Michaelmas Newsletter 2021

Published by El Stiles on

Winter Newsletter 2021

Words from the Overall Captain

It has been a very busy Michaelmas for the boat club, but the committee were up to the challenge. Our membership numbers are now at an all time high, boasting over 100 active members. It has been great to see so many people be a part of the sport we all love, and this shows that there is a bright future ahead for PCBC.

There is a lot to look forward to. The spectacular performance of W1 shows great potential for the next term, and I am sure they will capitalise on the gains made in the fours this term and have one of, if not the fastest eight on the river. M1 aims to take Lent’s headship after falling short in 2020. Headship in Lents has escaped the club for the past 30 years, and the crew aims to break this curse. All crews are really excited for the return of bumps racing, something that many current members have not yet had the chance to experience. With the depth that the club boasted this term, I’m hoping to have more boats compete at Lent Bumps than ever before for PCBC. It has been an absolute joy to return to the river this term. Row on PCBC.

Men’s Side

M1 has had a strong Michaelmas. With the absence of a number of May’s colours from the boat this term due to injury, we knew that we would have a great opportunity to create a strong squad of athletes. From our starting point on our Somerset training camp in September through to December, we have charted a course of steep progress, the culmination of which was placing as the 5th M1 at Fairbairn’s. With some focused training over Christmas and older faces returning to mix with the new, I’m confident that we are well set up to take the long-elusive Lent’s headship.

This term, M2 has been focusing on building up base fitness levels across the squad in order to reach the competitive position we want to be in next term. M2 has worked well to overcome the challenges they faced this term, and has succeeded in building a cohesive crew; placing 8th out of 21 at Winter Head, and then finishing a respectable 11th in the M2 division at Fairbairn’s. I am certain that the strong work and improvements that have been made this term will yield successful results in Lent races.

Quite excitingly, we have also had a senior M3 this Michaelmas. M3 has made significant progress this term, with many of the crew transitioning from novices last year, and stepping up to become senior rowers. Despite a troubled term with many crew changes and substitutes, and aided by some of the best novices, M3 have managed to remain competitive, finishing 3rd out of M3s in both Winter Head and Fairbairn’s. I look forward to continuing to see their development next term.

Women’s Side

 W1 has had a very successful Michaelmas and history has been made! We started the season with a training camp at Wimbleball Lake in Somerset which prepared everyone well for the term and the squad became a lot closer; this was really fantastic given Covid had made squad bonding difficult over the last 18 months. Our first race of term was Autumn Head in which we came 2nd. We then split into two 4+s for University IVs. Pembroke absolutely dominated winning both the first and second division! This is the first time Pembroke has won! We then raced in Winter Head in which we came 4th out of 26 in the 8+ and we won in the 4+. At the end of term we raced in the Fairbairn Cup in the 8+ and 4+. Unfortunately, we faced a lot of injuries towards the end of term and the 8+ was not as successful as it had been in previous races, coming 11th out of 25. However, the 4+ maintained its winning streak and came first! I hope we’ll keep up this success next term in the run up to bumps. 

W2 has had a very solid term despite unpredictable changes! Starting off with the training camp in September, we had a head start in training and a wonderful opportunity to build strong relationships across the women’s side. Team bonding has definitely translated to quicker times and more enjoyable outings. Although we had multiple crew reshufflings due to drop-outs, injuries and illnesses, W2 has successfully pushed through the challenges and supported one another. For our first race, we came 4th in the Autumn Head 8+ women’s college second division. In Winter Head, we had an impressive race and came 3rd out of 20. In the Fairbairn Cup at the end of term, we came 4th out of 13, despite further changes to crews. With continued training and recovery, I have no doubt that W2 will reach new heights in Lents! 

It has been really exciting to have a senior W3 boat in Michaelmas. Overall, there has been a lot of enthusiasm from the boat and excellent progress across the term. Members of W3 have played a vital role in subbing into W2 when injury and illness affected the higher boats. This has also meant that some Novice rowers stepped up to the challenge of rowing in senior boats (after only a few novice sessions!). Despite unpredictable changes to the crew, W3 performed very well in Fairbairn’s – Pembroke was one of only two W3s entered into the race, attesting to the large membership of PCBC and the enthusiasm of all the rowers. W3 finished ahead of the other W3 boat. My hope for W3 in Lent term is to channel their dedication into improving our strong position in competition with the other W3s on the river.

PCBC Coxes

It’s been a great term for coxing at PCBC! Our senior coxes were kept busy at the start of term with their own boats as well as taking out novice rowers on their first outings. Senior coxes are always vital to the training process, and they all worked really hard this year! Nine novice coxes have joined us and are learning quickly, some of them taking on the challenge of a senior boat. We are all looking forward to pre-Lent training next month and hope to develop our skills further, preparing for bumps as well as some exciting races on the tideway.


Michaelmas Novices

Women’s Side

The women’s novices have had a very strong term, with a lot of great improvement and enthusiasm throughout! Starting the term with Q-ERGS, NW1 continued to place competitively in Emma Sprints and Fairbairns. NW2 have also had a fantastic term improving their skill and technique, ending with a great race in Fairbairns. We have even had a few novices subbing into senior boats (W3 and W2) where they kept up fantastically with the harder practises and races. We look forward to Lent term and seeing how they all develop further!

Men’s Side

This Michaelmas we welcomed 22 novices to the Men’s side of PCBC, after a few crabs here and there NM1 and NM2 have proven themselves to be a strong force to be reckoned with. We started the term with Q-ERGS where members of NM1 put in an excellent shift. Despite the cancellation of Clare Novice Race, our novices have demonstrated commitment to mastering their skill and improving race technique. This materialised in Fairbairns where both NM1 and NM2 secured impressive spots on the results table. I have no doubt that our novices will prove impressive seniors in lent term.

Pembroke Trialists

For the 2021-2022 season Amy Richardson has been trialing with CUBC, coxing crews across the womens squad. After a successful 4s head, trial 8s was unfortunately postponed due to covid related circumstances. Racing is due to take place in January alongside a training camp on the tideway and a full calendar of fixtures. This is Amy’s first year trailing with CUBC having learnt to cox at Pembroke as a fresher in Michaelmas 2019.

Thoughts from the Head Coach

It was great to see everyone back on the Cam once again. We had a great camp at Wimbleball to start the term, thanks to all of the hard work of Molly, Hamish and Bence. It was great to see so many athletes on the camp and I thought that really helped to bring the club together as many of the rowers at the club had only been rowing for a couple of terms. We had a mixture of results this term but I believe the hard work the students have been doing this term will be shown with some strong results in the Lent Bumps. The main highlight of the term has been W1A and B winning the university fours along with a win in the Fairbairns Cup in the women’s four as well which is the first time we have done this in Pembroke history. I am very excited to see some bumping races next term as the majority of the students have not experienced their first bumps yet. It would be great to have as many alumni coaches help out next term. We look to have around 8/9 crews next term and it would be great for them to pass on their experience to the current students. 

Lent Term Diary Dates

For anyone who lives in Cambridge or fancies making the trek on a weekend, we would love to have the support of PCBC members past and present on the bank at our upcoming races if the COVID-19 rules and regulations allow! The following dates are provisional and will change according to the pandemic situation.

January 6th-18th – Pre-Term Cambridge Training Camp

January 25th – Cambridge Head to Head

February 19th – Pembroke Regatta

February 25th – Lent Bumps Getting on Race(To be confirmed by CUCBC)

March 1st – 5th – Lent Bumps (To be confirmed by CUCBC)

March 12th – WEHoRR (London)

March 20th – HoRR (London)

April 3rd – The Boat Race (London)

Thank you again to our sponsors, King and Spalding, for their continued support. They have allowed us to continue investing in high quality coaching and equipment, as well as injury prevention and recovery for all of our athletes.

Pembroke Regatta 2022

Planning for the Pembroke Regatta 2022 is now underway, with it taking place on Saturday, 19th February 2022.

If you would like to take part, please get in contact at regattasec@pembrokecollegeboatclub.com.

We hope that many of you will be able to join us at Regatta Dinner, which will take place on the same night. Details about booking your place for this will come in due course.

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 Tom Sharp, 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