute flight! Full credit to you, Nenad; it really was quite amazing that you made it.


Friday: M3 take to the ‘rowing playground’ of Lough Corrib.


Another Disaster?!

As if we hadn’t battled through enough issues already, a friendly game of footy for our afternoon off was to provide yet another upset. Clumsy Chris Bryan, our stroke-man, fell awkwardly on the uneven pitch and managed to sprain his ankle! We made a mental note never again to try our hands at unfamiliar sports the night before a race, and Chris hobbled back to the hostel to rest up.


Saturday: Race Day

We were racing in the last of three Heads, so had Saturday morning free to nip down to the finish line and watch the earlier races. Meanwhile our cox, Alisdair, was busy with a spot of subbing-in as he headed off to steer an adaptive crew from Castleconnell Boat Club in the first Head – what better opportunity for more familiarisation of the course?

Our racing boat was an Eton Pheonix, lent to us by a friend of Rosamund’s from the University of Limerick RC, plus we’d arranged to borrow a set of blades from Galway’s Tribesmen RC. Our beleaguered crew had finally come together too, with Chris recuperated enough to row and Nenad hopping back in at bow.

The row up to the start was ‘interesting’, but we were hardly expecting perfect rowing in yet another new boat on a fairly new river. Alisdair did well to comply with some strange marshalling arrangements at the top, before we eventually rounded the buoy and wound it up to begin the race.


More training on the course: passing Menlo Castle.


Nearly over! M3 push through towards the finish.

With just over 4km of race ahead of us, we knew we had to pace ourselves right from the start. Chris B did well in setting a sustainable rating, and we could feel a good deal of power going down throughout the boat. Alisdair kept us informed of progress as we passed the massive fluorescent markers each kilometre. The first 2k seemed to take forever, but nonetheless we kept pushing and quickly passed Menlo Castle, a particularly photogenic halfway point! Alisdair’s rallying calls for pushes didn’t go unanswered, particularly in the middle four, and we did our best to keep long and strong for the closing stages.

Rounding the rather sharp final bend we had 500m to the finish. We stepped the rating up two and emptied the tanks. As we crossed the line and wound it down, gasps of exhaustion up and down the boat proved that we’d given this our all. We’d shown ourselves as more than just stashed-up Englishmen; we’d given the Irish crews a real run for their money.

The results were released in the Student Bar shortly after the race. Finishing 2nd place in the Novice category meant we were beaten by NUIG A, but our crew were happy to settle with that given NUIG’s sizeable home advantage and experience of the river. Pembroke finished 20th overall in Head 3 with a time of 15:22.6 for the approx. 4.2km race distance.

The result also stood to settle something of a coaching grudge-match between Rosamund and her friend Ronan Ivers, novice men’s coach for ULRC. Since we soundly beat his Intermediate 8+, it seems Rosamund is owed a Guinness!


Race Over: Let’s See Ireland!


Setting sail for the Aran Islands.

The next day, newly freed of our rowing commitments, we set about some Irish sightseeing to round off the trip! Six of us took a ferry to the Aran Islands on Sunday, hiring four cycles and a tandem to get us around the sights of Inis Mór. Needless to say, hiring the tandem was pure genius and a fantastic laugh. Plus, for such a small island there was seemingly no end to the list of ‘must-see’ attractions! Visitors to Inis Mór can catch the old lighthouse, the seal colony, one of the finest semi-circular Celtic forts in the world (!), plus (reputedly) the smallest church in the world. What a day!


A Success!

This inaugural PCBC trip to Ireland was a resounding success, providing a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other as a crew and, once the rowing was over, a chance to wind down from a hectic term.

Many thanks to Rosamund for suggesting the trip and for accompanying and coaching us. Thanks to Alisdair, for his skilful coxing, and to Nenad for the gargantuan effort he made to get to Ireland! We’re also very grateful for the generosity of Charles Doyle – Captain of NUIG BC, Robin Winkels – Captain of Tribesmen RC, and Rachael Meehan – Captain of University of Limerick RC, for the loan of their equipment. Thank you all!

With Ireland done and dusted, who knows where we’ll end up next year?!

More Photos (click to enlarge in a new window):


Ready for the off…


Chris Hinde attracted much attention from passing boats…


Sitting casually in the gigantic Lough!


Rosamund’s over-powered and unwieldy launch


A typical stretch of the Corrib, taken from the launch


A little more room than the Cam?



Race Results in Full: pdf
Lots more photos:“The Water Edge” Professional Photographers
Tribesmen’s Head: Official Site
Tribesmen’s Head: The Course in Detail
Google Maps: River Corrib Satellite Image


2010 Women’s Eights Head of the River Race

W1 at WEHoRRW2 at WEHoRR

PCBC W1 and W2 both competed in this year’s women’s eights head, raced on the Tideway course down in London. After last year’s 105th place (amongst 300 British and international crews), W1 hoped to finish in the top 100. W2 were making their first trip to WEHoRR in recent memory, with only First and Third Trinity also sending a W2 crew.

Preparations began after Lent bumps, with the VIII’s continuing to train on the Cam. In addition to training in Cambridge, W1 and the W2 cox made a trip to Tideway Scullers’ School for a practice on the course in the week leading up to the race. Both coxes were new to the Thames and took the opportunity to find the racing line, while those rowers new to the course got used to rowing on a massive river, and identified the landmarks between Mortlake and Putney that they would race past on the day.

The weather on race day was perfect, always a surprise on the Tideway! Both W1 and W2 had clean races, avoiding blade clashes, and trying to make the most of the stream. W2 raced well over the 4.5 mile course, holding their own amongst the 1st VIII’s in this challenging race. Overall, W2 finished 265th, in 22 minutes 49 seconds. W1 also had a good row, despite the cox box failing to give a rate, and conking out completely at Hammersmith Bridge (thanks to Alex Whiscombe, loudhailer/cox!). Perhaps the lack of rate turned out to be helpful, as the rhythm felt natural and lively throughout. Overall, W1 finished 90th, in 20 minutes 49 seconds. The solid result put PCBC W1 top of the Cambridge colleges in this year’s race.

Samantha Bennett