Peterhouse Boat Club

Race Reports

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

Michaelmas 2013 - Novice Women

Posted by Andrei Lebed on Friday 27th December 2013
Race Report written by Oli Wettern, LBO

The term has been an extremely productive one for the Novice Women, proving that success can be attained without having to undergo the cold hinterland of Michaelmas term early-morning outings! The squad quickly settled into a keen and motivated group of eleven, who along with a fresh crop of novice coxes, have developed a real sense of teamwork in the course of the term.
The first few weeks went well, with the crew progressing extremely quickly to rowing as an VIII, feathered blades. Having set down this benchmark early on the coaching could therefore concentrate on improving individual technique and getting the crew to row more coherently, rather than still worrying about the absolute basics of the rowing stroke. As the crew became more confident going down to the Lock became the norm for our outings, rather than the end of term rarity that it can sometimes seem for novice crews. With the distance put in, the rhythm and timing improved, and the potential in the boat became clear.
The crew’s first test was Emma Sprint – eschewing the distractions of fancy dress, they overcame technical difficulties to power through the opening rounds, including an excellent fight back from being half a length down to come through and win by a length. Unfortunately our opponents in the semi-final combined with windy conditions to prove too strong for us; nevertheless, being in the top four crews is in itself a great achievement, and we were extremely pleased. The crew’s ability to remain relaxed under pressure boded well for the altogether more daunting Fairbairn’s race.
This proved to be an absolute nightmare weather-wise – white-topped waves on the Long Reach were a new experience for crews normally restricted to only rowing under green flags. However the girls managed admirably, keeping a solid race-pace all the way through to the finish, and posting an excellent upper half time, well within the top portion of the other novice crews. The row back against the wind was certainly interesting, but the celebrations of Boat Club Dinner more than made up for any next day soreness!
It has been great fun coaching the Novice Squad this term – we look forward to seeing them carry their dedication into the Senior Squad next term, and realise the potential they undoubtedly have, both as a crew and as individuals.

May Bumps 2013 - M2

Posted by Andrei Lebed on Friday 16th August 2013
Day 1 - Row Over
Day 2 - Row Over
Day 3 - Row Over
Day 4 - Bumped First and Third Trinity III

Bow: Timothy Beach 2: Cornelius Riethdorf 3: Andrew Sultana 4: Henk-Jaap Wagenaar 5: Oliver Wettern 6: Yohei Rosen 7: Jack Lewis Stroke: Titas Sokolovas Cox: Charlotte Coles

Coaches: Frank Suess, Andy Muston

Report written by Henk-Jaap Wagenaar

During Easter M2 participated in a few races, and we knew we were amongst the faster boats in the pack.

Day 1 - Chasing St. Catherine's III, chased by Lady Margaret III

After a good start we started closing on Catz, very slowly, whilst we could hear Catz getting whistles on Emma II. Meanwhile, we were leaving Maggie eating dust, opening up more and more distance as we were coming up to Grassy Corner, after which we got our first whistle on Catz.

During the Plough Reach we pushed hard, however as we went on the Long Reach we rowed passed the parked Catz and Emma crew. The coaches on the bank told us to go for the 'overbump', which we could not achieve, and we wound it down as we got up to the P&E. Afterwards our coaches realised we were actually chasing a double overbump and doing quite well.

Overall a satisfying row-over.

Day 2 - Chasing Emmanuel II, chased by Lady Margaret III

We pushed off Maggie again easily, and we started closing on Emma. Suddenly we were closing quickly on Emma, a bit too quickly, and we careered into them as the division was halted since FaT III after being bumped failed to clear the river. After a restart with Emma starting from Top Station, we started closing again. We kept on closing slowly, getting signals in the Plough Reach, closing to canvas at the beginning of the Long Reach and getting overlap halfway along the way, which we maintained for about a minute after which we started to drop back again. In the distance we saw Maggie getting caught by Girton.

An extremely unsatisfying row-over.

Day 3 - Chasing Emmanuel II, chased by Girton II

Today we knew we hard to go off hard to get Emma, since they were chasing the spooning FaT III which was stacked last year with Headship blades. We never got close though and Emma caught FaT near grassy corner. We pushed Girton away easily, for a satisfying row-over, knowing tomorrow would finally be our day.

Day 4 - Chasing First and Third Trinity III, chased by Girton II

This was the day, our crew, who were all in their first year of bumps, we would do it. And we did. We caught them just after the cross-over point, and whilst the rain was pouring on us, our spectators were cheering us on in Grassy Corner were we parked and we cheered, also giving FaT III their well-deserved spoons for messing up the division two years running, and part of the PBC clean sweep of the day with bumps in all boats.

May Bumps 2013 M1 - Blades

Posted by Andrei Lebed on Wednesday 14th August 2013
Final result: Up 5 places from 20th to 15th (Blades)
Day one: Bumped Robinson
Day two: Bumped Churchill and bumped Trinity Hall as sandwich boat
Day three: Bumped Magdelene
Day four: Bumped Homerton

Day one - Andrei Lebed
We knew we were a fast crew by race results earlier in term, but the first day of Bumps is always nerve-wracking. One of my mates in the crew that we were chasing (Robinson) had requested that we ‘do it quickly’ in advance. No such luck I’m afraid - we chose to savour every stroke. In reality, our first bump was not much to be proud of. Once we hit 2 whistles, instead of mentally resetting and finishing the job, we got a bit sloppy in the dirty water in front of us and dragged out the bump until Ditton corner. For me, that was the first time I had ever bumped - and it wasn’t quite what I had expected. Nevermind, we vowed to spare the crews ahead of us the pain in future days. Retrospectively, I believe we did. Still, nothing to complain about, we got our first bump!

Day two, race one - Andrei Lebed
Having got our first bump out of the way, day two was a bit simpler. Having demonstrated to the crew in front during paddling earlier that week that we were a faster crew, we agreed that when we got 2 whistles on them we would refocus and finish the job, sparing everybody the pain of dragging it out. The gun went, and Churchill went off with an impressive start. Having finished our start sequence, we were just within distance. However we weren’t disheartened, we knew this was our tactic. As predicted, after a minute and a half, Churchill started wilting, and the whistles started coming. We had only settled into our monster rhythm, and once Mike called for us to add in the lower back swing along Plough reach we quickly ate up the distance between us, leading to a neater bump than day one. This was big news for us - we had just become sandwich boat, and had a chance that day of making it into the first division.

Day two, race two - Milan Bruncvik
Earlier that day we already bumped Churchill which qualified us as the sandwich boat in the 1st division. After that we were left with about an hour to refuel, recover and get prepared for another race. The morale was high the fatigue low! We were eager for our first race in the 1st division. High strokes, starts, all pumped up, ready, sitting in the boat waiting for the roar of the cannon to start off the race. The goal - bump anyone who happens to be in front of us - no mercy. The start was good. The high strokes and transition as well. We managed to settle in to a machine rhythm. Shortly we could already hear the whistle signals from the bank (getting closer and closer to a bump). Then Mike called a burst. A few powerful strokes and the race is over - we have just bumped the Trinity Hall boat! Confirming Peterhouse's place in the 1st division and a step closer to our blades.

Day three - Andrei Lebed
Perhaps one of our most memorable days. We were after Magdelene, who were spooning at the time. Bomber wanted us to take them out, fast. The cannon went, we executed our start, wind, started thinking about settling and suddenly BUMP! We had bumped them in 48 strokes, just before the Motorway Bridge. Bomber was happy. I’m surprised our boat stayed afloat on the way back given the size of our egos after that. One more day to go, and the ‘b’ word crept into all of our dreams that night like a cookie jar just out of reach. But not for long. The next day we had the chance to make history - the first women’s crew had already gone up three, and we had already gone up four. How anybody slept that night, I have no idea.

Day four - Mike Wheeldon

It'd be fair to say that the feelings were tense in the changing room before Saturday's race - so far everything had gone to plan, and although no one wanted to mention the 'b-word'; blades were on everyone's mind.

A few hours earlier we were with our W1 in the Master's Lodge, kindly invited by the Master for a solid pre-bumps breakfast (or a tantalising view of a spectacular breakfast for the two coxes). The next time we saw the women, we were on our warm up row and they were rowing home carrying the flag, which was the moment that we realised they'd got their 4th bump and therefore their blades - the pressure was really on now! After a congratulatory shout, heads were back in the boat and we continued with our warm up row.

The practice start just outside the plough was our fastest of the term, with a 500m split time of 1:14. Armed with that final confidence boost, we continued up to the lock and to the start of the final race of our Bumps campaign.

Every day of Bumps race is unpredictable and lining up we knew that this was no exception, Homerton were probably faster than Girton ahead of them, which meant that if we spent too much time catching Homerton, they might have bumped out and our only option for a final bump and the blades we all craved, would be the over-bump on Fitzwilliam - no mean feat in the mens' first division. Throughout the term the focus had been a very internal one: making our boat go as fast as possible and not worrying too much about what everyone else was up to. We all agreed that this final race was no different and with our race plan in mind, came forward at the start, waiting for the cannon.

We had a strong start, but unfortunately so did Homerton - for the first 30 seconds we were about on our distance, confirming that this wasn't going to be a quick bump like yesterday. Coming out of the first corner heading to the motorway bridge we settled into our power rhythm of 37 strokes per minute and started to close in on Homerton. All the way down the 2nd reach from the motorway bridge we continued with our determined and solid rhythm, encouraged by the fact that we were slowly gaining on Homerton, who were down to half a length's lead with about 150m to go into First Post corner. We were unsure how close Homerton were to Girton, but by that point it didn't matter, we could taste the final bump we were all so hungry for and coming up to First Post corner had the final bumping push that we'd perfected over the course of the week. Slowed down by having to steer for the corner, Homerton fell back towards us and we bumped them roughly at the apex of the corner.

Without wanting to sound too cliché, it's hard to describe the emotions for the next 60 seconds. Although the immediate concern was to clear the river for the crews racing behind us, our attention was quickly turned to the fact that we'd just bladed into the first division; a perfect end to a very successful term of rowing, that was also a number of our crew's last term with PBC. Fortunately our captain, Henk-Jaap had managed to cycle all the way back with the flag so we could complete our final row as a crew in real style, with greenery and the Peterhouse flag proudly flying. We returned to our boat house to find our women waiting there to celebrate double blades with us, celebrations that promptly evolved into our May's Dinner - a truly magnificent evening, breaking attendance records and providing a very fitting end to a term of very successful rowing for our first boats.

May Bumps 2013 W1 - Blades

Posted by Andrei Lebed on Sunday 21st July 2013
Day 1: Bumped Magdelene

Day 2: Bumped Selwyn

Day 3: Bumped Girton

Day 4: Bumped Trinity Hall - blades

Bow: Louise Wilkinson,
2: Laura- Nadine Schumacher,
3: Laura Brown,
4: Claire Nellany,
5: Hannah Laidley,
6: Jennie Sloane,
7: Beth Keith,
Stroke: Kate Ashley,
Cox: Paddy Alton

We went into Mays 17th in the first division, confident that we were one of the fastest of the crews around us and hoping we had some bumps luck on our side this time!

Day one was a repeat of day 1 in Lents, chasing Magdelene again. I think the memories of row over after row over last year were more than enough motivation to drive us away from Kings in sandwich boat too and we had a strong start. Before the motorway bridge Kings had lost ground and soon after we had whistles on Magdelene. A strong move got us more whistles and we got the first bump of the week before First Post.

On day two, our pace was matched initially with pushes from a Selwyn crew determined to stay ahead. We settled into the “Peterhouse Rhythm” out of the motorway bridge and gained our first whistle on First Post reach. This pushed Selwyn towards Girton in front of them and it was soon a case of whether we could catch them before they caught Girton. Coming round first post we had three whistles to Selwyn’s two and the bump came soon after in the Gut.

This put us at 15 in the bumps charts, matching Peterhouse W1’s highest ever finish in Mays. Rowing down to the start we knew it was only Girton standing in between us and making PBC history and when the gun went they gave us the hardest race of the week. We were soon out of danger of Selwyn, but the whistles came much slower than on the first two days as Girton initially moved away and had gained on Trinity Hall through First Post. Trinity Hall managed to hold them off and our moves got us within reach of the bump. Girton finally conceded in front of The Plough and that was it- history made!

Up three with only Saturday to go, no one was mentioning the B-word, in W1 or M1 who were also up three- there was potential to have a lot to celebrate at BCD... The whole crew was fired up and keen to give the alumni and supporters on the bank something to celebrate. After Girton moved away from us and Trinity Hall fought hard on day three, we were expecting a tough race. We had a quick start and moved into our rhythm well- it worked and we got early whistles. A move into the motorway bridge and another one out of it got us more whistles and the fourth bump of the week, like the first, came before First Post- BLADES!

Blades and the highest finish ever by a Peterhouse W1 was an amazing way to end a great year for the women’s squad. Well done girls (and Paddy)- a fantastic crew and I’m very proud to have been a part of it!

Kate Ashley

Head Of The Cam 2013 - M1

Posted by Andrei Lebed on Monday 13th May 2013
On the morning, Andrei realised he was ill - although still managed to complete the warm up - so a lightweight from Christ’s called John Beckett came in, probably slowing the boat down and definitely reducing our singing ability (only joking, thanks John!)

Just before setting off, the stroke man decided he’d had enough and ran off into the bushes, and was only coaxed out by the promise of all the Dojo’s he could eat.

We started really strong, which may have had something to do with the Olympian in the seven seat, but just as much to do with the grit and determination which PBC has come to expect from its first boat. Once we’d settled, we just, sort of, kept doing it. Rowing really is quite repetitive once you’ve got the oars going in the right place. We cruised over the course with the odd wobble, but always pulling it back together. The conditions were difficult but brought the best out of us and we attacked the second half well.

It was a good result, winning our division and placing us well against other M1s. It is encouraging for the term ahead.
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