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Michaelmas 2013 and Fairbairns

Michaelmas 2013 and the Fairbairn Cup

Overview – by Scott Warden (Overall Captain)

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

Scott Warden

Overall Captain, PCBC

M1 – by Archie Wood (Men’s Captain)

M1 Fairbairns

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 – by Catherine Vincent (Women’s Vice Captain)

W1 Fairbairns

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!

M2 – by Tommy Hoier (Men’s Vice Captain)

M2 Fairbairns

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!).

Novice Men – by Gregory Drott (Men’s Lower Boat’s Captain)

NM1 Fairbairns

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.

NM2 Fairbairns

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!

May Bumps 2013 – Reports

Pembroke College Boat Club

proudly sponsored by:

May Bumps 2013

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

Men’s Crews Women’s Crews
M1 -1 -1 +1 +1 0
M2 -1 -1 0 -1 -3
W1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -4
W2 -1 0 0 +1 0
W3 0 -4 -1 -1 -6


Race photos and videos: Spanner Spotter (slow-motion footage).
Many of the YouTube links below are courtesy of this messageboard thread: link.
Other results services: CUCBC and FaT

Pembroke’s Race Reports


Wednesday: 8th in Division 1 – Bumped by Queens’

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

Thursday: 9th in Division 1 – Bumped by Clare

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

Friday: 8th in Division 1 – Bumped Clare

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

Saturday: 7th in Division 1 – Bumped Queens’

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


Wednesday: 5th in Division 1 – Bumped By Clare

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

Thursday: 6th in Division 1 – Bumped by Emmanuel

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

Friday: 7th in Division 1 – Bumped by Caius

Saturday:8th in Division 1 – Bumped by First and Third


Wednesday: 13th in Division 2 – Bumped by Christ’s II

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

Thursday: 14th in Division 2 – Bumped by Queens’ II

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

Friday: 14th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

Saturday:15th in Division 2 – Bumped by Hughes Hall


Wednesday: 6th in Division 2 – Bumped by Fitzwilliam

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

Thursday: 6th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

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

Friday: 6th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

Saturday: 5th in Division 2 – Bumped Sidney Sussex


Wednesday: 6th in Division 3 – Rowed Over

Thursday: 10th in Division 3- 1.5 Overbumped by Magdalene II

Friday: 11th in Division 3 – Bumped by Murray Edwards II

Saturday: 12th in Division 3 – Bumped by Emmanuel III

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.

PCBC Henley Qualifiers 2012

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:
Rowing Photography photograph: link

May Bumps 2012 – Reports

Pembroke College Boat Club

proudly sponsored by:

May Bumps 2012 – Results

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

Men’s Crews Women’s Crews
M1 -2
M2 +1
M3 -1
M4 -3
W1 -2
W2 -2
W3 +3
W4 -2

Race photos and videos: Spanner Spotter (slow-motion footage).
Many of the YouTube links below are courtesy of this messageboard thread: link.
Other results services: CUCBC and FaT

Pembroke’s Race Reports


Wednesday: 6th in Division 1 – Bumped by Jesus

M1 division video – (courtesy of ‘Yaffeth’, viewable in HD)

Thursday:7th in Division 1 – Bumped by LMBC

M1 division video (plough reach) – (courtesy of Caius supporter, viewable in HD)

Friday: 7th in Division 1 – Rowed Over

M1 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Saturday: 7th in Division 1 – Rowed Over

M1 division video – (courtesy of mascot2001, viewable in HD)
M1 division video (top few crews, railway bridge) – (courtesy of Caius supporter, viewable in HD)


Wednesday: 2nd in Division 1 – Rowed Over

W1 division video – (courtesy of ‘Yaffeth’, viewable in HD)

Thursday: 3rd in Division 1 – Bumped by Newnham

W1 division video (partial) – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Friday: 4th in Division 1 – Bumped by Jesus

W1 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Saturday: 4th in Division 1 – Rowed Over

W1 division video – (courtesy of mascot2001, viewable in HD)


Wednesday: 12th in Division 2 – Bumped Wolfson

Another M2 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

After two weeks of outings with lots of subs due to exams, M2 were pleasantly surprised by the balanced boat we had on the row up to the start. We saw a very nice paddle up with some cool, collected and (more importantly) quick starts leaving us well buoyed up for chasing Wolfson M1.

We started from lucky station 13, with an excellent push out from Kev giving us a straight line across the corner and down First Post Reach. The start was good, and we settled into a nice rhythm despite the choppy water. We were aiming for the long bump on Wolfson, and saw our first whistle by the second half of First Post Reach. The boys held it together really well through the gut and round Grassy, despite my line being far from as tight as I’d’ve liked! By the time we finished our push out of Grassy, we had our second whistle, and whilst our rowing was perhaps not as neat as it could have been, we slowly gained ground coming down Plough Reach.

We knew that, as a crew, our stamina and ability to build up the power along the Reach would stand us in good stead for the next section of the course, and we came into Ditton ready to really start building up that momentum. However, coming round Ditton we seemed to suddenly eat up the distance between us and Wolfson and before we were halfway through our first push Kev’s bell of doom was tolling for overlap. That was all the encouragement the boys needed, and we had the bump before we were fifteen strokes out onto the Reach.

With a lot of row overs in the crews ahead, we can only be hopeful for the rest of the week’s racing – but a great result today, M2, very proud of you. Bring on Sidney Sussex tomorrow!

Victoria Lindsay, M2 Cox

Thursday: 12th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

M2 division video – (courtesy of ‘Yaffeth’, viewable in HD)

Today saw conditions very different to Wednesday: the water was very rough, and we had a lovely head wind during our row up to the start. However, the lads had what was termed ‘a bit of a show-off’ with their very neat paddle up to the start, trying our best to psych out some of the crews ahead.

Our start sequence was good, but with a determined Wolfson out for revenge after yesterday’s bump, the boys were feeling the pressure and the rate stayed a little high off the start. With the advantage of cutting the corner from their station, Wolfson got a whistle off the start, but we knew they would be no match for us in the long run – and we soon left them behind. However, the slightly rushed start didn’t set us up quite as well for the middle portion of the course as the previous day, and with our rate dropping off through the last part of First Post Reach and through the Gut, we only managed to hold station with Sidney Sussex ahead.

A much better line round Grassy than yesterday set us up for a better push out of Grassy than the one through the Gut. Whilst the rating was still a little low, we were holding our finishes out much better and had a much neater row down Plough Reach. However, coming up towards Ditton we suddenly seemed to perk up, and both the rate and power came back up for a lovely, well-sat Ditton.

Our monster push out of Ditton backed up this change, and suddenly saw us gaining ground on Sidney Sussex. With a low power build coming down the second half of the Reach, and our signature last-minute build for the finish line saw us get two whistles on Sidney crossing the line – a gain of a length over the course of the Reach. So, it looks promising for tomorrow – we’ve shown we are faster than them, we just need to eke out another half a length! Tomorrow, Sidney, we are coming for you.

Victoria Lindsay, M2 Cox

Friday: 12th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

M2 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

The wind had picked up again today for the M2 division – but this time in the opposite direction, giving us a terrible headwind to contend with (17mph winds with gusts to 33mph, according to the Met Office). M2, however, were very prepared, and were looking upon the wind as an advantage to us compared to the crews around us – we knew we could handle it!

Our start was not bad, especially considering the headwind, and despite worries that Wolfson might try to go hard off the start after us today, there was no sign of them ever getting within station. We settled into a much better rhythm than on previous days, and kept moving strongly into the wind, staying on station with Sidney. We kept the nice rhythm round into the Gut, where unfortunately we had to steer to avoid bumped crews who were being blown across the river (naming no names, FaT), resulting in a bit of imbalance and a loss of speed through the Gut. However, the boys picked it up heroically round Grassy and a good push into Plough Reach, and we managed to hold station with Sidney.

We knew that we were going to face a massive headwind again on the Reach, so we prepared with a good push into Ditton, really setting us up for our characteristic ‘impressive Reach push’ (so termed by Wolfson rowers post-race). Despite the horrible headwind, the boys gave a really amazing performance on the Reach, bringing the boat speed up and really eating up the distance between us and Sidney Sussex. Our final push from the houses was especially good, and despite the wind we finished within half a length of Sidney, again – and they looked really rattled as we gained so massively after the railway bridge, leaving Wolfson some four lengths in our wake. So tomorrow, with a strong Christ’s II crew behind Wolfson hopefully knocking out the crews behind, and an even bigger headwind forecast which is all in our favour, there really is all to play for, boys…

Victoria Lindsay, M2 Cox

Saturday:12th in Division 2 – Rowed Over

M2 division video – (courtesy of mascot2001, viewable in HD)


Wednesday: 3rd in Division 2 – Rowed Over

W2 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Thursday: 3rd in Division 2 – Rowed Over

W2 division video (partial) – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Friday: 4th in Division 2 – Bumped by Murray Edwards

W2 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Saturday: 5th in Division 2 – Bumped by Sidney Sussex

W2 division video – (courtesy of mascot2001, viewable in HD)


Wednesday: 3rd in Division 4 – Rowed Over

M4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Haiku are cool, right?

Up for a long race
Queens bump out, we soldier on

Bloody row-over.

Harry Baker, M3 7-seat

Thursday: 3rd in Division 4 – Rowed Over

M4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Friday: 3rd in Division 4 – Rowed Over

M4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

After two days of rowing over (including an epic row over on Thursday with Clare Hall M1 chasing us all the way and having overlap at some point) we wanted a bump on Friday. We knew that we had gained up on Cauis M3 on Thursday and were hoping to get them this time.

The start was good and we managed to fend off Clare Hall M1, which actually crashed into the bank and were bumped by Downing M3. However, due to an expected head wind that almost made us stop dead in our tracks around Ditton corner, we were not able to catch up on Cauis M3 who eventually bumped Kings M2. This again left us with a bitter taste in our mouth as everyone around us had bumped out and we were in for a row over again – third time in a row! If this happens tomorrow again we should get spades for 4 row overs (somewhere there between spoons and blades – a consolation prize for our stamina!).

Nikola Novcic, M3 6-seat

Saturday: 3rd in Division 4 – Technical Bump by Downing IIII

As I’m sure you’re aware, the problems in your division were caused by Kings and Caius bumping in the gut and not clearly as effectively as we would have liked. As this happened at the head of the division, everything behind backed up and was stopped. Pete Convey, one of the DCUs, collated evidence from the SU and JU teams immediately afterwards, and I joined him halfway through this process. The available evidence from the umpires was that crews 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 were sufficiently close (i.e. 4 had caught up on 3 and 6 on 5) that a bump was likely and so a technical bump was awarded by the DCU. I reviewed the umpires information and Pete’s decisions and confirmed them.

May Bumps Chief Umpire




Wednesday: 10th in Division 3 – Rowed Over

W3 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

An optimistic crew turned up to race today after some very positive outings building up to Bumps. With things running late, the rowers did well to keep their focus during the marshalling and row down to the start. Starting from the difficult Station 10, Kevin made an excellent push out that positioned the boat well for First Post Reach.

Our starts have been fast, and today was no different; we sat comfortably on station with the Selwyn crew ahead who themselves were closing fast on Magdalene. The Selwyn-Magdalene bump came early on, and both crews were still in the middle of the river as we were approaching at speed! The call came from the bank to hold it up which we did briefly before the river cleared and we picked it back up with a second race start. Now our sights turned to Girton who were just disappearing around First Post Corner…

We had a couple of nice pushes out of the corner and through the Gut, so everything was going well until mid-way around Grassy Corner when Catherine’s blade came out of the gate. She managed to keep her head and secure the blade again saving us from an epic, Oxford-style 7 person row over!!! Disaster avoided and with the pressure from Catz behind minimal, the attention turned to reeling in Girton who this time were disappearing around Ditton Corner.

I was really proud of the crew’s determination and how they responded to several pushes down the Long Reach. By the finish line we had closed the c.5 length gap to a length and a half. It was a brilliant start to what will hopefully be a successful week.

Verity Bennett, W3 Cox

Thursday: 9th in Division 3 – Bumped Magdalene II

W3 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

(Click to enlarge)

Friday: 8th in Division 3 – Bumped Girton II

(Click to enlarge)

W3 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Saturday: 7th in Division 3 – Bumped Selwyn II

(Click to enlarge)

W3 division video – (courtesy of mascot2001, viewable in HD)


Wednesday: 7th in Division 5 – Bumped by Hughes Hall II

M5 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

M4 had a terrific start and showed that despite their comparative lack of experience they definitely belong in their division. M4 closed in on Sidney II off the start and looked to be the faster crew, but were unfortunately bumped by Hughes Hall II before the opportunity to prove this. In all, they had an excellent row and Hughes Hall were simply the faster crew, but all 8 rowed brilliantly and we have high hopes for the remaining days of Bumps.

Chris Slade, M4 Cox

Thursday: 8th in Division 5 – Bumped by First & Third IV

M4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

M4 had an unfortunate start that gave FaT a good gain on them from the offset. This culminate in a rush in the boat which FaT were able to take advantage of to secure a bump before the gut.

Chris Slade, M4 Cox

Friday: 8th in Division 5 – Rowed Over

M5 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

M4 pulled clear of Robinson with a strong start and made a move to gain on Trinity through the gut. Robinson were bumped out leaving no threat from behind and despite an initially strong catch on Trinity, they were able to pull away and bump Sidney. This left the river clear for M4 to have a strong but relaxed row over, leaving us chasing Sidney and being chased by Kings on the final day of bumps. It looks to very much be a matter of who can bump first on Saturday.

Chris Slade, M4 Cox

Saturday: 9th in Division 5 – Bumped by Kings III

M4 put in a sterling effort to pull away from King’s who had thus far bumped every day and were looking strong. They managed to close the gap on Sidney II in what could have been a convincing bump, but sadly were caught by King’s just round First Post Corner in what could have very nearly been a very damaging bump to the Bill Hutton. Despite not making the bump any day, M4 showed real aptitude considering their minimal training and should be proud of the effort made each day.

Chris Slade, M4 Cox


Wednesday: 15th in Division 4 – Rowed Over

W4 division video – (courtesy of Fitzwilliam)

A re-run of our part of the division and a couple of bumps ahead of us on the first couple of corners left W4 with nothing on and a tough row over. Although chased by a Clare III boat who were given an occasional (purely motivational) whistle from their bank party, we easily matched their pushes and maintained a distance that never put us under any pressure despite our stroke’s feet coming out down the long reach. Really solid row. Selwyn III look catch-able tomorrow and we know Clare can’t get us. Game on.

Benedict ‘Bendy’ Collins-Rice, W4 Cox

Thursday: 15th in Division 4 – Rowed Over

W4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)
W4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Another long row over for W4 today. Clare III being bumped behind us took the pressure off at the start of the race and made for a promising start. Although the rowing got a little scrappier as the race developed we pretty much held station with the Selwyn III crew in front – pushing them to a length gap at one point. Unfortunately King’s II deciding to sit and straddle grassy corner forced a line – effected with the type of power slide only possible with the brown boat’s rudder – which left us with a lot of work to do to recover the distance and despite positive pushes down both reaches, we were never in a position to threaten. The Selwyn Bump is still on tomorrow.

Benedict ‘Bendy’ Collins-Rice, W4 Cox

Friday: 16th in Division 4 – Bumped by Murray Edwards III

W4 division video – (courtesy of Girton, viewable in HD)

Before we could capitalise on our early gain on Selwyn III, W4 got bumped hard and fast by a quick Murray Edwards III crew set to get blades tomorrow. We will have to work hard tomorrow to fight off The Blondes In Red who are also set for blades. The overbump is potentially on though if we can hold them off.

Benedict ‘Bendy’ Collins-Rice, W4 Cox

Saturday: 17th in Division 4 – Bumped by Lady Margaret III


Olympic Medallist Coaches Pembroke Ladies

“Above all, be positive” – this was the message from Olympic silver-medallist and PCBC Alumna Cath Bishop at tea with the Pembroke W1 this weekend.

It’s a huge boost to be able to welcome one of the PCBC Olympians to the river for a guest coaching spot. Alongside Cath, who won silver in the women’s pair at Athens 2004, the Club is also proud to count Kieron West (Gold, men’s 8+, Sydney 2000) as a former PCBC rower. Both have returned to coach the Pembroke women in their recent Mays campaigns.

The outing on Sunday was productive and high-spirited, proving to the girls that they’re capable of the speed and composure that will be needed throughout the four days of the Bumps. Working alongside Steve Fuller, Head Coach for W1 this term, Cath focussed on developing conviction in the ladies’ rowing – adjusting power application through the stroke to maximise acceleration and boatspeed.

The crew returned to College with Cath for post-outing tea, and were treated to stories of Olympic training in far-flung locations across Europe – some more memorable than others, as Cath reflected “In my experience, Belgium smells like poo!”

The lasting memory of the afternoon will be that of confidence and optimism. To aspire to the best, a crew should believe in themselves and their abilities absolutely. On Cath’s reflection, this crew certainly has much to be positive about.