- November 30, 2018: Fairbairns
- March 5, 2019: Lent Bumps
- June 12, 2019: May Bumps
M1 have kick-started their training regime with a heavy 9 session a week training plan, including 5 outings, 2 ergs and 2 weights sessions. Some high praise from Kevin, who said the paddling was the strongest he’d seen in a few years at this point in the season. We’ll be entering Head to Head this Saturday in both an VIII+ and then breaking down into smaller boats for a later division. Please do check the City of Cambridge Rowing Club website for results after the race.
Archie Wood – Men’s Captain
The crews for Lents have been set and it’s looking to be an exciting term! The crew is looking really strong and training started properly this week – there was even a 07:30am erg! We’re going to be training hard this term following a training program from our fantastic boatman, Kev. We’re planning on entering Winter H2H (this Saturday), Newnham Short Course, Robinson Head, Lent Bumps and WeHORR. The whole of the women’s side is looking really good so it should be great Lent Bumps!
Ery Hughes – Women’s Captain
M2 selection is well underway; novice Piotr Zulawski smashed the 2k test (and all of M1) with an epic 6:34 (I myself pulled a respectable 6:48(.5)). A provisional crew has been selected and are looking forward to their first race (the old Winter Head to Head) this coming Saturday. Self-admitted “rowing-addicts” James Hutt & Greg Drott have returned to the crew, prompting a surge in keenness and high spirits. There is also talk of the crew going to Head of the Nene in February (competent captain Tom Hoier is currently looking into the logistics…).
Tom Hoier – Men’s Vice Captain
On Sunday we set our crews on the women’s side. They will be fluid for a week or so, but provisionally we have a promising W2 eight comprised of: 6 of last term’s novices, two girls who rowed elsewhere prior to joining the PCBC and one of last term’s male novice coxes. All of the novices (new seniors may be a better term!) came on the training camp to Seville and improved massively as a result. In their first outing as a crew this morning they sat up, put some work down and were mistaken for W1, not a bad start!
This term W2 are planning to enter all the on-Cam races (Winter Head-to-Head, Newnham Short Course, Robinson Head and Pembroke Regatta). Due to the morning limitations, we anticipate weekends will be very busy; therefore the clear water of these races will be invaluable. The main aim this term is Lent Bumps, and we may have to race the Getting-on-race, depending on enteries. We are also planning to enter WeHORR if the crew is available. This will be discussed this evening over pizza…
The training plan for the term will be:
We have a strong crew who should do really well in Lents and also be highly competitive in the Mays squad.
Catherine Vincent – Women’s Vice Captain
The M3/M4 squad will be training at a steady rate of 3 sessions per week, mixing the restricted morning slots with weekend afternoons on the Cam. With a strong squad we should have a competitive M3 and M4 for Lent Bumps (we are already trialling the hashtag #LentLaurels), and a mixture of ergs and water sessions with our coach Andrew “Gripper” Watson should give us a technical edge over the other college crews. On the way to Bumps we will be competing in the Pembroke Regatta and Newnham Short Course, so that by the end of term our crews will have experience of all three kinds of race (head, regatta, bumps).
Greg Drott – Men’s Lower Boats Captain
This January from the 3rd-10th, PCBC took 34 of its number and 4 alumni coaches to Seville, Spain for an intense week of training to kick start our lent bumps campaign. This was the first trip of its kind that the club has done (well certainly in the memory of anyone currently rowing) and I think it’s fair to say that the training camp was hugely successful. We also launched it at the very reasonable and incredibly attractive price of £150 per person, which one rower pointed out was cheaper than spending the week in college! This was made possible by generous subsidies from alumni, and from our sponsors, King & Spalding.
Perhaps before launching into the camp itself, it’s worth talking about the inception of the idea. Last year we struggled with numbers, and we diagnosed the problem to be that insufficient numbers of students who learn how to row at Pembroke continue on after their first year of rowing. A few of the members of the previous committee met to discuss how this issue might be addressed. We decided that more needed to be done to persuade rowers to continue rowing through the colder months of the year. We settled on the idea that a sunny interlude was the way forward! So with accommodation booked and sunglasses, sunscreen and copious quantities of Lycra packed we set off to Sunny Sevilla!
We arrived on the evening of the 3rd, late and with all the hallmarks of 40 people who have been crammed into a Ryanair flight: hungry, tired, and not so fresh. Luckily we were greeted with meals, showers and beds, so everyone crashed out ready to face the first day of training.
Firstly we took the opportunity to explore the complex. All our meals were fully catered by the canteen, the complex had two gyms with free weights, a multipurpose sports hall, and an erg room. However the main selling point was the 5km stretch of straight, wide, flat river, including a marked out 2km course.
We had hired 4 boats to use while we were out there from the Centre, so we spent the first half of the morning adjusting just about everything you could think of on the shells. However, by the time we were ready to go, the only bad weather of the week had moved in and the conditions were too bad to get on the water. So we spent the rest of the day using the extensive facilities, including some technical erg work, circuit training and a core strength session.
Having not managed to get on the water on the first day, everyone was raring to get out there. We started out mixing the crews: putting less experienced and stronger rowers together. This gave everyone the chance to get back into the swing of things after the Christmas break, and for the coaches to get the chance to look at everyone. On camp the women’s coaching was headed up by Matt Stallard and Eddy Flower, and the men’s coaching by Adam Lister and Alan Marron. Everyone got over 25km of rowing in across 2 outings on the first day, before we retired for a film night after dinner.
The second and final day in mixed crews gave the coaches the opportunity to correct discrepancies in technique, and judge rowers on their technique so they could be sorted into provisional first and second crews for the remainder of the camp. In the evening a load of students went to watch the Epiphany march down the street of Seville. An amazing occasion where a huge parade of floats roll through the streets with revellers throwing sweets from tops.
We had two sessions to get used to the new crews. Lots of paddling and some experimental higher rate bursts made up the body of the outings. The 7th was a particularly warm day, with sun throughout and a peak of 25˚C. The coxes were mixed between the crews, giving everyone a chance to experience different coxing styles, and the coxes an opportunity to work with both men’s and women’s boats.
As well as the outings, the crews were given the afternoon off to explore Seville. Activities ranged from stocking up on more food at Lidl to visiting the bullfighting arena. One group even held a mini- regatta with some small wooden paddling boats they hired on the river
The river was slightly windy, giving us a good chance to practise getting a heavy boat moving into a headwind. Really gets you ready for when you round the corner into a boat stopping wind on the reach! Everyone went out in the evening to a bar in Seville to wind down after a hard day’s work.
Final day of rowing. All crews did timed pieces on the 2km course at free rate, to implement all the gains from the week into some rowing. The coaches were impressed by the huge strides that both individuals and crews managed to make during the week.
The camp was a fantastic opportunity for all the members of the club, giving everyone a chance to improve their rowing, get to know each other better, and get a bit of tan before returning to Cambridge!
It has been fantastic to see so many boats this term out training on the water. PCBC currently have a very healthy membership of 78 active rowers consisting of M1, M2 (IV), NM1, NM2, NM3, W1, NW1 and NW2. The LBCs have been fantastic in managing and instigating such a large intake of novices, which will stand PCBC well for future terms and years. The Pembroke presence on the river during the recent Fairbairn races has been great to see. PCBC are due to embark on a training camp in early January, to Seville in Spain. This will be invaluable training for both senior and novice alike, and will propel us well into Lent term.
PCBC would like to thank the continued support of the Master and Kevin, and also the contribution of Andrew Watson (AKA “Gripper”) in providing the role of Head Novice Coach.
If any alumni are interested in contributing any coaching to PCBC, please do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org
Overall Captain, PCBC
This Michaelmas term M1 have been mixing up the training schedule somewhat, focussing mainly on working in 4s in the first half of term, but also putting out all rowers in sculling boats, some for the first time. So it wasn’t until week 5 that we blew the dust off the Geoffrey Perret and got out in an VIII+.
It would be fair to say that M1 had a “rocky” run up to Fairbairns this year. Illness and injury meant that we went through four different men in the bow seat in the last two weeks of training, and the crew that raced in Fairbairns had never raced together. Nonetheless the crew that turned up on the start line had plenty of competitive spirit. Our cox Arun confidently ran us through the race plan for the final time that day on the start line, condensed into 5 words: Rhythm – Power – Togetherness – Shape – Build.
We de-kitted ready for the race, waiting for the command, only to find that Caius were having issues on the start line, and were getting friendly with a barge. So it was after another few minutes that we were given the all clear, and rowed off, pressing the rate up across the start line. We hit a steady 31 and started to execute the race plan.
The first quarter of the race we aimed to “keep the powder dry”, not exhausting ourselves in the corner heavy section past the boathouses. The emphasis was constructing a rhythm to maintain throughout the rest of the race.
As we came past the combined boathouses, we switched the focus, making sure that we build he power in the leg-drive without “kicking” at the catch. This worked well, and the boat speed increased as we came into the straighter section of the course.
Next came the Reach. This was where the pain really began to set in, and for me this meant fixing my eyes on the neck of the man in front and following his movements. I dimly remember at the end of the Reach the call that we were going to push for 10 through the Plough once around Ditton corner.
With shouts of affirmation from the crew we picked it up for a strong section, which continued around Grassy, and then once again, picked it up again as we came onto First Post reach. We peaked at 33 as we moved through the final 30 seconds of the race, crossing the line in 15:44.9
This placed us as the 13th fastest college M1 from 23. While a reasonably disappointing end result, this term has been a fantastically fun term of rowing for M1, and we are all training hard over the break looking forward to training camp in Seville, Spain in January.
W1 had a good row at Fairbairns. Throughout the race we rowed with confidence, responding well to the calls of our cox (Mairi Innes); who we also have to thank for some excellent lines. The lineup of rowers featured some well-seasoned Valencians and also 2 new members of College. The crew worked well together, with good commitment throughout the race. This is something we hope to build on next term. We’re all looking forward to some hard work and further technical development in Seville!
To say that M2 this term has been in a state of flux is something of an understatement: due to a series of minor injuries and illnesses, it was often difficult to send out a consistent crew. The “Great Coxing Drought” at the start of term meant that PCBC had to resort to paying coxes from other clubs and colleges to cover our sessions. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as this meant that the crew experienced a number of different coxing styles, and sessions with some of the best coxes on the Cam. By the end of term the newest generation of PCBC coxes had completed their “basic training” (a round robin of the various novice boats and senior crews). Newbie cox & rower James Roberts stepped up to steer M2, and did an excellent job at Fairbairn’s, remaining calm and in control, spurring the crew on, steering well and remaining unperturbed despite attempts to cox from the 2-seat (from M1 cox and M2 super-sub Arun Lobo).
It has often been the case this term that availabilities were such that the full IV could not be sent out. Rather than let this get in their way, stern pair Thayne Forbes & Will Snowden requested that I send them out in a double: initially a very challenging row as neither of them had done much sculling, but they very soon mastered the art (not surprising with experienced coaches such as Matt Castle & Paul Meadows giving them guidance).
As fate would have it, it was in the week of Fairbairns that the most major maladies struck, with 2-man Dominik putting his back out, and 3-man Will Snowden becoming ill (shortly after agreeing to sub into M1: the Curse of the First Boat came into play!). Luckily, experienced rower Arun and NM1 novice (although you wouldn’t believe it) Simrun Basuita both agreed to step in. Given the number of subs and the relative inexperience of the cox, I had feared that the crew’s Fairbairns row wouldn’t not be a fitting testament to the efforts of the crew this term, and the improvements that they have all made. As it happened, this was not the case: although the time was nothing spectacular, the crew were not lacking on individual technique or fitness, but togetherness, not surprising given that they were a scratch IV. The commitment to making the boat move was there, and this cannot be trained.
For next term, I am looking forward to expanding the crew to an VIII; I will give all members of the club a chance to trial for the boat, and hope to see plenty of the novices getting involved (thy have already demonstrated keenness and ability, the first building blocks of a rapid VIII!).
The Fairbairn Cup on 5th December brought our extraordinarily dedicated (not a single outing missed by anyone!) and competitive novice men their first chance to demonstrate the skills they’d been honing all term. The presence of our Head Novice Coach, Andrew “Gripper” Watson, gave us a technical edge on other crews on the river: so much so that the call of “come by” practically became their motto.
An impressive depth of talent in the squad of twenty-six novices allowed us, weeks in advance of Fairbairn’s, to set no fewer than three (!) novice men’s boats. Thus, the crews were able to develop a high degree of cohesion and a striking display of coordinated neatness in their stroke — not to mention a great camaraderie that spurred us on into the final of Queens’ Ergs and that spirit obtained during a clearly superior showing at Clare Novice Regatta.
A blustery gray day saw us row up to the start of the Fairbairns course confident that by maintaining the term’s strong focus on technique we could register a good time. Rating a steady 28, the first two boats to race rowed very competently (no crabs, no washing out), passing the boat house proudly and pushing off Chesterton footbridge and the railway bridge. With winds gusting up to 40mph the reach was extraordinarily choppy. Nevertheless, both crews maintained concentration during the final push and launched themselves over the line in style. The crew dubbed “Pembroke” (the others were “College” and “Cambridge”) finished ninth overall, a mere seven seconds behind fourth place. All crews had reason to be proud of their achievements.
Alas by the time of the afternoon division gusts had turned into gales and the “Cambridge” crew, having marshalled by Jesus lock, were forced to shelter in Caius boat house. From there they watched with mixed amusement and apprehension as the storm scattered loosely moored boats (and one or two screaming female crews in them) like pick-up sticks across the river. The race was reluctantly cancelled by a sluggish set of Jesus marshals, and we rowed home after the winds died down a bit. (A tree had fallen into the racing path at Chesterton.) It was a shame that “Cambridge” didn’t get to race and thus show off what would doubtless have been our remarkably fast average time over all three boats. It can only increase the hunger of this term’s novices to mount a glorious Lent campaign, the prospect of which was the subject of enthusiastic discussion at Boat Club Dinner. With a next generation of boaties like this, and with #Pembroke #FairbairnsGlory trending on Twitter, it’s easy to say: Row on PCBC!
Pembroke College Boat Club
May Bumps 2013
Click a number to go to the race report and video, if available.
|Men’s Crews||Women’s Crews|
Pembroke’s Race Reports
After a slightly nervy warm up we found ourselves stationed under the bridge right next to a very loud cannon! A fast start saw us pull away from Queen’s and hold station with a strong Catz boat in front. However coming out of The Gut, a loss of composure cost us dearly, and unnecessary energy wasted past the Plough caught up with us into the Long Reach where Queen’s pushed and bumped.
Arav Gupta, M1 cox
Confident in our fast start, our aim was to nab Queen’s as soon as possible, as we knew Clare was of similar speed to us. We held rhythm for longer today, and this paid off in our overlap with Queen’s down the reach. Alas, we couldn’t bump as we were on the other side of the river from them, trying to hold of a hungry Clare, who gave one final push under the railway bridge and made the bump.
Arav Gupta, M1 cox
We weren’t so worried about Christ’s behind us, and especially back to our full strength line up, we knew we could get Clare. And get Clare we did. We hit a strong rhythm and reeled them in with cries of “Yeah Pem-Broke” from the 6 seat. Once we got steaming, we weren’t gonna stop. In my opinion the week’s tidiest and most lethal row.
Arav Gupta, M1 cox
Buoyant from the previous day, and with knowledge we had already nearly caught Queen’s on the 2nd day, we set out to bump quick. Again, a solid start and Clare were dropped promptly. A quick gut and onto Plough Reach we were on many whistles. Ideally should have got them before Ditton, but some eager coxing from both boats and Queen’s controversially held off until the spinning posts. However the bump was inevitable, and Pem1 finished level.
Arav Gupta, M1 cox
W1 have trained hard throughout the term. The start of our Easter training was to focus on rowing as a crew . We were grateful for the return of one of our CUW representatives, Clare Hall, and other experienced members from Pembroke; for a few, it was the first time they had rowed for W1.
Our start was strong and committed. We were chased by Clare, tipped for greatness (David Attenborough, 2013). Ahead of us were Newnham who’ve been climbing the divisions steadily for a few years. We followed our race plan, going off high, rowing over at 37. Clare Hall and Eleanor Metcalfe set a strong rhythm in the stern but the yellow blades of Clare came at us hard. We pushed into First Post corner, gaining a quarter of a length on Newnham but unfortunately it was not enough. Clare pushed hard through the apex and steered a good line, taking us on our exit.
A disappointing start to the W1 May Bumps 2013 campaign. However our post outing debrief was overall positive, with the girls excited for tomorrow.
Kat Suddaby, W1 6-seat and Women’s Captain
W1 attacked day 2 with the same commitment and venom we’d approached the previous day with. Kevin gave us a fantastic set up leading to our strongest start of the term and a gain of a quarter of a length on Clare. We hit a maximum rate of 42 before lengthening to 36. Within a minute we had come to First post corner, Emma hot on our heels and Caius chasing them hard. Emma took a tight line, catching our inside. On pushing out of the corner into the gut, Emma had the favourable line allowing them to bump, just as Caius were pushing for their own bump.
It was extremely disappointing. The crew have trained incredibly hard and we couldn’t have given anything more. As a captain I can’t ask for more than that.
Tomorrow was have Emma ahead and Caius behind. We will go out and row proud for Pembroke. We’ll look to achieve the same strong start and throw everything at it. Row on PCBC.
Kat Suddaby, W1 6-seat and Women’s Captain
After some solid outings in the buildup to bumps, M2 were feeling positive despite the lack of experience in the boat, with the goal of catching a Sidney Sussex M1 crew that had held us off by half a length last year.
The row down to the start felt good, with plenty of power coming from the boat and a feeling of cohesiveness that we had worked on in the outings leading up to bumps. As the cannons fired our oars drove through the water, although we struggled to deal with the headwind off the start. Despite this scrappy start, we held station with Sidney, but a rapid Christs M2 crew with four CULRC trialists closed down on us and we never looked like pulling away, leading to being pretty comprehensively bumped.
There was not much that could be done apart from say ‘chapeau’ to a much more experienced and powerful crew, and give it absolutely everything for the following days.
Arun Lobo, M2 2-seat and Men’s Vice Captain
Not having to deal with the trepidation that comes with the first day of bumps, M2 had a much better start than the previous day, building to rate 43 and holding station with both Queens II behind us and Christs II in front of us.
Unfortunately, after this point the greater power and experience in the Queens boat began to show, as they settled to a longer stroke than us and began closing. This caused a bit of panic and, in an attempt to maintain a high rate, we shortened up more leading to a bump by Queens.
Having trained extremely hard this term, M2 are determined to finish bumps fighting. For the martlet.
Arun Lobo, M2 2-seat and Men’s Vice Captain
Having trained hard throughout the term, W2 started off Bumps with the goal of remaining the top W2 crew on the river. W2’s boat this term is a mixture of experienced rowers and newcomers, all excited to row for Pembroke.
The start of the race was good, as we managed to hold station, which was encouraging given the hard work we have put into our starts in the last week with Paul Meadows, our coach. Once off the start we went for a period of high rating rowing, sitting at about 38, however Fitzwilliam came at us strong from behind and despite valiant efforts from W2 we were bumped just after First Post Corner.
Although being bumped on Day 1 is perhaps not the best way to start Bumps, W2 came out of the experience feeling overall positive – ready to row again tomorrow, and knowing that we rowed well and lost to a simply much faster (W1) crew.
Mairi Innes, W2 cox
W2 came into Day 2 with a clear goal – not to get bumped by Emmanuel W2, who would be rowing a station behind us. Given the strength of Fitzwilliam, the aim was for a strong row over.
Again, W2 had a good, clean start, with everyone remaining in time, which was encouraging. However, Emmanuel began to gain on us, and once past First Post Corner the dreaded three whistles were blown. This was, however, not the end of the campaign for W2, who managed to push away out of Grassy Corner. Credit must be given to the girls for not panicking or losing focus despite Emmanuel getting so close, and managing to keep the crew behind off in the corners. By the end of the row over, Emmanuel were about 3 lengths behind us.
Therefore Day 2 felt like a real achievement for W2, who managed to keep their W2 headship.
Mairi Innes, W2 cox
Emma drew up to us off the start, and while we pulled away from them, a bump was inevitable, and came a short way through the race.
I think we’re all proud of how we rowed today, and despite the quick bump, we’re pleased with our commitment to pull away from a much faster crew.
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.
The boat our men raced was the Geoffrey Perret II.
Full results of qualifying races here: http://www.hrr.co.uk/results/live/results-of-qualifying/
Rowing Photography photograph: link