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Pembroke Regatta 2007

Saturday 17th February

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

1st Men's VIII

Bow: Will Kerr‑Muir, 2: Ed Day, 3: Philip Garsed, 4: Ben Evans, 5: David Hardeman, 6: David O'Brien, 7: Chris Baker, Stroke: Joel Jennings, Cox: Mary Flook

1st Round: Beat St Edmund's easily; 2nd Round: Lost to First and Third

David O'Brien reports:


A particularly frustrating third round row for me, it being my blade that was forced under water during the clash. There was unfortunately no way I was going to quickly recover the ensuing overhead crab at the speed we were going. Watching FaT cruise past to victory whilst lying in the bottom of the boat will never be one of my fondest rowing memories.

At the time of the clash, we had left the corner under the railway bridge and were still at least a quarter of a length up. FaT had only ever gained ground where the course was in their favour. What with the final corner being ours and the 'kill' card still in hand, I would have put very good money on us winning the race. Watching FaT's performance later in the day, I think this result would have set us up for a good race against Jesus in the final and quite possibly overall victory. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a second chance in knockout competitions.

As far as bumps is concerned, CAVE ADSUM.

Uploaded Thursday 22nd February, 21:57


Richard Barnwell reports:


Round 2: This was the first time I'd really seen the guys using cleavers this term, and the work with macons seemed to have paid off, as this race was basically over as soon as it began. A solid start meant Clare already had clear water over St Edmunds within 15 or so strokes, and from thereon in, it was a case of being as efficient as possible - still steadily pulling away whilst rating in the low 30's. I even thought I heard a light-hearted call for 'more power' from somewhere in the bows as we neared the finish line... Despite the 'relaxed' attitude, the time compared well to some the day's previous races, which was highly encouraging, as there was more in the tank!

Round 3: This was almost certainly the most exciting race I have ever bank-partyed. This was the big one! FaT had basically won everything there was to win this term, and were obviously the crew to beat. Anyone who could overcome them would inherit the 'favourite' status for the competition. Having just come off the back of a win at Bedford where the rowing was self admittedly 'scrappy', the guys were confident that if it could be cleaned up, then they would move to a new level of performance. If we were going to put FaT under pressure, it would have to be now! The row up was good: a full pressure start followed by a chunky minutes worth of rowing got the blood moving. I was actually worried that we might have overdone it, as we were the first race off in the division. However, this was obviously not the case! The first 10 strokes or so were pretty neck and neck, but thereafter, as we began to lengthen out and hit our race rhythm, we began to pull away. I could not get over how relaxed everyone in the crew looked - I'm sure I even caught Phil smiling! He had good reason to - after about 500m, we were half a length up, and showing no signs of the scrappiness which dogged the crew at Bedford. FaT made their first push, and began to close the gap, but Mary called to counter, and we moved away again, still rating 37. Coming up the railway bridge, we had increased the gap to 3/4 of a length, and FaT came at us again. Again, we countered and held them off as we came through the bridge. It was after this that things began to go wrong: As the course bends left under the bridge, it narrows and is a bit of a tight fit for two crews side by side. FaT moved to the right, and we moved to the left to aid our lines through the corner. This resulted in the bow blade of the FaT crew making contact with the blade of Dave (who was sitting at 6 - I think this emphasises just how far in front we were!) and unfortunately this pushed his blade under the water, causing him to catch a crab. He did a remarkable job to recover as quickly as he did (although I did think he'd been badly injured, as he seemed to sit there swaying in the boat with left arm behind his back, apparently in a lot of pain - but that was him just trying to get back on his seat after the crab!). Obviously by now, FaT had rowed through us, and with 200m of the race left, there was nothing we could do, and they went on to win by a couple of lengths. However, had you taken a picture of both crews after the race and asked someone to look at them and guess who had won, no-one would have said it was FaT! - They knew that they had been beaten: we were half a length up with a corner in our favour. Even with our incident, we were still 2 seconds quicker than our first race! Even though we had just been beaten, as the guys set off for the row home, they were all beaming. We now know that bumps has the potential to be something special!

So good luck to you FaT, I hope you attain the headship that you deserve, but on the 17th of February 2007, you know you weren't the fastest crew in Cambridge...

Uploaded Monday 19th February, 0:04


Paddy O'Furniture reports:


The first round was grand, a fine start saw the boat up a quarter of a length in no time. And then it was a case of sitting back and enjoying the row to the finish, to be sure.

First and Third were just a little bit trickier, again a grand(er) start and sterling row up the reach (pre-empting their pushes) saw us pushing them away to 3/4 of a length until the untimely blade crash and shellfish incident.

I think we shouldn't have rowed feet out for that race.

Uploaded Sunday 18th February, 18:33


Will Kerr-Muir reports:


Round 2: After our bye to the second round we started hard and moved quickly away from St Edmund's, and settled towards the finish with several lengths of clear water. This was really a warm-up for the anticipated draw of First and Third in the next round.

Round 3: First and Third were expected to be the fastest crew in the regatta, but despite the difficult draw we kept our heads screwed on and raced hard. The race plan was to go solidly off the start, push after a minute and move away around the first corner, with us on the inside. We would then hold them around the outside of the corner under the railway bridge then finish it off with a wind. This was executed perfectly for the first 900m or so, and we were 3/4 length up. What wasn't part of the race plan was handing FaT the win on a plate after blade clash and a crab, with a potentially winning lead and only 200m around a corner in our favour remaining.

All in all, frustrating, but we know our speed now and, subject to other crews' antics, bumps looks very promising.

Uploaded Saturday 17th February, 23:23


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

1st Women's VIII

Bow: Natalie Hope, 2: Mila Roode, 3: Helen Withers, 4: Jo Robinson, 5: Catherine Smith, 6: Holly Marsh, 7: Steph Caird, Stroke: Em McFadden, Cox: David Jones

1st Round- Beat Newnham I; 2nd round- Beat Emma alum; QFs- Beat Trinity Hall I; SFs- Lost to eventual winners Jesus I by ~ 1L

David Jones reports:


1st Round:

After a very early ATBH, we had a decent paddle up to Jesus lock before spinning for the row down, and were pretty pleased with our practice piece. A solid start saw us take distance off Newnham from the beginning, and while it was a pretty good row, we didn't relax quite as much as we would have liked after gaining clear water. But, still the result we wanted.

2nd Round:

Not knowing much about the allegedly enormous Emma alumni beasts (including two ex-Blues) who were out for a bit of a Saturday morning jolly, we were more trepidatious about this one. Another reasonable if somewhat rushed start left us perhaps a seat down, and we lost another couple of seats by a minute in. However, a positive mental response saw us stay in our own race, hit possibly our best rhythm of the day, and stride past a clearly not at peak fitness Emma VIII to take a couple of lengths' clear water by the finish. Very satisfying!


An excellent paddle up gave us confidence on the start line, but a bit of faffing from various parties disrupted the focus somewhat and left our start a little less relaxed than we'd hoped. However, we moved away from Tit Hall regardless, and managed to settle fairly well (after one or two 'down-2s'!) to row out the course several lengths clear.


From results earlier in the term and a liberal display of Blues stash, we knew this Jesus crew were going to be pretty quick. Another neat row down set us up well, and with less faffage on the start we went off a little more controlled. Small margins were gained and lost by both crews until around about the Pink House, when Jesus moved up slightly and gained ground on the inside bend under the Railway bridge. They finished about a length up, but we were pleased with the row and the improvement on our time from the first round. Coincidentally, one length is apparently about the same margin by which they went on to beat FaT in the final...

Uploaded Sunday 18th February, 17:59


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

2nd Women's VIII

Bow: Anne Grijzenhout, 2: LJ Michie, 3: Alice McNamara, 4: Katie Siddle, 5: Fionnuala Ratcliffe, 6: Katie King, 7: Elena Chestnova, Stroke: Laura Cato, Cox: Nell Holden

Beat Caius II in quarter-finals, lost to Emma II in the semis

Elena Chestnova reports:


By this point W2 have experienced enough problems with injuries, crew members dropping out and just bad luck to be rather anxious about the regatta. For most of us this was the first ever bit of side-by-side racing. We set off for round 1 concentrating on the task ahead. The task was indeed great. Greater still for the fact that Eddies did not turn up. After a nice practice start we neatly rowed back to the boathouse.

In the semi-finals W2 were down to race Caius II (their supposed opposition from the previous round -Catz II -did not turn up either). We eyed them up hungrily while the cox was showing off her parking skills under the Green Dragon footbridge. As we rowed up to marshal all heads were in the boat concentrating on the neatest paddling we've done all term. The outcome of the race was decided straight off. The neat and firm start around 42 saw us pushing away significantly within the first twenty strokes. The crews were neck-a-neck at length for most of the reach with Clare ahead. Just before the railway bridge Caius attempted to get us back with a respectable push, but the price to pay was too high - we pushed away from the bridge leaving the black-and-blue blades to disappear into the distance. Perfect race - fast, neat, high-rating, very powerful, convincingly won - it felt like being in love... a-ah!

Slightly shocked with the excellence of our achievent we then found out that we have to race Emma II straight away. The spirits were high, despite the aching legs and metalic taste of blood in the mouth. The rowing in this race was as good as in the first one. Naturally we rated a little lower this time. Emma gained advantage pretty quickly, but we hang on to them with all we had, keeping them at less than a length ahead until the railway bridge and after that loosing by length-and-a-half.

One race won, another lost respectably - good day's work!

Uploaded Thursday 15th March, 19:47


Photos of the 2nd Women's VIII: click to view full size. (see all six photos of this crew)

Click here to see more photos from this event.