Easter Newsletter 2022

Published by El Stiles on

Hello, and welcome to PCBC’s Summer Newsletter! 

Senior Boats

Words from the Overall Captain

May Bumps hadn’t happened since 2019, and as such only a few members of the club had experienced the amazing atmosphere that the spectators on the bank provide to the event. All the boats felt the gravity of this, so aimed to put on a strong show to be proud of for years to come. This feeling came amplified to the first boats, where, for many, this would be their final row down the course. On a personal side, I had some wrongs to right. After the disastrous May Bumps campaign for M1 in 2019, I had high ambitions to correct this and put the boat back in range of headship. The women’s side on the other hand, were aiming to capitalise on recent results in last Lent Bumps, and for W1, draw from the legacy of earning blades in 2019.

I am massively impressed with the commitment of everyone in the club, especially with W3 for earning their blades, and keeping the streak of a Pembroke crew blading in May Bumps since 2014. The greatest congratulations go to the first boats. Finishing 4th on the river, after a combined +5 campaign, is the best result since 2010, ensuring our place amongst the fastest colleges on the Cam. It was also great to see so many alumni show up on Saturday to support crews at the marquee, and also hear that even people who weren’t able to make it down were following the results closely, as I heard from many people I ran into at Henley.

I would like to take this final opportunity to thank our captains this year for their relentless work, as well as wish next year’s captains the best of luck. Row on PCBC!

Men’s Side

M1 had a superb term off the Cam. Notably we raced at BUCS regatta in a coxed four, placing in the top 20 in a competitive entry of 60 university crews; we reached the colleges final at Bedford Regatta and narrowly missed out on qualification at Henley in a very full draw.  On the Cam we raced at Nines’ Spring Regatta, winning the plate competition after losing by a canvas to Caius, the headship crew. In Bumps we reversed the 2019 slide by bumping Emmanuel and Downing on the first two days. Although we got to within half a length of Magdalene on the Saturday, cheered on by a wall of noise around Ditton from the Pembroke marquee. We were proud to cap off a fantastic season together 4th on the river, setting us up next year for a headship bid!

M2: M2 made the most of racing this term, managing to squeeze in racing at City Head to Head, the Radegund Mile, and Nines Regatta in between exams, as well as working hard on technical improvements in the run-up to May Bumps. Despite everyone’s excitement at the return of Bumps, the racing did not quite go as planned, with M2 suffering as a result of the strength of Pembroke M2s of the past, as their successes meant that M2 started off in the high position of 9th in the second division, and as the 3rd highest M2. This unfortunately resulted in M2 going on to spoon, as they were bumped in a series of gritty races by St Edmunds M1, Corpus Christi M1, Sidney Sussex M1 and Emmanuel M2 on days 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. However, the crew kept up their spirits throughout the week, and are looking forward to more rowing in the year ahead.

M2 rowing up to marshalling             A crew photo after the last day of Bumps

M3: Following some promising results during term, M3 were excited for what was to be all of the crew’s first May Bumps. Unfortunately, on day one the chasing crew was a very strong Hughes Hall M2, who quickly got the better of M3 before they could really get into their stride. Day 2 began with M3 as sandwich boat in front of Caius M3. M3 held station until the plough, where Caius began making up ground and bumped us coming into the reach spinning zone. Day 3 was a similar story, with FaT M3 the chasing crew this time. Determined to avoid spoons, M3 went into Saturday being chased by Corpus M2. Aware that Corpus themselves were being chased by a fast Kings M2, the boys knew they had to give it their all to hold off Corpus long enough to allow Kings to Bump them. Some gritty and determined rowing followed, and whilst Corpus came within a canvas by Ditton, M3 were able to hold on long enough for Kings to bump corpus and relieve the pressure. A strong row over followed, avoiding spoons and finishing the week on -3. This was maybe not the result M3 were hoping for following 6 sets of consecutive blades, but the crew should be nonetheless proud of themselves, with lots of potential for higher boats next year.

M3 avoiding their spoons, chased by Corpus M2

M4 have had a great term of Easter rowing in the sunshine. There was a significant increase in numbers due to some very successful recruitment of both new novices and some former rowers coming back to enjoy the summer sunshine. The crew spirit was very high and outings were very enjoyable, with no small thanks to the glorious weather we had all term. We raced the getting on race but were unfortunately unable to get on to May Bumps, however, this is more than made up for by the participation in club socials and the passion and enthusiasm brought to the bank during bumps week. We are looking forward to the next academic year where we are keen to get back on the river rowing some more.

Women’s Side

W1 had a fantastic term to round off a very successful year. At the beginning of May, we raced at Bedford Regatta, reaching the finals in both categories we entered. Due to a disrupted few weeks after that, we did not race again until Bumps. Despite this, we had a very successful Bumps campaign, made even more impressive by the fact that for all but one crew member, this was their first ever May Bumps. On days 1, 2 and 3 we bumped Downing, LMBC and Jesus respectively between the Plough and Ditton corner before rowing over on day 4 behind Emmanuel. Going up 3 from 7th to 4th is a huge result and we are very proud!

W2 has had a wonderful term, participating in Radegund Mile, Champ Eights and Nines Regatta before May Bumps. We won the plate final for College Women’s II at Nines Regatta, beating Wolfson W1 and Corpus W1 easily. In everyone’s first ever May Bumps, we had four valiant races, rowing over in the first three days and bumping on the last day. In the first three days we rowed over behind Caius W2 and Corpus W1, with a technical row-over on the third day due to failure to clear from earlier crews. On the last day, we bumped Downing W2 quickly before first post corner, and celebrated our sweet victory with many supporters cheering along the bank. This was the last Bumps campaign for many members of the boat, and we thoroughly enjoyed our last term rowing together. The rest are looking forward to being back on the river in Michaelmas! 

The crew at front stops, with blades all squared and about to take the catch. (Left)

Crew photo outside the boat bay with our coach Will Schofield after the third day of bumps, W2 is carrying our cox Rhys and the blades are crossed in front of the doors. (Right)


W3 have had a phenomenally successful term. Early on, they easily achieved victory in the Nines Regatta, beating Jesus W3, LMBC W3, and Caius W4. Their success continued, as they went on to blade in May Bumps, with some of the crew members winning blades for their second bumps in a row. W3 bumped Jesus W3, Murray Edwards W2, and Homerton W2 on days 1 to 3, before bringing their bumps campaign to a nail-biting conclusion (as listeners on CamFM can confirm) by catching Newnham W3 by the Plough pub. The crew is rightfully proud of their achievements this term, particularly overjoyed at taking a strong stand against many second boats from other colleges. Going into the next academic year, they promise to be a testament to the Women’s side. 

Image 1: a very happy W3 with the PCBC flag, after bumping their way to blades

Image 2: W3’s bump on Newnham W3

Image: W4 racing the getting-on-race.

W4 had a great term, enjoying rowing in the beautiful sunshine, a change from Lent term! We were able to recruit a handful of novices into W4 this term as well as welcoming back some returning PCBC members. W4 raced the getting-on-race, but unfortunately were not able to get onto May Bumps. Nevertheless, they enjoyed supporting the rest of the club during Bumps week, and are looking forward to rowing next year.

Thoughts from the Head Coach

It was wonderful to finally see May Bumps after the last couple of years. I was impressed with how our first boats stepped up to the pressure and executed what I had seen in training throughout the term. I think we had a lot of people thinking that M1 would simply roll over to Peterhouse. Although we didn’t have any fourth boats get on this term, I am excited to see what the future holds. The second and third crews have shown some real potential to help the boat club move forward in this next season. I would like to say a massive thank you to all the coaches, from PCBC students to alumni. You have been a massive help and of course, if you are interested in helping next year, email me at headcoach@pembrokecollegeboatclub.com

Michaelmas Term Diary Dates

Late September: Michaelmas training camp (Location TBC)

15th Oct: Autumn Head

24-28th Oct: University IVs (TBC)

19th Nov: Head of River 4s (Tideway, London)

19th Nov: Winter Head

1st Dec: Novice Fairbairn Cup

2nd Dec: Senior Fairbairn Cup

3rd Dec: Christmas Head

Volunteering and Staying Connected

In order to maintain a lively relationship between PCBC and our alumni and alumnae, and to strengthen the community, we would like to morph the PCBC Association into a full-blown organisation in the form of a trust. If you are keen to get involved, please get in touch with the sponsorship and alumni representatives – particularly if you have any law work experience!

Alumni support is crucial when it comes to coaching of Pembroke crews – we can all think about the alums who sharpened our catches back in the day! If you would like to contribute to the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with the Head Coach Seb Matthews, Overall Captain Arden Berlinger, or the Sponsorship and Alumni Representatives. It would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by previous successes, especially in these challenging times! 

And, as always, follow our social media for the latest news!

Website: www.pembrokecollegeboatclub.com

IG: www.instagram.com/pcbccambridge

FB: www.facebook.com/PCBCCambridge

Twitter: twitter.com/pcbccambridge

Pembroke Regatta Twitter: twitter.com/pemregatta

We are especially pleased to have rolled out a new Facebook group for PCBC alumni in September 2019.  If you are not already connected, please visit us here to join in order to stay updated with the latest news and alumni rowing opportunities!

Row on PCBC!

Categories: Newsletters