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Pembroke Regatta 2012

Saturday 18th February

Previous event: Bedford Eights and Fours Head - Following event: Lent Bumps Getting-on Race

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Rob Norton, 2: Chris Thompson‑Walsh, 3: Chensong Gao, 4: Gauthier Grousset, 5: David Hardeman, 6: Dirk Simon, 7: Philip Garsed, Stroke: James Marshall, Cox: Rebecca Chamberlin

First round: beat Trinity Hall M1 by 1 1/2 lengths. Second round: lost to Caius M1.

Rebecca Chamberlin reports:


For our first chance to race this term we had two subs and pretty nasty conditions for the first round, but we took that and, I think, did pretty damn well.

We had a frustrating start against Tit Hall, who seemed to prefer our side of the rive to their own, but despite various missed strokes and near blade-on-canvas clashing we came out two seats up and settled right into the rhythm we'd been aiming for. We held Tit Hall at four seats up through the bend in the Reach which should have been much to their advantage, and then took our move as we hit cleaner water about twenty strokes before the railway bridge. It was earlier than we'd planned, but the response was one of the most convincing I've ever felt from a crew and with a little extra focus, we were very soon a length up. They kept on our tail for a while but we completely in the zone and pushed another half length up by the finish (even though I, characteristically, didn't really know where the finish was and called a wind down a little early...). They weren't easy competition but our performance finally showed the rest of the Cam a Clare M1 who don't panic and instead just knuckle down and "do one".

Sure, we didn't win our second race, but losing to Caius is nothing to be ashamed of and we held onto their stern until near the end. Besides, this time it was good to be able to get in our modified start uninterrupted and really feel the crew hit the groove we wanted right from the go. Again, we kept our heads and pushed out each stroke long and firm without the rushing and shortness which used to be so typical of us.

We've redefined ourselves in the last couple of days, and we're definitely going to take it up another couple of gears before Bumps.

Uploaded Saturday 18th February, 17:42


Photos of the 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size.

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Becky Fogg, 2: Rachel Boyd, 3: Ania Slotala, 4: Moos Peeters, 5: Jess Denman, 6: Jess Palmer, 7: Claire Watkins, Stroke: Clare Thakker, Cox: Esther Momcilovic

Lost in first round to Christ's W1 by 3/4 lengths

Esther Momcilovic reports:


Conditions today were sub-optimal to say the least, producing a result that is on paper disappointing, but in reality mostly just frustrating.

On the third wind, a huge wave crashed over Moos' rigger, submerging it to the extent that she caught a boat-stopping crab. We had to stop the boat completely and restart, mere metres from the start line. By this point Christ's were about 3 lengths of clear water away.

When Christ's crossed the finish line, we had overlap of 1/4 length.

To make up over 3 lengths in the space of about 1km is a testament to the grit, power, and determination of this crew. We all enjoy indulging in 'what-ifs', but I firmly believe that if the course had been just 100m longer, we would have had them.

Today's result is annoying, because we didn't get to show our full potential. We did, however, show that we have guts, and proved to ourselves how much of a force we will be come Bumps.

Watch out Tit Hall. We're coming.

Uploaded Saturday 18th February, 14:44


2nd Men's VIII

Bow: Jordan Ward‑Williams, 2: James Hynard, 3: James Littlewood, 4: Mike Ashford, 5: Sean True, 6: Ali Shawcross, 7: Pete Davies, Stroke: Gauthier Grousset, Cox: Rachel Wijsmuller

First round: beat Homerton M2 easily. Second round: lost to Downing M2 by three lengths.

Rachel Wijsmuller reports:


"This is EPIC!" surfing the waves downstream on the reach, well... not so much the other way! Despite the waves crashing into the boat, a solid start put us four seats up on Homerton straight away, a lead we took confidence from and nursed into a full five lengths of clear water by the finish (which we crossed, pleased to report, with positive cover).

Downing presented more of a challenge but not one we were crushed by since they only managed to draw clear of us after the railway bridge; the wind was our enemy in this race and we struggled to get much of a send from each stroke, but committed pushes and tidy bladework saw us cross the line not far off Downing's tail. You maintained your composure very well throughout the course, solidly holding the opposition: a cool nerve to carry us to victory next week!

Uploaded Tuesday 21st February, 16:45


2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Riana Betzler, 2: Sara Sligar, 3: Orianne Rivaud, 4: Charlotte Baker, 5: Lisanne Schoutens, 6: Kerstin Timm, 7: Sarah Penington, Stroke: Emily Hines, Cox: Alice Harvey‑Fishenden

Lost in first round to Emmanuel W2 by three lengths

Emily Hines reports:


Anton and Dirk had to hold our blades away from the bank at the start-line to prevent us being blown in by the wind, so we sensed that this would be a tricky race from the outset! Emma W2 had a good start but it was excitingly close until a massive gust of wind pushed us into the towpath about 1/3 of the way down the Reach. Clare M3 supporters raced to push us back out and we started again as quickly as possible. Frustratingly, this mini-drama interfered with what we felt would otherwise have been a close match but we battled on as well as we could. Now we're just even more keen to storm our way through the Getting-On Race!! :-)

Uploaded Saturday 18th February, 16:32


3rd Men's VIII

Bow: Dominic Carr, 2: Jon Lee, 3: Chensong Gao, 4: Tom Watson, 5: Guy Norman, 6: Matej Jovanovic, 7: Adam Sanders, Stroke: Marc Etherington, Cox: Ed Mills

Lost in first round to FaT M3 by three lengths

Edward Mills reports:


The general feeling after the race seemed to be one of 'annoying, but we did well'. We didn't find out until afterwards that FaT M3 are in fact placed ahead of M2 in bumps, which did make us feel better about the result. As for the actual race, a fast start into a massive headwind saw us keep pretty even with FaT until about halfway up the Reach. They then opened their lead out to about a length, and several pushes for us meant that we held them until beyond the Railway Bridge, when they opened up to three lengths ahead. In spite of this, we kept pushing, ignoring such trivial matters as a broken seat, and gave them a tough fight all the way to the line.

The focus now shifts to the Getting-On Race next Friday. We've got a very good chance of making it on, if we put in the work needed, so with that in mind ... let's do it!

Uploaded Saturday 18th February, 11:24


De Burgh 1st Men's VIII

Bow: Matt Howard, 2: Tom Nixon, 3: Will Kerr‑Muir, 4: Phil Richman, 5: Kenrick Turner, 6: David O'Brien, 7: Chris Thompson‑Walsh, Stroke: Ben Evans, Cox: Laura Sutcliffe

Semi-finals: lost to Magdalene Alumni M1 by 1 1/4 lengths

David O'Brien reports:


At the last minute Stretchy Ted had to bail due to an unfortunate yoga injury so we needed a sub. We had a quick ring round the night before and Will said he was keen, so he flew in from Hong Kong for the day. I arrived slightly late atbh due to the A14 being closed and one or two near-death sat-nav decisions and was genuinely surprised to find some of the crew warming up on the ergs. I think it was probably too late to recover any fitness by this point. We kitted up, in a reasonable show of Clare stash, with Kenrick and CTW competing for the most decrepit all-in-one. Having initially tried to lift the boat with it strapped to the flagpole (due to wind issues), we got on the water and headed towards Jesus lock for a paddle. The boat didn't sink, which was nice, despite the average weight being ~95kg. The rowing in sixes felt chunky and promising but that was about as far as it went. We turned and headed on up to Chesterton to marshal in a brute-force-over-technique sort of style. Pembroke did a spectacularly poor job of keeping to schedule so there was a good deal of sitting around in the cold. Some sub-optimal medic banter kept us distracted from the task in hand. After paddling up to the Plough for final marshalling, somebody suggested we continue to the lock for extra start and burst practice and nobody objected loudly enough, so we did. By the time we got back, our limited energy reserves were starting to drain, and we were late so had to paddle straight onto the start. Magdelene looked shorter and lighter than us which seemed like a good thing. As Stu parked us up on the line, the size of the waves on the reach, and the strength of the wind became fully apparent, it was kicking off. As far as the race is concerned, Magdelene were consistently slightly faster than us and started to pull away from the go. They seemed to deal better with the conditions and possibly had the more sheltered water. There was a good clash in the early stages but we didn't manage to take out anyone's blade. By the time we reached the relative shelter of the railway bridge, our rowing felt a little less unproductive and we sat about a length down for the remainder of the course. I had hoped to pace myself appropriately, but by about twenty strokes in this had gone wrong. The conditions were brutal and all I remember from then on was pain and splashing. So all-in-all a fun experience apart from the racing bit. We started to get the paddling together on the way home, as is often the way. We then headed out to watch the girls dominate Caius, and retired to the pub to ensure that any health and fitness benefits were negated.

Uploaded Tuesday 21st February, 20:19


Photos of the De Burgh 1st Men's VIII: click to view full size. (see all 14 photos of this crew)

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De Burgh 1st Women's VIII

Bow: Charlotte Pope, 2: Georgina Messenger, 3: Becky Minnich, 4: Alice McNamara, 5: Georgina Plunkett, 6: Steph Caird, 7: Fionnuala Ratcliffe, Stroke: Nicola Pocock, Cox: James Michael

Winners! Final: beat Caius Alumni W1 by 1 1/2 lengths

Alice McNamara reports:


I talk a good talk. I tell people that you can't control the opposition and that it is the race you row that matters as much as the result at the end of the day. I was lying.

As we pushed off into the head wind to end all head winds, the whole concept of rowing, let alone alumni rowing, seemed like a bad one. Rowing in 4s, it felt like death. We paddled down to Jesus Lock and did a cheeky few starts on the way back up, including a beautiful one outside Clare and a moronic one in front of the opposition, Cauis Alumni. Actually, it wasn't that back. We had enough overlap in our tenures at Clare and some remaining vestigial fitness, that frankly the rowing felt like less of a shock than the sitting around in the cold. I think the mind blocks out the true horror of marshalling for a Cambridge regatta in February, or you would never agree to do it again. But finally, the time came to row.

Pembroke's loose interpretation of how to run a regatta meant that we did, in fairness, start one or two seats up. Our start was probably a little less quick than Cauis, as our draw strokes took a little time to kick in, but it left us with a chunky rhythm and we gradually widened the gap, until we just had clear water.

At this point, I began to relax. I have rowed that piece of river more times than I care to remember and in truth, I have been in crews of current students that have made that Reach in a headwind, feel far more endless and painful. Then I crabbed.

At first, I think my primary feeling was that of confusion. Secondly guilt - we were going to lose and it was all my fault. Finally, I wondered who was on the bank, watching... Luckily, this thought process took all of a few seconds and Becky helped me wrestle the damned thing back. James called a restart as I realised I was no long sitting on my seat, so that was fun. I glanced across to Cauis ("eyes in the boat!") and was surprised to find they had only gained at most half a length. Bit depressing really, have to wonder how much power I’d been putting down before hand…

However, at that point, I think we had them. We pushed out to a length and sat pretty much on it for the rest of the course. Frankly, I was very disappointed in Cauis, who kept pushing all the way to the line, allowing no relaxing. They pushed, we absorbed. The distance between the Railway Bridge and the Finish has definitely increased over the years, right?

However, we won. And so I am proved a liar. That was a good crew. There were some good bits of rowing. Yet, it cannot be called a good row, primarily due to myself. But we won. I think my whole view of the sport may be shifting…

Uploaded Sunday 19th February, 21:33


Photos of the De Burgh 1st Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all five photos of this crew)

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