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End of Michaelmas Newsletter 2018

Pembroke M1 got off to a flying start this term with an early win in the Rob Roy Autumn Head. This came as even more of a shock given that it was the third outing of the term.
M1 did almost as well at winter head, with a second place finish behind Downing M1. M2 got their term off to a great start, placing joint first in their division alongside Magdalene M2 in 8:47, an improvement of 4 places from last year. W1 also rowed well, placing 4th in a tight top half of the women’s division, up from 9th last year. They were all proud of the race, pushing hard and responding well to calls to catch a Worcester College, Oxford boat on the line.
With another 6 weeks before Fairbairns the senior squad had a good block of training to get stuck into. During this time, M1 started yoga to build up core strength and flexibility – many thanks to Howard Daly.

NW1 had their first taste of success during Clare Novice Regatta. Their first race against Trinity Hall NW1 started with an intimidating row to the start line, and was over almost instantly with a powerful start to the regatta, reaching the finish line before Trinity Hall passed the railway bridge. A similarly strong race against LMBC NW1 saw the Pembroke women into the semi-finals. The race against Clare NW1 was much closer, with both crews pushing to a seat ahead during the first half of the race. Unfortunately, the Pembroke women were not successful in reaching the finals but all enjoyed their first experience of racing on the Cam. Congratulations to NW1 on doing so well, and very promising for next term! All other crews reached the second rounds of their respective divisions and produced some impressive racing over the course of the day.

M1 put in a gutsy row to finish in a time of 14:55 resulting in the highest place a senior Pembroke VIII has finished in 10 years! It was a fantastic end to the term and shows real promise for the future especially since four of the crew have only been rowing for a year.
W1 really committed to giving it everything along the whole of the 4.3km of the Fairbairns course, which was reflected in the 7th place they achieved, only a few seconds off the boats ahead of them. The work they put in throughout the term has set up a really strong platform to keep building on in Lent, ready for Lent bumps.
M2 continued on from their success early in the term to finish as the fastest M2 of the day! A strong row from the crew saw them finish in 15:30, ahead of 9 M1 crews.

The novice squad went into the Fairbairn Cup bolstered by their successful races in Clare Novices. With bad weather on the race day, unfortunately the race course had to be shortened. However, all crews handled the changes to their race plan incredibly, and pushed harder as a result. NM1 came 15th out of the 1st Novice Mens boats, clocking a time of 7:30. NM2 managed to recover from a couple of crabs to record a promising 5th out of the Novice Second crew, reaching the P&E in 7:48 despite the conditions. NW1 recorded a promising 11th in 8:17, and NW2 came a strong 4th in their division in 8:40.

Thanks again to King and Spalding, our sponsors, 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.

The Year Ahead
We are gearing up for Pembroke Regatta 2019 which will be taking place on the 16th February. If you would like to take part, please get in contact at:

There are more details to come about booking your place at our Regatta Dinner, which will be happening on the same night.

If you would like to be involved in the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with any of our captains, it would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by our previous successes.

Follow our website and our Instagram for the latest news!

Start of Michaelmas Newsletter 2018

A great start to Michaelmas term
In the week before term started, rowers on both the men’s and women’s side took part in a training camp on the River Cam, making the most of the beautifully empty river. The camp proved to be an excellent chance for everyone to enjoy the sunshine and brush off all the cobwebs from summer. The men’s side training was done in IVs under the fantastic coaching of Alan Foster who ensured, despite the fact that most of the side hadn’t been in a boat for 3 months, they were rowing like a May’s crew. The women’s side showed rapid improvement throughout the week in both power and boat set, and also had fun training some of the senior rowers to cox, leaving all the rowers with a much greater appreciation for everything coxes do! Overall, training week was very successful and has set us up well for the beginning of term, which starts with senior crews racing in Autumn head.

Additionally, on the 6th October the PCBC committee and senior squad hosted the PCBC Barbeque at the Boathouse. This was an opportunity for those who had not rowed or coxed with the club before, both novices and otherwise, to meet members of the club and have a go at rowing with PCBC. Despite the inclement weather, we had an excellent turn out, with a large number of the new first years coming to see what being a member of PCBC is all about. We are looking forward to welcoming new members to the club in the coming weeks.

PCBC at Henley Royal Regatta 2018
As has become customary in recent years, M1 put together a crew with the aim of qualifying for Henley Royal Regatta. While the full bumps crew was not available, PCBC managed to form a composite with Clare, our neighbours on the Cam, who we had both bumped and been bumped by in the previous week. The crew successfully qualified for the Temple Challenge Cup: the first time since 2015 that a Pembroke crew had made the regatta proper, and only the second time since 1999.
For the first race, we were drawn against University of London ‘A’. Cheered on by Valencians past and present (many distinguishable by the red martlets on their blazers) the crew gave it everything they had, but unfortunately it was not enough, losing by 2 1/4 lengths. Despite the disappointment, M1 enjoyed the rest of the week, meeting members of PCBC crews from years gone by, including the winners of the Ladies’ Challenge Plate (Men’s Intermediate VIIIs) in 1964.
The crew wish to thank Andrew “Gripper” Watson, former Pembroke coach and current Clare boatman, who, in the space of just two weeks, moulded the crew into a unit who did PCBC proud at Henley. The crew list and link to race video are below.

Cox         John Hughes (PEM)
Stk          Stijn de Graaf (PEM)
7             Sam Ringer (PEM)
6             Gabriel Bliard (CLA)
5             Will Broadbelt (CLA)
4             Gregory Drott (PEM)
3             John Hudson (PEM)
2             Robert March (PEM)
Bow       Jonathan Vibhishanan (PEM)


Pembroke Triallists in the University Squad
Over the summer, there have been many achievements by Pembroke members with the university squads. Three Pembroke undergraduates, Emma Andrews (3rd Year), Jonty Page (3rd Year) and Rob Harris (2nd Year) qualified to participate in the European Universities Rowing Championship. Emma (3rd Year) received a bronze medal in the Women’s 4x and Jonty received a gold medal in the Mens 4-. The same M4- were also runners-up in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. Further afield, incoming graduate fresher Lily Lindsay was part of the USA W8+ which won bronze at the U23 World Rowing Championships.
Additionally, PCBC offers its belated congratulations to Emma Andrews and Jonathan Vibhishanan who have been elected as Vice-Presidents of CUWBC and CULRC respectively.

Dates for your Diaries
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!

13th October – Autumn Head
17th November – Winter Head
24th November – Clare Novices Regatta
29th-30th November – Fairbairn Cup

Finally, PCBC would like to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, King and Spalding. They provided us not only with the money to travel to and from Henley Royal Regatta, but have also allowed us to make investments in the future success of the club. Firstly, we have been able to acquire a wattbike to help with injury prevention and recovery, which is available for all members of the club to use. We have also put some money towards the purchase of a Women’s 1x, to promote the success of women’s rowing at Pembroke, especially within the university squads. Lastly, we have been able to increase our coaching budget in order to ensure that both rowers and coxes are getting the maximum benefit out of their sessions and are able to grow and progress as athletes in the club.

The Year Ahead
If you would like to be involved in the ongoing success of PCBC through coaching, please get in touch with any of our captains, or sponsorship and alumni, it would be fantastic to see our current crews inspired by our previous successes.

Follow our website and our Instagram for the latest news!

2018-19 Committee

Sir Richard Dearlove
Senior Treasurer:
Prof Charles Melville
Kevin Bowles Esq.
Captain of Boats:
John Hudson
Men’s Captain:
Calum McCain
Women’s Captain:
Jenny Hill
Men’s Vice Captain:
Oli Millington
Women’s Vice Captain:
Emily Fish
Men’s Lower Boats Captain:
Bence Kovács
Men’s Lower Boats Captain:
Daniel Harwood
Women’s Lower Boats Captain:
Evie Hair
Women’s Lower Boats Captain:
Petra Bachrati
Women’s Lower Boats Captain:
Sophie Buller
Coxing Captain:
Elizabeth Bedwell
Junior Treasurer:
Nat Elks
Jonathan Vibhishanan
Social Secretary:
Milly Parry
Regatta Secretary:
Richard Southern
Internet Secretary:
Rob March
Sponsorship and Alumni:
Sophie Young

May Bumps 2018 – Reports

Men’s Crews
Division Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
M1 +1 +0 +1 -1 +1
M2 +1 +1 +1 +0 +3
M3 +1 +1 +1 +1 +4
M4 -1 -1 -1 -1 -4
Women’s Crews
Division Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
W1 +1 +1 +0 +1 +3
W2 -1 -1 -1 +0 -3
W3 +1 +0 +1 +1 +3
W4 +1 +0 -1 +1 +1


M1 Wednesday. Bumped Caius M1

Pembroke M1 started hard and clean, quickly moving half a length on Caius and getting the first whistle before first post. We had a huge push down the plough reach and moved hard until we were a canvas away at Ditton. Narrowly missing the bump on the corner, we sealed the deal and bumped Caius as we straightened up on the reach.

Thursday. Row over.

Pembroke M1 started strong but slowly fell back to 3 lengths off Clare at The Plough. Not discouraged, we maintained focus and built a strong rhythm down The Long Reach steadily decreasing the gap until we were 1 length off after the Railway Bridge. From there we had an heroic last surge but unfortunately we could only close to a quarter of a length at the finish.

Friday. Bumped Clare M1.

Pembroke M1, learning from the previous days racing and with confidence it was possible to catch Clare, attacked the first 3 minutes of the course relentlessly. We gained our first whistle on Grassy Corner and secured the bump just past Ditton Corner after taking a tight line on the inside of Clare.

Saturday. Bumped by Clare M1.

Pembroke M1 fought hard in the first 3 minutes of the race to hunt down Maggie M1 for Head of the River. We held station to Grassy but Clare started to creep up from behind and they wanted revenge. We battled down the Plough Reach but Clare continued to close the gap and got overlap around Ditton Corner. With a last push, we nearly got away but Clare secured the bump and Maggie retained the Headship.
W1 Wednesday. Bumped Fitz W1

W1 got off to a rapid start, moving immediately on Fitz and gaining one whistle down first post reach. Queens (chasing) were quickly left behind, and the second whistle on Fitz came as W1 reached first post. They then became part of a four-boat sandwich with the 3 boats ahead coming into grassy – Churchill getting the bump on Peterhouse allowing W1 the chance to close down Fitz over the rest of the course. After a strong move round ditton they closed to 3 whistles at the top of the reach; Fitz did not give up and a chase down the reach kept on until Fitz were left with nowhere to go on the inside at the railway bridge, where a concerted move by Pembroke brought it to an end just before the bridge!

Thursday. Bumped Peterhouse W1.

Off to another strong start, W1 moved consistently on Peterhouse, with one whistle along first post reach and the second coming in around first post. With Fitz applying little pressure from behind, W1 maintained their pace to get the third whistle and bump Peterhouse coming round grassy!

Friday. Row over.

Saturday. Bumped Christ’s W1

M2 Wednesday. Bumped FAT M2.

Pembroke M2 had a very gutsy, yet slightly untidy row up to starting position. When the race began, out first three strokes were finished out but we soon hit quite choppy waters. Although the conditions weren’t ideal, we struck a very aggressive tone that meant that we soon made up ground on FAT M2 who had initially pulled away off the start. Though our rowing remained a little flustered coming down the First Post Reach, the whistles soon started to come from the bank. By the time we reached First Post Corner, we’d got our third whistle. At this point, we achieved an almighty burst that was of a standard we could proud of. Kev didn’t even have time to get his dinner bell out before FAT were caught. Lessons learned, M2 are ready to do yet more damage on day 2.

Thursday. Bumped Jesus M2.

M2’s row up to the start set the tone for a very professional race. When the gun sounded, M2 had a smooth, clean start that was a significant improvement on the first day’s effort. Although Jesus M2 had gone all in right from the start, gaining one whistle on Sidney Sussex M1 ahead of them, we anticipated this and trusted that our rhythm was much faster over the length of the course. With no threat from a somewhat lacklustre FAT M2 behind us (who were munched up by a hungry Darwin M1), we began to move on Jesus M2, hearing our first whistle just as we came into First Post Corner. From the first day, we suspected Jesus may start to crumble here and, sure enough, Sidney soon began to open up a bigger lead ahead of them. All that was left for us to do was to gradually close our own gap and give the crowds on Grassy Corner and the Plough a good show. Our third whistle came just before the Plough itself and the job was done as we came onto Ditton Corner. A passionate, textbook row. Bring on day 3

Friday. Bumped Downing M2.

Saturday. Row over.

W2 Wednesday. Bumped by Wolfson

A tough start to bumps for w2 with a last minute sub. A very strong start helped close down on selwyn W1 to two whistles by first post, however a very strong Wolfson W1 had also managed to close down leading to an exciting sandwich to grassy. Unfortunately just as W2 started to get overlap and look like they were going to take the win, Wolfson closed yet again taking the bump. A disappointing day, but w2 is ready to come back tomorrow to take their revenge on Wolfson!

Thursday. Bumped by Emmanuel W2

Friday. Bumped by Sidney W1

Saturday. Row over.

M3 Wednesday. Bumped St. Catherin’s M3

The crew got off to a great start, eating up the distance to St Catherine’s M3 who they bumped in 1 min 3 secs.

Thursday. Bumped ARU M1

Friday. Bumped Girton M2

M3 got off to another great race today. Perhaps not the cleanest of starts but with enough power to quickly close the gap on Girton M2, bumping them in under 40 strokes.

Saturday. Bumped Darwin M2

W3 Wednesday. Bumped Jesus W3

After a strong start, Pembroke III pushed up on Jesus III, and moved away from Kings II. Moving into first post reach, Pembroke were on half a length on Jesus but were unfortunately held up by some carnage ahead..After some discussion, the decision was made to rerow part of the division, leaving Pembroke chasing Jesus from the start with clear water behind. The tight line we took around grassy corner was the finishing blow to Jesus III who were caught on the plough reach, after a committed row from both crews.

Thursday. Row over.

W3 set off strong today behind Emma W3 – however they were interrupted as the division was (yet again??) made to re row. Treating that distraction as a practice start, W3 set off again – several swift bumps ahead unfortunately meant they were set for the rowover, but they rowed the course well, committing the whole way.

Friday.Bumped Christ’s W2

Saturday. Murray Edwards W2

M4 Wednesday. Bumped by Lady Margaret M4
Thursday. Bumped by Corpus M3
Today the Pemgibeers were striving for an overbump to put their campaign back on track. Alas the cuel wheels of fate blessed Corpus Christi and the Pemgibeers were bumped. Tomorrow we plan to follow in the footsteps of Magdalen college: quadruple overbumping to regain our fearsome and deserved reputation.

Friday. Bumped by Emmanuel M4

Saturday. Bumped by Jesus M5

W4 Wednesday. Bumped Darwin W3

W4s race report is fairly short – they had a really solid start, and just kept gaining on Darwin w3. They went from 1,2,3 whistles, bell and then bumped under the motorway bridge. All were really happy and are excited for tomorrow.

Thursday. Row over.

They started off well and by first post corner had two whistles on tit hall 3. However, through the gut and along plough reach sadly lost a lot of length in the water so dropped back considerably while tit hall also pulled away in their push for a bump. By the reach w4 lengthened back out well, and started gaining again but it was too late. It was a strong and committed row over and we are ready to try again for the bump tomorrow.

Friday. Bumped by Darwin W3

Saturday. Bumped Darwin W3

Lent Bumps 2018 Reports

Men’s Crews
Division Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
M1 Rest Cancelled Cancelled +0 +1 +1
M2 -1 Rest Cancelled +0 +1 +0
M3 -1 -1 Cancelled Rest +0 -2
Women’s Crews
Division Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Total
W1 Rest Cancelled Cancelled +0 +1 +1
W2 -1 Rest Cancelled -1 -1 -3
W3 +0 +0 Cancelled Rest +1 +1


M1 Wednesday. Race cancelled

Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.

Thursday.  Race cancelled.

Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.

Friday. Row over.

Pembroke M1 had a flying start, hitting a powerful rate 49. We quickly moved on Caius and gained our first whistle half way down First Post Reach. Knowing Caius was fast approaching Jesus, we pushed hard into the gut but unfortunately, Caius secured the bump. With nothing to lose, we decided to go for the over bump on Downing. We progressed well past the plough and took a tight line around Ditton which brought us under 4 lengths away. We maintained a lively rhythm down the reach and kept gaining inch by inch. With 500m to go, we went up 4 pips and managed to fight our way to under a length away as we crossed the line.

Saturday. Bumped Jesus I.

W1 Wednesday. Race cancelled
Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.Thursday.  Race cancelled.Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.Friday. Row over.We took off with a strong start, pulling away from Churchill behind and rapidly gaining on Maggie in front, coming within half a length before first post corner. However, Maggie caught Girton just at the corner before we had a chance to bump them, and we had to wind it down to let Maggie and Girton clear. Despite our slowing, Churchill didn’t gain much, and we wound it back up to race pace for the rest of the course – resulting in a solid row-over finishing at least four lengths ahead of Churchill.Saturday. Bumped Girton I.
M2 Tuesday. Bumped by Hughes Hall I.

M2 had a spirited start on the first day of the Lents campaign. We knew that we had strong competition chasing us and unfinished business from previous years ahead, but the row got off to a good start. Once we settled into our racing rhythm, we got one whistle on Sidney Sussex ahead. At this point our rowing could have been cleaner and we could have really started to grind them down on the Plough Reach. Though our hearts were in it, Sidney soon caught Queens’ M2 ahead of them and Hughes Hall began to creep up on us quite quickly as we approached the top of the reach. Some ‘up-2’ calls sadly resulted in us being caught roughly a third of the way down the Reach. However, the boat is in good shape, we’ve learned our lesson and we will give everything we’ve got tomorrow!

Thursday.  Race cancelled.

Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.

Friday. Row over.

Saturday. Bumped Queens II.

W2 Tuesday. Bumped by Wolfson I.

Pembroke W2 set off with a solid start today and gained on Newnham W2. They rowed well with much composure and power, but despite the strong performance and good spirit from the crew, a fast Wolfson W1 made a push and caught us at First Post Reach. Having had the first taste of bumps for most of the crew, they are hopeful for a strong row over on Thursday.

Thursday.  Race cancelled.

Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.

Friday. Bumped by LMBC II.

After much uncertainty in racing due to poor weather conditions, Pembroke W2 set off with a smooth start today. Hungry for a revenge bump, we gained slightly on Wolfson I in front of us but they held us off just over a length as we rowed through the course. Meanwhile, Lady Margaret II, being chased closely by the boat behind them, embarked on a burst into the gut, which caught Pembroke off guard and gave Lady Margaret a bump. We are determined to translate the power and commitment seen in the boat today into a successful row tomorrow.

Saturday. Bumped by Hughes Hall I

M3 Tuesday. Bumped by Trinity Hall III.

Contrary to the false claims of Varsity, Pembroke M3 has not been scratched from Lents, though a disappointing start to the campaign after a late illness necessitated conceding a technical bump for day 1. We’ll be back strong tomorrow, on the chase.

Wednesday. Bumped by Hughes Hall II.

M3, though braving the cold, were unfortunately bumped following a series of untimely crabs coming down the A14 reach. Prior to this they made rapid gains on Trinity Hall.

Thursday.  Race cancelled.

Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.

Saturday. Row over.

W3 Tuesday. Row over.
After a very promising start off the line, W3 were quite unlucky – a crab 2 boats ahead caused an early bump out ahead, and another bump cleared out the division. Despite the carnage, they had a very strong row over and are excited to continue the campaign tomorrow.Wednesday. Row over. W3 rowed well today, completely committing to their race. Despite their best efforts to bump, (in terrible conditions!) they rowed over behind a strong Homerton II crew.Thursday.  Race cancelled.Race cancelled over snow and ice on the towpath.Saturday. Bumped Homerton II.