Race ReportsThis page lists race reports. For general news see here and here for alumni-related news.
Novice Fairbairns - First Novice Women Suffer From Cross-windOn Thursday 29th November, Peterhouse Boat House was teeming with eight of our Novice women and their Novice coxswain, excitedly preparing for their Fairbairns NW1 race in the (unexpected!) early morning sunshine. After seeing off our NM1 counterparts, we quickly set about cleaning our boat, Greta, in the hope that she would bless those that rowed in her with good Fairbairns fortune!
Those rowing that morning were (from stroke to bow): Elena Hernandez-Merino, Nicole Spann, Rebecka Ahl, Elizabeth Mooney, Eva Steiner, Rachel Clark, Christina Millar and Kate Hatcher. Their much-loved coxswain was Lisa Mullins.
Due to our decision to train our Novices equally as a squad this term so that each rower received the same amount of attention, this crew was selected purely on the basis of who was free that morning. We must also point out that Kate,
who had only been 'novicing' for a couple of weeks by this point, kindly stepped in at the last minute to cover for illness.
After a long time marshalling, the girls finally set off - looking extremely professional in their new stash and squad t-shirts! However, the clothes just didn't make the crew that day and we got off to a bad start when we crashed into a barge just after the start line due to the strong cross-wind. To their credit, the crew quickly recovered and set off down the course, keeping Newnham NW1 safely behind and even gaining ground on LMBC NWII around Chesterton corner. Unfortunately for the girls though, the race ended just as it finished with another unlucky incident on the Reach, when a 'crab' sent us ploughing into the bank and the shallow water then made it extremely difficult for bowside to resume rowing. This gave Newnham NW1 the opportunity toovertake us and ended up taking valuable time off our final result.
We all learnt the hard way that day that rowing can be extremely unfair and the performance on the day was just not reflective of the effort, dedication and determination shown by the girls over the Michaelmas term. We ended up placed 49th in the division, behind our own NWII boat(!), with a time of 14:13.95.
Admittedly, our decision not to form and train a NW1 crew earlier in the term may not have been the best choice in terms of Fairbairns results but we hope the individual performances of our entire Novice squad over the term will lead to bigger and better results for the Peterhouse Women's section later in the year. Row House!
Novice Fairbairns - First Novice Men Fast But DisqualifiedThe lycra kit order had arrived in time for Fairbairns and the first VIII looked resplendent in their matching PBC attire. The crew was determined to lay to rest the ghost of their performance in Clare Novices and the day started with everyone in a positive frame of mind, the words of Al Pacino's inspirational speech from the film Any Given Sunday ringing in their ears. The first indication we got that things weren't going to go our way was when the Darwin boat in front went off straight into the bank at the start. Putting this distraction out of their minds, the crew achieved an excellent start, working within themselves but putting plenty of run on the boat. They quickly established a high but sustainable rating and made good progress, maintaining their urgency past Elizabeth Way and on towards Chesterton.
A poor line round Chesterton cost us time and contact with the bank was only avoided by the narrowest of margins but hopes were still high of an impressive finishing position as the crew caught up with the Darwin VIII
in front. Unfortunately we collided with Darwin whilst attempting to overtake and both boats came to a complete
halt. The spoon of bow's blade ended up underneath the boat and it was around a minute before we were
able to get going again. In the confusion that followed, we were deemed by JCBC to have ignored marshals' instructions and this led to our disqualification. However, the crew acquitted itself very well by holding off Selwyn who had by now caught up with us and we were overtaking Darwin once again by the time we crossed the finish. It is small comfort that we were showing similar pace to the Selwyn VIII who finished 11th .
Senior Fairbairns - Second Men Strong In FairbairnsThe supporters, including the Master and Lady Wilson, who turned out to see the two Peterhouse IVs racing one after the other were made to wait as the start of our race was severely delayed as a result of the earlier races overrunning but also because barges were using the river immediately before we were due to race. All of this meant that we had
a long wait on the river in the cold. This may have contributed to a lack of concentration on the start as we did not start together and the boat veered towards the bank. Disaster was averted with quick reactions and we soon settled to a strong rhythm even if our rating was a little lower than planned and it took time for us to warm up after having had to wait at the start.
A clean line round Chesterton set us up for the long stretch towards Ditton, the part of the race which, as we well knew, would be crucial. We managed to keep things steady and under control but were losing speed as we approached Ditton Corner. We took up the pace in the final few hundred metres for a very convincing finish. Although there was a sense we could have been faster, our time was 12 minutes 3 seconds, which was a respectable 12 seconds behind M1 and ahead of Christ's, Fitzwilliam and St Catherine's First IVs, meaning that we came in joint ninth.
Senior Fairbairns - First Men Perform WellAt the start of term we decided that the training goal for our Michaelmas rowing was the Lent bumps, with our aim being to get all of our crews going as fast as possible. Despite that it became clear early on in the term that the First Men's boat was highly competitive. A few days before Fairbairns, however, Chris our stroke mysteriously collapsed, cutting his back and needing stitches. It was uncertain whether we would race or not; however Chris was determined to carry on.
A couple of other niggling injuries meant we were probably not on our best form on race day, but a strong positive attitude in the dressing-room beforehand cast out any doubts about our performance. After a long wait on the start line, setting nerves a little higher and bodies a little colder than we would have liked, we had a strong start. 'The wall' is notoriously the killer in Fairbairns; but everyone dug in to keep the boat speed up. Although the Reach took the toll it takes on any crew, the boat kept on moving due to sheer grit and determination from the crew.
The group desire to continue and a strong term of training meant that we finished a respectable fifth, which shows some great potential for the Lent crew.
Novice Fairbairns 2006Novice Men
The Novice Men's Squad entered a record 3 VIIIs in Fairbairns this year. The 1st VIII achieved a position of 11th - the second best in PBC history. The 2nd VIII unfortunately hit the bank at Chesterton which lost them valuable time but after a heroic comeback they managed to overtake Kings II on the reach finishing 55th. The 3rd VIII (Beer Boat) finished 62nd ahead of Magdalene III and Sidney II.
The Novice Women's Squad managd to continue last year's momentum and enter 2 VIIIs in Fairbairns. The 1st VIII (Tia) finished 14th even though a footplate failed. Like the 1st Men, this was the second best performance in recent PBC history. The 2nd VIII (Maria) raced in the later division and finished 52nd.