Rowing Conditions

Flag is Not Operational
Flag is Not Operational
Flag last updated on Sun 9th Apr at 9:24 am

Upcoming Events

  • December 1, 2016: Fairbairns
  • February 28, 2017: Lent Bumps
  • June 14, 2017: May Bumps

M3 On Tour 2010: Gunning-it in Galway

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

Menlo

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…

[Top]

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.

Menlo

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

[Top]

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.

[Top]

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.

Menlo

More training on the course: passing Menlo Castle.

Menlo

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!

[Top]

Race Over: Let’s See Ireland!


Ferry

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!

[Top]

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):

Photo

Ready for the off…

Photo

Chris Hinde attracted much attention from passing boats…

Photo

Sitting casually in the gigantic Lough!

Photo

Rosamund’s over-powered and unwieldy launch

Photo

A typical stretch of the Corrib, taken from the launch

Photo

A little more room than the Cam?

[Top]

Links

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

[Top]

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

Fairbairns Results 2009

Well done to all the PCBC crews who raced in the Faribairns Cup the past Thursday and Friday.

The Results are:

Women’s 1st VIII: 8th fastest college boat (12th overall), with a time of 16:50.81
Women’s 1st IV: 8th fastest college boat (11th overall), with a time of 13:37.06

Men’s 1st VIII: 13th fastest college boat (20th overall), with a time of 14:52.96
Men’s 2nd VIII: 5th fastest college 2nd boat (33rd overall), with a time of 15:37.99

Novice Women’s 1st VIII: 5th fastest novice boat, with a time of 11:17.40
Novice Women’s 2nd VIII: 11th fastest novice boat, with a time of 11:53.62
Novice Women’s 3rd VIII: 36th fastest novice boat, with a time of 12:35.19

Novice Men’s 1st VIII: 8th fastest novice boat, with a time of 10:05.71
Novice Men’s 2nd VIII: 43rd fastest novice boat, with a time of 11:30.54

May Bumps 2009

Reports:

1st Men
5th in division 1

Wednesday
Bumped Trinity Hall

Thursday
Bumped St Cats

Friday
Bumped Queens’

Saturday
Bumped Downing

1st Women

HEAD OF THE RIVER

Wednesday
Rowed over HEAD

After a solid paddle down to the start we spun on station ready to test ourselves against the other crews, after not racing against them since Champs Head on the 17th May.

We had a good start, opening up the distance to 2 lengths through the first corner. With encouragement from the bank we continued to press away from Jesus, opening up the distance still further down the Plough Reach and onto Ditton corner. At the railings we were ahead by approximately 4 lengths, and continued to send it away through the finish.

Marianne Butler

Thursday
Rowed Over HEAD

Decent paddle down to the start, with a bit of a delay due to the men’s division being set off later. Had one start on the Plough Reach going down, to spin on station just after the 4 minute gun.

Had a good start, found our rhythm and started to push away around the corners, got on to the Reach and kept it solid on the way home.

Marianne Butler

Friday
Rowed Over HEAD

Saturday
Rowed Over HEAD

2nd Men

5th in division 3
Wednesday
Bumped by Selwyn II

Thursday
Bumped by FaT III

Friday
Bumped by Christ’s II

Saturday
Rowed Over

2nd Women

3rd in division 2
Wednesday
Bumped Darwin

After a powerful start, Pembroke were able to instantly take half a length out of Darwin and continued a strong push through to first post corner by which point they were within half a length. It was a shame that after such a strong, clean first minute that Pembroke’s technique then began to sag which allowed Darwin to hold at 10ft. Pembroke continued to push hard though and eventually Darwin gave way allowing Pembroke to overlap them coming into grassy corner. After a considerable period of overlap, even when it appeared Pembroke’s bow was about to mount Darwin, concession was finally given a little way into Plough reach.

Adrain Potter
Thursday
Rowed Over

Like yesterday, Pembroke led with a very strong start and quickly took distance out of Peterhouse. By first post corner, they had closed to within half a length. It was disappointing that once again Pembroke’s technique began to slip and unlike Darwin, Peterhouse were able to persevere. By the long reach Peterhouse had extended their lead back to station and continued to push away slowly until the finish. Darwin regained some ground they lost at the start of the race but never made any significant gains.

Adrian Potter
Friday
Rowed Over

Saturday
Rowed Over

3rd Men

9th in division 4
Wednesday
Bumped by Caius III

Thursday
Rowed Over

Friday
Bumped Tit Hall III

Saturday
Bumped Clare III

3rd Women

10th in division 3
Wednesday
Bumped ARU II

Pembroke’s Champagne boat looked absolutely stunning on the first day of bumps. A combination of psychedelic zebra print leggings with hand decorated t-shirts and visors is certainly what every boat should aspire to. After many envious comments and a few odd looks on the row down we were ready to race.

We went off the start with a bang, giving it everything we had. This was unfortunate for ARU II as their cox had steered them straight into the bank. We really hit them with a fair bit of force during the lengthens. Thankfully none of them were injured and once we untangled ourselves we were able to celebrate, arguably, one of the quickest bumps in the history of PCBC.

All the crew look forward to a more challenging row tomorrow.

Catrin Petty
Thursday
Bumped Darwin II

Day two and the Champagne boat was once again decked out in all their finery. And not only that but their bank party, in an impressive display of solidarity, were also dressed to impress. The boat was expecting a harder row than the day and we weren’t disappointed. As our cox put it so fittingly, “Wow, we had to row a power 10 and everything!”

The boat is looking forward to an exciting race tomorrow.

Catrin Petty
Friday
Bumped Selwyn II

Saturday
Bumped Jesus III

4th Men

14th in division 5
Wednesday
Bumped by Homerton II

Thursday
Bumped by Jesus V

Friday
Bumped by Sidney Sussex III

Saturday
Bumped by Kings III

5th Men

2nd in division 6
Wednesday
Bumped ARU III

Powering off the start, we rapidly gained on ARU and within a few minutes we had three whistles, and definitely no threat from the Girton crew behind us. In order to please the massive crowds that had gathered on the bank this Wednesday lunchtime, we maintained this position (deliberately obviously) for quite some time, leaving the helpless ARU crew to try and struggle away. We soon tired of this facade and upped the power once more, giving a good bump on Plough Reach.

Alan Day
Thursday
Rowed Over

Today was looking to be a tough row. With only 2 boats in front of us, it was likely we would have to row over, something which did not faze us as this was what all the hard training was for. This was confirmed as Downing IV bumped out Queens’ IV in about a minute, leaving the river open for us to enjoy a leisurely row upstream.

Coming onto the Reach with around 4 boat lengths on ARU, we dropped the rating to refresh our strength should we need it. Still pushing them away (despite their coach’s encouragement ‘They’re rating lower than you!’) we saw them defeated by Hughes Hall II under the Railway Bridge, leaving us the only boat left still in the race as we cruised over the finish line

Alan Day
Friday
Bumped Queens’ IV

This was looking to be an easy bump to make up for the long row yesterday. Gaining one whistle off the start, we continued to gain on them as the double-overbumping Hughes Hall crew slowed down behind us were pushed back into keeping station by our speed. Having three whistles and then overlap as we came into Grassy, a nice line by Tim secured the bump (or in fact, several bumps).

Alan Day
Saturday
Rowed Over