The Club's Results

Pembroke Regatta, Lent Term 2012

1st women's VIII (1st division)

Coxed by: Michael Thornton
Coached by: Richard Fletcher, Peter Ford,

1st round
Beat Girton I Easily
On the start line, amid waves that were - depending on whether you asked the crew or our bank party- between 1.5 and 0.5 feet peak to peak, I turned to the marshal and asked why we were racing in these conditions. Understandably, he was more concerned with getting everyone straight.

Our start wasn't as panicked as I was expecting, and we got as much power out of the 3 draw as could be expected in the conditions. We moved on Girton on the start and steadily extended our lead. Clipping waves and wobbling slightly, we carried on at 34 for possibly longer than was necessary. I discovered that the perspective on distance is very different from the 7 seat, and was unwilling to wind it down for fear that something disastrous might happen.

Insistent calls from our bank party brought us down to 30, then 28, eventually crossing the line at about 26. A good race for shaking out the nerves. Many apologies to Girton for having to cheer us first, I was concerned about breaking my blade on the bank as we pulled in and forgot to call for it. (Julia A.)
2nd round
Beat Fitzwilliam I Easily
Conditions had calmed slightly, but a trip to the toilet meant we missed our division moving up to the Railway Bridge and we had to row straight up to Ditton. Fordy's commands became garbled in the wind and we missed out the r26 burst, going for a single race-rate burst on the reach before some interesting spinning at grassy.

Our second start felt much like the first, but I particularly enjoyed the wind. It felt neat and together and we moved away from Fitz nicely. There were a few big strokes at the surge, but I felt it wasn't as definite as it could have been. We built up a lead and then began a series of strides to bring the rate down and conserve our energy. There was a bit of confusion on the finish line, with our 'wind down' coming before the whistle, but we didn't feel it would have made much of a difference anyway.

All in all, this race would have been enjoyable without the weather. (Julia A.)
Quarter finals
Beat King's I by 1/2 Length
We were expecting this to be a much more difficult race than the last two. Kings had come close to us in races before, and we knew we couldn't take anything for granted. I was sitting on the start line with significantly more trepidation this time.

I'm not sure what happened off the start, but if we moved on King's, it wasn't by much. The start was good, and we weren't expecting to stride by much, but I was concerned when the rate was sticking at 37. We were sitting at half a length up, very aware that it was still anyone's race. The rate gradually strode out to 34 with length and rhythm, but most of what I could hear was the King's bank party, and I ended up rowing the race by responding to his calls in order to absorb the King's pushes. We probably should have called one of our own to attempt to gain more seats, but the technical lift after the railway bridge accomplished this reasonably.

I thought the margin was closer than Pembroke say it was, but by 300m to the finish, all I was aware of was Kerrie's back.

King's were very gracious after the line, especially with our indecision causing us to block their path. An excellent race. They stuck with us the whole way and were very worthy opponents. Certainly a crew to watch out for in Bumps, and we wish them all the best. (Julia A.)
Semi finals
Lost to Christ's I by 1 1/4 Length
We knew this race was going to be difficult. The fact that conditions had calmed and it had turned into a beautiful day buoyed our spirits, as did some nice paddling on the reach.

Our start was probably the best of the day, but they moved on us here, and gradually ate up seat after seat. As they were edging out to clear water around the houses on the reach I called for a push. There was little response, which (I was assured afterwards) was because we were all at max pressure already. In retrospect, I should have called for it earlier in an attempt to gain back a few seats, but I don't believe it would have changed the end result.

After the railway bridge Michael assured us that we were still in the race and we called a series of up 2's. Unfortunately they had little effect.

Christs definitely deserved to win this race, but I hope we gave them a good one.

Thank you to our incredible super sub Hannah, who we dropped into the 3 seat, having not rowed in months, and slotted in perfectly. Neil's presence on the bank raised everyone's spirits, as ever, and all the support and kit was much appreciated!

Thank you to the Pembroke marshals, who were pleasant and very competent in both rain and shine, and wonderfully patient with all of our faffing.

A good day of racing, and a solid platform to take into Bumps. (Julia A.)
Some people say that mental strength / hardness is innate, that either you've got it or you haven't. This is incorrect. It is possible to toughen up. This crew has toughened up. (Neil T)

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