Peterhouse Boat Club


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

X-press Head (Race Report)

Posted by Lizzie Bennett on Monday 18th June 2012
It was just after a rather satisfying bump on Downing M2 that a few of the more adventurous members of M1 decided it would be a good idea to enter X-press Head. One May Ball and several rounds of Peterhouse Imperial Pimms later, it still seemed like a good plan. When the intrepid cox was offered a spot in a town crew, containing none other than local celebrity Steve Trapmore, the gauntlet had been thrown down. Gallantly, the opportunity to cox an Olympic Gold medallist was spurned in favour of Peterhouse pride (remember the Steve Trapmore bit though, it’s an important part of the story). Thus it was that a gentleman’s agreement was made between Bob Evans, Karel ‘Charlie’ KabelÍk, John Harris, Pete Wilkes and Lizzie Bennett that a Peterhouse IV should be entered into X-press Head 2012. We decided that a quick outing on the Monday morning would be no bad thing, partly so that we could reassure ourselves that the crew was light enough to use Danny without sinking - yes, just. Despite Bob’s reluctance to take the rate above a frankly pedestrian 34, we had a tidy outing and paddled home feeling reasonably confident.

When we met up later in the day, there was a slightly strange atmosphere. The motivational chats from Skirk and Bomber were notable by their absence, although the presence of Charles’ Lucky Lube was reassuringly familiar in the pre-race routine. Our paddle down gave us a good opportunity to sit behind the Trapmore IV, which we were using as our main opposition. They looked quite technical and their practice start was none too shabby (certainly better than some of the VIIIs whose practice starts we had watched the week before). A quick sussing out of the other IVs entered suggested that we’d have little to worry about from them - the Trapmore IV would be our opposition. 'CUBC Charlie' was particularly feeling the heat, and may once or twice have dented his image as ‘the nice one’ in M1 by getting a little exasperated with Bob’s constant tomfoolery.

For once, marshalling was a pleasure, perhaps because there was almost enough room for all the boats and it was quite a warm evening. After a heart-stopping moment when we thought we’d be following a mixed IV (and some sneaky coxing to get back in front) we set off after all the VIIIs and just the Trapmore IV. The course was from the Motorway Bridge to Top Finish and we had planned to race it in a similar way to our Bumps race plan. This worked nicely and we were making really good time throughout - perhaps helped by Bob deciding to take the rate to the high 30s at the start after all. The rhythm was really good and it was refreshing to have some flat water to relax into and really put some power down. Richard and Alex cheered on expertly from the bank and by the time we emerged on the Reach it was clear that we’d taken a lot out of the distance between us and the Trapmore IV. Rounding Ditton, Lizzie decided that we were close enough to be heard by him and his crew, and so began the process of shouting his name and her desire to beat an Olympic Gold medallist in an attempt to distract, intimidate and destroy. Coupled with some very neat and powerful rowing from the guys, this had a dramatic effect, and the distance between the crews continued to concertina, also helped by their cox’s bizarre decisions on racing lines (ie, don’t bother).

Coming out of the Railway Bridge there was another good push, and the might of four [*five] boaties who had recently undergone exams, bumps, a ball, and a big piss-up on some grass was shown. The call of ‘HUNT HIM DOWN!’ was particularly effective at the P&E, and when we crossed the finish line we were almost close enough to crash into the crew which had started so far ahead. The crew behind still could not be seen, and it was decided that we had probably done rather well - Bob even admitted to putting his legs down throughout, and was a bit out of breath at the end [to Bob - sorry you’re getting so much abuse in this report, but you *did* really want to stroke it, and in the absence of Manuel we have to make fun of someone]. We had a nice relaxing paddle back, and as a bonus got to have a look at some small and fluffy baby waterfowl on the way home (maybe that was just Lizzie).

Once finished at the boathouse, we headed down to City Boathouse to check the results. Sure enough, we were the fastest IV, by 20 seconds. Crew and bank party rapidly availed themselves of the facilities (the bar), arguing that a ball and Peterhouse Imperial had not quite made up for the lack of alcohol in the rest of the term. Zider and beer were particularly sweet out of our new pots.

Thanks to John Harris for organising, and a special mention must be made to Richard Dearden and Alex Lee, who gamely bank partied us throughout the race (and applauded loudly when we collected our pots) - and of course to Steve Trapmore for only pretending to try!

Result - fastest IV. Time - 10 minutes and 8 seconds.
Crew - cox: Lizzie Bennett. Stroke: Bob Evans. 3: Karel KabelÍk. 2: John Harris. Bow: Pete Wilkes

W2 99s Regatta 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Abigail Mitchell on Wednesday 23rd May 2012
W2 won their division.

W2 arrived at the race with a renewed fighting spirit, ready to put the memory of last term’s disastrous Pembroke Regatta behind us. Racing in a crew very similar to that of Lent term, we had bonded over early morning Goldie spotting, infamous exam term swaps and our six seat’s traumatic childhood; we were determined to not mess around and to win some pots. After a lacklustre performance during our Friday outing (see: infamous exam term swaps) opinion in the boat was divided as to what rate to settle to, with calls from the five seat and gimp seat to get the rate down and put the legs down- thankfully this issue was resolved halfway through our second race. Having ensured that Sadie ‘Bow’ Jarrett’s gate was actually done up this time, and having finally found a place to spin- albeit a few hundred metres from where we were originally told to- we rowed down to the top of the Long Reach, eager to begin.

Our first race was against Selwyn III and we went into it feeling confident. Having watched their getting on race video on youtube, as well as our own, we were hopeful that our power would outmatch theirs on the day. This is exactly what happened: we settled a little too high for the liking of five and three- leading to shouting from the middle four- but pulled away from Selwyn immediately off of the start. We continued to increase the gap over the 1k course, as Selwyn, while looking technically competent and together, were simply not moving the boat through the water as quickly. The photo at the finish near Morley’s Holt shows us as winning ‘easily’, with no distance given. We were pleased with the win, but were also all determined to row better in the next race, knowing that it was perhaps not our best piece.

We were less confident going into our division final against King’s II (we only raced twice, due to the small number of entries into our division). Our opponents arrived at the start line looking intimidating in matching unisuits, and we knew immediately that this race would be more of a challenge. Their start was slightly more forceful than ours, as our first three strokes were not as strong as they could have been, and they immediately drew a seat in front of us. Despite repeated calls from Ollie, our cox, the settle took a while to come, and we showed no signs for the first 600m of the race of regaining the advantage we had lost. Once we reached the railway bridge, however, calls to lengthen finally got through to the crew, and we began to aggressively gain back our lost inches, accompanied by some animalistic grunting from middle four. In a situation reminiscent of the recent Boat Race, Ollie ‘De Toledo’ Bond was focused enough on winning to be unable to avoid a blade clash with our opponents- about 200m from the finish line our five seat’s blade hit that of our opponents’ seven seat. Both crews, however, stayed focused, and continued to push for the finish as five’s parents somewhat comically ran alongside. Our race was the closest of the day, and as both crews were told to wind it down, we looked to our opponents with no clue as to the final outcome. The marshals announced that the winner had won by a mere six inches, and we did not restrain our shouts of exhilaration when we discovered that victory was ours.

Nines Regatta marked the first win for Sadie, Hannah and Rachel, who had not won pots at Head of the Cam, and was also the first success story for this year’s new crop of W2 girls, who have come a long way together since novice term. We were extremely proud of this victory and of its contribution to the club’s win of best overall performance. It is better, we think, to drink (free) celebration beer in the evening after Nines, than it was to drink commiseration cider at nine in the morning after Pembroke. Hopefully this is an indication of great things to come.

Abigail Mitchell, Women's Officer
(5 seat, W2)

W3 99s Regatta 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 20th May 2012
Despite not having a cox box, W3 set off boldly where no Peterhouse W3 has gone before! Progress was shaky to begin with, although things improved once we manage to borrow a cox box from the returning M2 crew. Our first race was against King's W2, unfortunately they were able to pull away early, securing a lead from the start, even though, thanks to the determination of the Peterhouse Ladies, we were able to match their pace for the majority of the race, the King's girls managed to stay ahead.

Despite being tired from the first race, the ladies of W3 were able to put in another fine effort against Selywn W2. The start was much more even this time, although unfortunately Selwyn were able to pull away, but this didn't deter Peterhouse and just before the railway bridge it looked like we were beginning to catch up, but unfortunately it was too late and Selywn went on for the victory.

Overall it was a good day of racing for W3, even with a new cox they were able to give 2nd second boats from larger colleges a good race which is something they should all be very proud of!

Michael Wheeldon (2nd year Engineering, cox)

M1 99s Regatta 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 20th May 2012
99s Spring Regatta was M1's first race as a crew since Manuel and Matt returned from representing the University at BUCS. We were drawn against LMBC for our first race. The crew was keen to race. Off the start we got up to rate 42 and were moving well.

As we settling into our racing rate me kept moving and kept relaxed. As we passed under the railway bridge they were half a length ahead. We built the rate up as we went to the finish, but couldn't catch them and finished half a length behind.

Our second race was against Kings. We had another good start and settled into a lower rhythm than before. They pushed half a length ahead of us along the Long Reach. Out of the Railway Bridge we built it up again and were gaining on them. We crossed the line only a foot behind Kings.

Despite the results we were happy with how we raced given the crew has only been together for a week and we know there is more speed to come.

Simon Kirk (Men's Officer)

W1 99s Regatta 2012 (Race Report)

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Sunday 20th May 2012
On a cold, damp, windy weekend in May a flotilla of Peterhouse women’s boats set off to race in the 99’s regatta. For a lot of people this was their first ever serious side by side race, and the first chance the crews had to show off all the effort that they’d put in since training week. The format of the race was simple - a knock-out tournament with a pot being the ultimate goal. Crews who lost their first round race were put into the plate competition - a second knockout tournament to decide the best of the worst, if you like...

W1 were drawn against Caius W1 in the first round. Caius sit fairly high up in the first division of May bumps, so we knew we were going to be up against some tough competition but were still looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and show that whilst we may in the 2nd division, we’ve still got a lot of boat speed. After a long time spent marshalling at the Plough Reach we lined up for the race. We got off to a bit of a shaky start and despite holding our ground for the first minute slowly fell behind, eventually losing by about 1 1/2 lengths. As we span at Green Dragon Bridge we learnt that our next opponents were Kings W1, the crew that starts behind us in May Bumps. After a pep talk from Bomber we were ready to show them just what we were made off. We got off to a strong start, and maintained the power throughout the race, gaining clear water just before passing under the Railway Bridge. As we crossed the finish line we could see Kings, now a long way off, and it was announced that we had won by 1 1/2 lengths. Bomber later told us that we’d been 4 seconds quicker than in our previous race - a massive achievement over such a short course!

Due to Girton scratching our next race was to be against Churchill W1 who had only had to race once to be there, a crew placed higher than us in Mays and with fresh legs. However, their bright pink boat did look a bit ridiculous next to the beautiful Chris Calladine, so we definitely had the aesthetic advantage! We got off to a strong start again, and stayed strong throughout. A beautiful push out of the railway bridge left Churchill nowhere to be seen and we went on to win the plate by 3 1/2 lengths, again a very impressive result for such a short course race!

During the row back to the boathouse we learnt that W2 had also won their last race by 6 inches, and had therefore won pots in their division. Once all the boats were away and all the congratulations were done we of course had to have a group photo - 24 smiling rowers, three very proud coxes and the largest women’s section Peterhouse has ever seen!

Beth Keith
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