Peterhouse Boat Club

Race Reports

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

W1 Lents 2012

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Thursday 22nd March 2012
Having only trained for about three out of six weeks in Lent term, due to ice, injuries and illness, none of us were really sure what to expect for bumps. After our strong performance in Fairbairns, we knew we were quite quick, but having no races and only some brief sparring to go on, we had little idea how we would match up to other crews around us.

Day one saw us comfortably rowing over in front of Girton at the top of W2 division. In the first division, Kings caught a crab early on, allowing Churchill to catch them, and so less than a minute into the race, we were attempting an overbump! Alas it was clear quite quickly that it wasn;t going to happen, so we wound it down and saved ourselves for tomorrow.

Day two saw us starting the second division with a strong Murray Edwards crew behind us. They had got blades the last four consecutive years, so we knew they were good, and not accustomed to having to work hard for their bumps. We started well with clear water, but they slowly started coming towards us. However the closest they got was about a quarter of a length off along some of Plough Reach and round Ditton Corner, but after that we pulled away strongly down the Reach. Division one also proved uneventful for us. King’s caught a clearly much slower Churchill, again leaving us nothing to chase.

Day three, and we were psyching ourselves up for a hard race, Murray Edwards (hence known as Mudwards) would be annoyed that we managed to avoid them yesterday, and would be out to get us. After another strong start, they had closed up to about 1-1/2 lengths off us by Grassy Corner. Coming round Ditton Corner, things got very close. From the stroke seat, there were times where their bows couldn’t be seen because of the wide saxboard of the boat. Have they bumped us?? But somehow we all pulled together and didn’t give up. After coming so close (about an inch between our bow and their stern I would estimate) they began to fall away, and continued to all the way down the Reach. On a massive high from another epic row-over, we went into the first division with high hopes of chasing Churchill. Sure enough, we caught them before First Post Corner, which we should have done two days ago if King’s hadn’t caught a crab!

Day four, and we prematurely celebrated only having to row once..... Mudwards caught Churchill, so they were chasing us as we were chasing Selwyn in the first division. Gun went, we rowed for about 3 minutes and then the confusion began. A klaxon-like noise was heard (believed to be King’s ridiculous hunting horn) which caused and umpire to tell Selwyn to stop rowing, so then we had to stop, as did Mudwards. Then Selwyn decided to carry on, once it was clear there was no reason to have stopped, so we continued to chase, as did Mudwards. We rapidly gained on them and caught them just by the Plough. Unfortunately after complaints about the umpires, it was decided that the three boats should re-row. So we threw away our greenery, and proceeded back up to the start. Gun went again, Selwyn held us for a bit, but we began to reel them in down Plough Reach and bumped them just after Ditton Corner.

So Peterhouse W1 ended up 16th on the river, higher than we have ever been before! And we managed this even after rowing 8 times, which just shows what a fantastic crew we have! This week we have clocked up nearly 70km on the Cam, and despite the confusions and often frustrations, it was worth every stroke.

Zoe Watson

W2 Lents Bumps 2012

Posted by Abigail Mitchell on Tuesday 20th March 2012
Day One- Bumped by Tit Hall

The whole crew were excited for this year’s Bumps, which for the majority of us was our first bumps race. We were chasing Clare II, with Trinity Hall II pursuing us. Unfortunately, our lack of experience did show as we panicked at the starting cannon, causing a choppy start, which our position by the outlet did nothing to help. A very strong build saw us gather speed quickly, but this led to a rather long and jerky settle. We got into a good rhythm by First Post Corner, and took a nice line around it. Unfortunately, by this point the crews either side of us proved to be pretty strong, and Trinity Hall were closing in on us while Clare looked to be getting away. We rowed together strongly along the gut, but as we came around Ditton Corner, Trinity Hall’s bow came level with our cox, and they got their bump on us.

Day Two- Bumped by Sidney Sussex

We were all psyched up to bump Trinity Hall back today, but it wasn’t to be. Our boat drifted at the starting line, but the chain was pulled tight, so we were unable to correct it before the race began, necessitating some rudder work right from the off. Our build was much more orderly, but our settle was overly protracted and we struggled to get into the rhythm we wanted. That said, we got into a better movement around first post corner, and on the way around Grassy we reached some good, technical rowing. Unfortunately, we were closing in on Trinity Hall narrowly, while Sidney Sussex were catching up fast. Calm, orderly rowing and a bit of evasive rudder work meant we held them off along Plough Reach, but in the end Sidney proved just that bit faster, and bumped us just before Ditton. It was, however, a well-contested race and we rowed well, so we had some positives to take from it.

Day Three- Bumped Sidney back!

We were determined to show what we could do today, after two days of overly aggressive rowing; we really focused on getting our rate down and finding a good, steady rhythm. We were disappointed to learn that there would be no practice starts by Plough Reach as the division before us was seriously overrunning. However, two very early bumps ahead of us meant that all but the first four boats in the division had to stop rowing after about 30 seconds, and we rowed back to start again. This turned out to be a very useful exercise, as it gave us our practice start and proved that we could easily catch Sidney back at a gentler pace. We didn’t even think about Girton behind us. The second start went exactly how we wanted it; we settled very well after a powerful build, and were visibly closing in on Sidney even before First Post Corner. A nice line around that corner brought us even closer to their boat, and about halfway between there and Ditton Corner is was clear we were going to get the bump. It got tougher as we ran in to Sidney’s wash, but our strong, steady rowing kept us together, while another neat corner saw us bump them just as we rounded Grassy. It was a very impressive performance by the whole crew, made all the sweeter by the fact that we caught Sidney earlier than they had caught us the day before. Even an assassination attempt by an outside-bank hugging Girton couldn’t shake us.

Day Four- Rowed over

Final day. We’d achieved our first bump, and Wolfson ahead of us were on course for spoons. We drew closer to them right from the off, but Sidney were also hot on our tail. The crew stayed calm, and by first post corner we were visibly pushing away from Sidney and closing in on Wolfson. This trend continued, and by Grassy we were on three whistles. However, the rather frantic crew ahead gave us a rather choppy wash to contend with, and while we continued to apply the pressure, we struggled to gain that final foot that would have given us the bump. (Sidney, for the record, were a lost cause.) We were visibly putting pressure on Wolfson, as their cox spent more of the journey down the second half of Plough Reach looking back at us. However, Wolfson took a neat line around Ditton Corner, giving us next to no distance to gain on them there. A railings finish gave us a very short distance for our final push, and Wolfson finally limped over the finish line after catching a crab. Nevertheless, a very good row and a full credit to the whole crew.

- Ollie Bond

M2 Lents Bumps 2012

Posted by John Harris on Sunday 18th March 2012
Day 1
The first fifteen strokes or so were good. We closed a little on Darwin, but then let them slip away. Anglia Ruskin forgetting where top finish was lead to an interesting last minute thrash as we chased an overbump that had seemed impossible until CCAT pulled almost fully to one side at the Penny Ferry. Result: Rowed over

Day 2
The River Gods smiled upon M2 as we reunited James WINchester with Sir John. Bow side received a power boost as well, with Pete Wilkes subbing into the five seat. The result was spectacular. Our start sequence took the rating up into the forties, striding into the high thirties leaving a speedy Selwyn crew directly behind us falling away. Whistles came quickly, and Magdalene M2 eventually conceded at the entrance to Grassy Corner. Sadly Magdalene left their concession so late that by the time they had
separated from us we did not have time to move to the towpath and pull in. To make matters worse Selwyn's coxswain knew the line she wanted, and wasn't in the mood to go wide around Grassy. With us sat on the inside of the turn Selwyn charged down The Gut and turned in tightly to run over Sir John's stern. A couple of minutes of awkwardness ensued as Selwyn tried to dismount without success and waves started to wash into Beth's cox-pit. Eventually we were allowed to row as a 16 over to the towpath where after a lot more pushing and pulling the shells were finally unlocked. We were very lucky nobody was hurt, and that both shells were available to use on Friday. Result: Bumped Magdalene M2

Day 4
Only one substitute on Friday, Dave Bishop going into the bow seat. Having worked out what an aggressive race was on Wednesday we went hard off the start again. St. Edmund's really need to learn how to concede, Sir John's bowball was broken off in a collision with their 7 rigger as both crews exited First Post Corner. Result: Bumped St Edmund's M1

Day 5
Saturday saw us return to the crew that had started the week. We aimed to take Darwin out quickly, knowing we had initially been faster than them on day 1. This time they were head of division, so had no way of escaping early. Another good strong start and stride, and the first whistle came surprisingly early. The second followed as we pushed down The Gut. Cheers came from our supporters on Grassy Corner as we moved to within a third of a length. But no third whistle came, and as we took the boat round the second half of the corner everything became very heavy. The rate dropped, boat speed collapsed - if anything had been chasing us we would have been in trouble. Worse was to come as emerging from Ditton Corner, at which point we were still just inside one length, a headwind sapped the last life from the row. With each stroke the boat felt heavier and heavier, no longer working as a crew we slogged Sir John along. It was not long until Darwin had easily moved away from us, and by Top Finish I understand they had
several lengths of clear water. Result: Row Over

Up two for the week so moving in the right direction, and although we failed to break into the second division we haven't left ourselves stuck in sandwich boat. Nobody bumped us, which is nice, but rather disappointingly the two row-overs were a result of us losing cohesion. Sir John needs a lot of TLC, and is still carrying a lot of water in his stern. Beth is worried that Bomber hates her, and following one too many calls of "two take a stroke NO BOW BOW I MEANT BOW" everyone else is glad it's Bomber who
straightens us up at the start of a race.

M1 Head Of The River 2012

Posted by Rebecca Tsao on Saturday 17th March 2012
By Lizzie Bennett

M1 headed down to London for a nice little paddle on the Tideway ahead of racing in the Head of the River Race on the 17th March 2012. We had a joint outing with Fitzwilliam M1, and Bomber was particularly excited about getting to ride in the launch and pit his boys (and girl) against the Fitz crew. After rigging the boat, we took to the water for a bit of friendly sparring, giving rowers and cox an opportunity to adjust to the wide open waters of the Thames. Heading back to land, we were mindful of the fact that we weren’t sure how deep the water was at any point, so stroke Emanuel Malek and cox Lizzie Bennett decided to play it safe and not pull in too far to the shore, so as not to bend the rudder or fin, despite Simon Kirk’s insistence that we could get closer. Backed up by Bomber, Manners and Lizzie smugly asked Simon to de-boat and help pull us in. However, to everybody’s surprise they were proved to be wrong about the water being only knee-deep, and Skirk was promptly plunged into rather cold, rather suspiciously brown-coloured Thames water up to the chest. Taken this with a surprising amount of good grace, he contented himself with a stern, exasperated, yet oddly triumphant glare. Once back on land, it turned out that we had bent the fin a little but this was nothing Bomber couldn’t fix. We derigged and split the boat so it could be transported to Hammersmith then split up into our little sleepover parties (everyone was staying the night somewhere in London).

Everyone was at Hammersmith on time the next day, which was a good start, and we were all put to work assembling the boat. We had a lovely paddle down on some quite clear water and got ourselves in position for the start. However, we had a very, very long wait and it did get rather cold - and a bit wet in the end. Certain crew members from other clubs seemed to have particularly poor control of their sphincter muscles, and many crews exhibited some careful ‘sitting the boat’ exercises as individuals stood up to empty their bladders out of the boat - to the full view of a not-particularly-appreciative Peterhouse M1. The Peterhouse rowers, being rather more gentlemanly than those other chaps, shared an empty bottle to wee into, and Lizzie soon learned not to moan about being cold for fear of being offered a ‘hot water bottle’ to cuddle. After all this waiting around (and, sadly, not seeing Matthew Pinsent, who was marshalling crews on the other side of the river) it was eventually time to spin and start racing!

The race started well. We were using the same plan that we’d used at Kingston Head - breaking the race down into three minute cycles, with each minute within that cycle focussing on technique in pairs, the whole crew or power. We had a really nice rhythm and made up distance on the crews in front. Coming up towards the famous Hammersmith Bridge (with its even more famous second lamppost from the right), we started to catch up on an eight from Cardiff University. Thanks in no small way to Manuel’s advice, Lizzie managed a line coming up to Hammersmith that was complimented by Bomber afterwards and it was just under Hammersmith Bridge (and consequently right underneath some photographers) that Cardiff and Peterhouse clashed; a clash which should now be known as The Battle of Hammersmith Bridge. Despite repeated and dire threats from Lizzie, Cardiff had not moved over, and were subsequently taken out in unforgiving style by Peterhouse bowside. Our rhythm only temporarily affected, we strode on and pushed out of the bridge towards Fulham.

At this point in the race, less fit crews were really beginning to struggle, and they were being pushed out into the shallower, slower water towards the Surrey bank. Luckily, Peterhouse was by no means an unfit crew, and coming past Fulham we proceeded to overtake more crews, accompanied by the joyful sounds of insults being thrown around between the coxes of roughly five crews at any one time - just as well that there were no children present. Peterhouse continued to power through and made some really good pushes past other crews. Soon the black (now yellow) buoy was in sight and we were nearly finished. We finally pushed across the line in a time of 19:50.74, a time which didn’t put us in the top 100 but did make us the 6th fastest Cambridge college boat (after Caius, LMBC, Queens’, Christ’s and Selwyn and ahead of Pembroke, Hughes Hall, Clare, FaT, Caius M2, Emmanuel, King’s, Magdalene, Jesus, Fitzwilliam, Trinity Hall and Wolfson - not bad!).

A special mention should also go to Matt White from Peterhouse who was rowing in the Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club eight - they came a very commendable 39th overall, despite a very recent crew change. This set them in good stead for their victory over Oxford at the Henley Boat Races eight days later!

Cox - Lizzie Bennett
Stroke - Emanuel Malek
7 - Simon Kirk
6 - Rob Watson
5 - Karel KabelÍk
4 - Paul Vardanega
3 - Bob Evans
2 - Richard Dearden
Bow - Simon Neville

W2 Getting On Race Lent 2012

Posted by Admin on Friday 24th February 2012
After a disappointing result at Pembroke Regatta, W2 approached the Getting On Race with a renewed sense of determination. This was reflected in a very confident performance; the crew were relaxed the length of the race, moved together, and kept the rate consistent at our target of 33.5. We had some strong pushes along the straight parts of the course, while some impressive technical rowing ensured that no speed was lost, even around the sharpest corners.

Despite the high proportion of ex-novices in the boat, and the lack of experience at rowing a 2k course- largely due to the cancellation of Bedford head- the crew pulled together for a performance that made even Skirk smile with pride. A special mention here must go to our ever-impressive bankparty -referred to by a Robinson coach as the ‘Peterhouse army’- whose shouts and support encouraged the crew to continue to push over the length of the course. The outcome of the GoR was a very impressive time of 9 minutes and 10 seconds, easily winning us a place in this year’s Lent Bumps, and a real proof of what this crew is capable of.
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