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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

Lent Bumps 2010

Day 1

M2 Tuesday – Bumped Darwin I

Given the usual pre-Bumps anxieties, this was a gem of a race to start off the campaign! We’d hardly seen the Darwin crew around the boathouse, so they were something of an unknown quantity. Luckily, it turns out we needn’t have worried! After a decent enough first three strokes, we got the first whistle as we started lengthening. Before we knew it we’d got two whistles, three whistles, and then the bell as we were about to go into the stride. All over in 30 seconds!

When the bigger tests come our way later in the week, we’ll be ready…

Chris Hinde

W2 Tuesday – Rowed Over

After a strong row down, W2 were excited and ready to race by the time they reached the start line despite a long and very cold wait marshaling. It was the first Bumps experience for the majority of the crew and so there were some very nervous rowers in the boat by the time we were pushed off and lined up waiting for the final canon to go. We got off to a quick start when the canon sounded and were soon a length off Robinson W1. Unfortunately first day nerves kicked in and we were almost halted by two over-the-head crabs as we were trying to find our rhythm past the motorway bridge. Despite rowing momentarily with only six rowers and with two blades dragging in the water the crew dug deep to keep going and we were soon back to eight rowers.

Determined not to let this mishap ruin our race, we pushed hard and fought to get back into a solid rhythm. The next few hundred metres were a fight to keep away from the now worryingly close Anglia Ruskin as we’d unfortunately lost our gain on Robinson whilst dealing with the crabs. Murray Edwards were close to a Bump on ARU and so the race was on for us to keep away from Anglia Ruskin long enough for them to be bumped out. Some determined rowing and great coxing meant we were able to do this and so we rowed over the second half of the race with no-one behind, using the lack of immediete pressure to concentrate on producing a controlled row to the finish. Now that the first day nerves are out of the way and we know we can row fast out off the start and keep strong under pressure we are itching to have another go at Robinson on Thursday!

Alex Page

M3 Tuesday – Rowed Over

We’d been optimistic for the crew’s chances on the first day; from past performance they are clearly one of the fastest (if not the fastest) crews in this division. The getting-on draw had placed a little-known St Edmunds II ahead, whilst Emmanuel IV provided little in the way of danger behind.

Shakiness both on the bank and in the boat led to a sketchy start, by no means the best this crew can deliver. Nevertheless, the pace was good once the rhythm kicked in. We steadily took ground off St Edmund’s, who soon had clear water ahead of them after a swift bump by Robinson III on Christ’s IV. The boat pushed away from the motorway bridge with decent pace, snatching the first whistle on First Post Corner.

Had it not been for a nightmare crab at this point (tearing the footplate clean away from the fibreglass!) we would have continued to gain on them, and the bump would surely have presented itself. As it was, Alex was left to row valiantly arms-and-body all the way down the Gut, past the Plough, and onto the Reach. With everyone bumped-out behind we rowed over the course, but still the crew left the boathouse today with disappointment at what might’ve been.

Tomorrow is a new day; tomorrow we push for the bump.

Chris Hinde

Day 2

W1 – Rowed Over

We’ve had a great term so far, with quick race results and no interruptions to our training and progress. Going into the first day, we were chasing Christs, a crew that has won races this term, but we fully expected that our recent improvements would see us comparable to their speed. We had a good start against the strong current and coming into the Gut we had closed on Christs by a quarter to a half a length. Christs then caught Queens’ at the Plough, and we shifted our focus to the overbump (some might say unrealistically in the W1 division!) on Caius. Sticking to the race plan, with a fairly good rhythm going down the reach, we closed steadily on Cauis. Inch by inch, from starting six lengths behind them, we clawed Caius into our sights, earning our first whistle as we rounded the final bend before the finish. At the end, it was 3/4 of a length… if only we had twenty more strokes! In all, the day’s result bodes very well for the rest of Lents, and indeed the rest of 2010.

Samantha Bennett

M3 – Technical Row Over

Today’s start was much improved on yesterday’s and the crew went off nicely. There was trouble settling into a sustainable rating; after the stride things were unsustainable at 37 and it took a while to drop to 32. It became clear after about 45 seconds that this would be another long race, as St Edmunds quickly caught Christ’s IV just after the motorway bridge. Still, the crew pushed on in the knowledge that an overbump could be theirs for the taking.

The lengths were steadily eaten away down First Post Reach, and by the corner the distance was down to 2 ½ lengths. Robinson were struggling after clearly having gone off too strong.

This crew have had a couple of misfortunate days; as we turned through First Post Corner, the Boatman called to ‘wind it down’, a call met with bemusement in the boat. Alisdair made it known that he was less than pleased as we learned that Downing III had failed to clear after their bump on LMBC IV, blocking the river and forcing the race to be abandoned. If we’d have been able to row the course, we should have got the overbump.

Tomorrow we’re on the charge for a bump on Christs IV. This one is ours.

Chris Hinde

Day 3

W1 – Bumped Queens’ I

After the tough, committed rowover on Wednesday, we were keen to follow Christs up the bumps charts. First to catch was Queens’ W1. We put in a good start and gained steadily down First Post reach. Going into the Gut, Queens’ held us at a canvas, but not for long… as we bumped them just on Grassy corner. Brilliant corners from our cox, Alex Whiscombe, and a very solid row from W1!

Samantha Bennett

M2 – Rowed Over

We started out today with some uncertainty; could we manage the bump on Downing before they caught Homerton, or else would we have to go for the overbump on Wolfson? We had a lush practice start outside the Plough, which inspired confidence, but when it got to the real thing we went off well but couldn’t quite replicate our prior brilliance.

Downing caught Homerton on First Post, and we were left to slog it out for an overbump. The rowing wasn’t the neatest we’re able to produce, and a couple of us had some rough old strokes, but the pace was fine and we were making up ground. Things seemed to fall into a bit of a lull at times (at the top of the reach for instance), but when we were called for power strokes the energy was clearly still there. Rowing over isn’t the end of the world, and we can take a good deal away from our performance today in terms of concentration, application of power, and simply sticking together.

Chris Hinde

M3 – Bumped Christ’s IV

Today we were chasing a much weaker crew than the previous two days and we rowed up to the start with confidence. Having been in this position twice before, the crew was much more relaxed waiting for the cannon and got off to a solid start rating 40, something this crew hasn’t done since rowing with women’s blades at Pembroke Regatta. After problems settling in to a sustainable rhythm on the previous races we were determined to stride well down. Shortly after doing so we heard our first whistle and pushed the rate back up. Powering under the motorway bridge we quickly received the signal that the gap had closed to half a length. Christ’s responded and it felt like an age, even though it was most probably only 15 seconds for the whistle to sound for a third time. Eventually Kev started ringing his bell and the bump came well before First Post Corner.

On Saturday we’re chasing Robinson III, the crew we may have over-bumped on Wednesday had it not been for an obstruction. Let’s hope we can finish our first bumps on a high!

Paul Ledwon

Day 4

W1 – Bumped Caius I
With a bump under our belts, after nearly overbumping Caius W1 on the first day, we were very keen to get racing on the third day of Lents. After a thunderous bang from the cannon next to us, we had a very good start and rhythm down First Post reach. Although we struggled with our rhythm a little bit coming through the Gut, we had three whistles by the time we got to Grassy. An extremely well-executed lift out of Grassy, followed by a middle four push, took us the final distance to bump Caius at the Plough. A great row!

Day 5

W1 – Bumped Jesus I
Most of those reading this will realise just how much this year’s W1 was looking forward to lining up on the start this final day of Lent bumps to chase Jesus W1. After years of trading headship in the Mays, with Jesus usually winning, well, everything, throughout the year, we knew we’d put together a crew that was stronger in every way than the Jesus crew we were chasing. With a mantra of ‘First Post is the new Grassy’ to catch them even quicker than we caught Caius the day before, we bumped them in style, just coming out of Grassy. I enjoyed it far too much… and we’ll be working hard to continue such enjoyment through to the end of the Mays! Well done Pembroke W1 Lents 2010.

Samantha Bennett

M3 – Bumped Robinson III
For our final day of bumps we were expecting a harder challenge than on Thursday since the crew ahead, Robinson III, had already shown that they were faster than Christ’s IV. Wanting to prove the Robinson coach wrong, who was overheard saying that we were “all power and no technique”, we got off to a good start and settled into a comfortable rhythm. We soon began to hear whistles but everyone stayed relaxed and just continued rowing like they had been. Our race pace was simply a lot faster than theirs and we caught them soon after the motorway bridge without Alisdair needing to call any pushes. This was by far the best we had rowed all week and was a great high on which to end our first bumps. BRING ON MAYS!!

Paul Ledwon