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- March 7, 2020: WEHoRR
- March 21, 2020: HoRR
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!!
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
5th in division 1
Bumped Trinity Hall
Bumped St Cats
HEAD OF THE RIVER
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.
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.
Rowed Over HEAD
Rowed Over HEAD
5th in division 3
Bumped by Selwyn II
Bumped by FaT III
Bumped by Christ’s II
3rd in division 2
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.
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.
9th in division 4
Bumped by Caius III
Bumped Tit Hall III
Bumped Clare III
10th in division 3
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.
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.
Bumped Selwyn II
Bumped Jesus III
14th in division 5
Bumped by Homerton II
Bumped by Jesus V
Bumped by Sidney Sussex III
Bumped by Kings III
2nd in division 6
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.
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
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).