Peterhouse Boat Club


This page lists the general news. For race reports see here and here for alumni-related news.

W2 Autumn Head 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Monday 22nd October 2012
A Good Start
by Hannah Laidley
W2 won the College Women's 2nd 8+ division
After a long, lazy summer break some of our senior girls were feeling less ready for this race than previous competitions. Nonetheless we were confident we had a lot to give to the first race of term. Packed full of energy, optimism, and the best crew pasta I have ever had (there was Schloer!) W2 made their way to the start. This term there are 11 women in our second VIII and no permanent cox, but that doesn’t make us any less cohesive as a crew; even Jenny donned some blue striped lycra. Lizzie (our wonderful cox for the day) gave us a pep-talk as we were marshalling in a tree - it was meant to rhyme, but didn’t, yet it was inspiring and focused us all the same.

The start was great. We had a build for ten to get the boat speed up past the start line, then a push for ten to keep our speed into the start. Lizzie and the bank party urged us on, pushing the whole way over. Nearing the finish we were gaining on the 99s crew, yelling at them to move out of our racing line. We gave it our all racing for the finish line, racing to overtake that crew, racing for pots! By the end most of us were too tired to row home (or do our post-race erg [edit: but we did it anyway]). For the first race of term it was a good start - I would even say a great start. Becky didn’t break, and Jenny kept her seat. We still have a lot to build on; especially perfecting our W2 ‘moments’ at the beginning of a race and thinking of some rhyming pep-talks.

Edit: W2 finished with a time of 11:58, placing them ahead of other W2 crews and showing them to be as strong, if not stronger than some of the W1 crews that entered.

M1 Autumn Head 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 21st October 2012
Men’s IV race report - Autumn Head 2012 [won IM3 division]
by Simon Kirk, Men's Officer

At the end of the second week of training the Peterhouse men’s IV raced the Autumn Head. The heavy rain in the previous days meant the stream had picked up. Although it was early in the term the crew were keen to compete.

The row to the start was a bit forceful, but after a few words from the coach we began to move better. We got down to the start, but as is tradition with town club run events, the division went off half an hour late. This left plenty of time to contemplate the race ahead and it was clear the crew was in good spirits.

Eventually the division started and we rowed down to the start. We built up the rate as we went under the motorway bridge and crossed the start line. The row along First Post Reach was rough and ready, but everyone was working hard and we kept on the rates. Steering through the corners we found more of a rhythm and began to put the power down coherently. We had a push along the Plough Reach which really got the boat moving. As we turned onto the Long Reach the wind picked up slightly, but we kept pushing. As we headed through the Railway Bridge we knew we were on the final straight and began to increase the rate. Going passed the Pike & Eel we got stronger again and kept it going all the way to top finish.

We finished with a time of 10:39 in slow conditions, winning the IM3 IV+ event and our time ranking us 4th in the college IVs.

The race was particularly well steered by Charlotte Coles - this was her first time coxing a race. Although there is still plenty of work to be done, it showed that at this early stage we are in the mix of the fast college IVs. The crew picked up some valuable racing experience as well as a new drinking tankard.

W1 Autumn Head 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 21st October 2012
Autumn Head 2012
Paddy Alton
W1 won the College Women's 1st IV+ division
An early start for the women’s first IV found us marshalling in chilly but calm conditions amid the usual chaos of boats assembling for the start of a head race. It was to be the first race of the term, and of the new academic year, and we were confident that our new line-up could produce enough speed to provide a serious challenge to the other crews in the college IVs category.

A strong start led to us making good time to the Plough, settled in a very consistent, fairly quick rhythm - the crew performed exceptionally well for their first race together. As we turned onto the Long Reach we were slowed somewhat by a headwind but still reached the Railings in the time we had been targeting. From here we failed to gather as much extra speed as we had originally hoped to, but still kept a good rhythm and a few minutes later, as we passed under the Railway Bridge, sheer bloody-mindedness seemed to come into play and the crew drove the boat hard to the line, bringing the rate up and throwing everything into the last burst.

We were rewarded with a time of 12 minutes, 29 seconds - which turned out to be sufficient to win in our category and compared favourably with many other crews in other women’s IVs categories. Hopefully this will be the first of many successes this term!

Autumn Head: Quick Results!

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Saturday 20th October 2012
We unleashed the racing fleet for the first time this academic year for Autumn Head (2.6k):
M1 - Won division (+0.00)
M2 - Second in division (+0.28)
W1 - Won division (+0.00)
W2 - Won division (+0.00)

More detailed race reports to follow. Remember to "like" us on Facebook too at

M1 May Bumps 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 1st July 2012

No record of Wednesday can be found.


With a reputedly speedy Selwyn crew directly behind and a piece of driftwood with First & Third blades two ahead there was every chance Thursday wouldn't be the nicest experience. We took a solid start and a good transition into the second minute, but nothing could be done about Homerton and FaT bumping out quickly.

Selwyn had closed up behind and were moving well. A tight line around Grassy Corner opened up some breathing space so there was no need to panic as they pushed coming into the Plough Reach, at this point they sat half a length behind and the river ahead was empty. The pressure remained upon us moving into Ditton Corner, where contrasting approaches saw them close to within six feet of our stern - but coming onto the Long Reach this opened out again as they ran wide. Half of the course left, 10% of the original gap between boats remained.

Up to The Railings very little changed, but after that the gap started to open up. The gentle wind blowing was turning our puddles into waves, knowing we were making conditions as uncomfortable as possible for Selwyn made the prolonged exertion easier to cope with. Coming up to the Railway Bridge the gap stood at half a length and once this landmark was passed the threat faded away. As we approached Peter's Posts a glance along the boat saw Selwyn a length off, and with the pressure off the final push to Top Finish was almost pleasant in comparison with the row between The Plough and The Railings. No greenery, but it felt like a victory as we paused after Green Dragon Footbridge.

Comic relief was provided when Selwyn finally arrived - "Did we tag your stern?" asked their coxswain. No. Of course you didn't. Prat.


The effort put in on the first two days provided a reward on Friday. The sweet sound of our whistles rang out before we'd settled from the start. Entering First Post Corner we had closed the gap to First & Third M2 but completed the turn before making the final push to force the concession.


Peterhouse M1 perhaps isn't quite in a position to challenge for headship, but to have another club's second boat above us is unacceptable. Chasing Downing M2, proud possessors of "second-boat-headship", on the last day was a nice chance to correct this. They would surely be no pushover like FaT M2, but there was plenty of confidence we could take them out without

The first minute or so didn't see much progress, but the gap started to close down The Gut. Nearly at one length as we entered Grassy Corner, less than that at the exit, and astonishingly for a bumps race everything seemed to be going to plan. Coming out of Ditton Corner the result was inevitable but Downing ran to the meadowside, their wash slapping into the
strokeside of Wilson. A glance out to the right revealed plentiful overlap and with a subtle tweak to the rudder our shell started to move across. One blade hitting their shell wasn't enough to raise their coxswain's hand, the next impact ensured acknowledgement. We paddled past them and pulled in near The Railings, our week over with a plus two result.

John Harris
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