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The Club's Results

Pembroke Regatta, Lent Term 2013

A side-by-side knock out regatta on the reach, over 1100m
Sat 16th February

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1st men's VIII, 1st division

2nd round
Beat Churchill M1 by 1 1/2 lengths (at least 2 lengths)
Our chance to practice our start against not-M2, and my chance to explore the other side of the river in hopeful preparation for the final. Our start was demonstrably effective, the bounds of my water were less clear. Meadowside really is a bitch, the Bumps line fucks with you. Oh well, we were far enough ahead that it didn't matter, and I was now prepared to deal with the final should the need arise. (Thornton)
Quarter finals
Beat Jesus M1 by a canvas (at least 1 1/2 lengths)
Having practised bumping us during marshalling, multiple times, nothing gave me more pleasure than to see Jesus edge slightly ahead in the first few strokes. They had gone off hard, and they were going to blow just as epically. We started to move through them about 10 strokes in, then we quickly opened up clear water and sat there. The rest of the race was uninteresting. (Thornton)
Semi finals
Beat Downing M1 by a canvas (just under a seat)
An intense race. From what I remember, Downing gained slightly off the start, but we moved steadily through them up the Reach ending up a few seats ahead. At the Railway bridge they took control again, taking back our lead with the inside of the corner and moving ahead by a seat or two with a push. We kept to our rhythm and held them. Coming into our advantage around Morley's Holt, we stepped it up and began our battle. In the words of Neil, "Yeah boys, yeah, moving on your corner, yeah, yeah, you are going through them boys". Through them we went, just. Ming maintains we won the race by sheer force of will. I can't wait till we meet them in Bumps, knowing we are faster whilst hopefully remembering how to row. (Thornton)
Lost to Caius M1 by 1 length (at least)
Having given Caius quite an audible shock in our race against Downing, we knew there was no surprising them. We arrived at the start line with some of the crew still trying to catch their breath, the encroaching evening laying a very silent river. The marshals spent quite a while getting us lined up (and rather insistently 'straightening up' Caius - I feel they knew what they were doing Pembroke...), clearly expecting this race to mean something, and then we started. We held Caius in the start, we may have even edged slightly ahead; that's what happens when you're the underdog. We found our rhythm easily enough, still holding them. And then we realised just how much force of will beating Downing had taken. Caius started to pull away gently. At the railway bridge we would have an advantage. We waited, and then we tried to move, but we had nowhere to go. Caius remained ahead, and we were beaten.

Oh, one more thing, it is seemingly possible for both stations to take constantly diverging lines down the course. (Thornton)
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1st women's VIII, 1st division

2nd round
Beat Sidney W1 by 3 lengths
Sun in Lent term is a rare occurrence and we had it in boatloads on the day. Our first race saw the crew in high spirits and committing solidly to moving the boat together, a good start to one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. Definitely agree with Thornton about the meadowpath (yes, there's a path) line - must have been the bizarrely idyllic weather messing with our heads! Would've liked to practise our wind for the finish in non-early morning water, but we decided to spare Sidney the "easily." (Yining)
This was the only race in which we managed to marshal correctly. It was a huge faff, and in retrospect our modified version was probably better, but stressful at the time. I'm happy to report that the whole division managed to get to the start with bows and stern intact, despite inconvenient barge placement in Plough Reach.

We hadn't really 'road tested' our start yet and so were a little apprehensive on the start line, but we kept our eyes in the boat and very soon Yining was shouting 'Bowgirl!' and then 'Bowball!'. We strode once or twice and began conserving energy for the next race. The boat felt solid and commitment was good. We knew complacency could finish us off earlier in the regatta than we wanted, and so kept the pressure on across the line. A good race for our frazzled nerves. (Julia A.)
Quarter finals
Beat Selwyn W1 easily
First time I've turned around in the cox's seat in a while. Unfortunately I still missed seeing the crab. (Yining)
The Pembroke results are largely wrong when they state the margin as a 'canvas'. This race was much the same as the last, solid start, nice rhythm, and a good settle onto 28 once we had enough clear water.

If Pembroke would just rent some portable toilets I would have been much less stressed during marshalling. I'm sure the locals at the pub would be grateful too. Having sweaty rowers in damp lycra traipsing through your pub can't be nice for them... (Julia A.)
Semi finals
Lost to Downing W1 by 1 length
Easily the best start of the day. Downing were able to pull ahead by 3/4 length early on but we matched them push for push all the way down the reach. Our racing line quickly turned to a rather racy line under the bridge but we did well to hold it together through the wash. A big thanks to Catherine for subbing in to what was some of our most committed rowing all term. Indeed it was a disappointing result but still one that demonstrated the serious challenge we pose to Downing's headship. I think we can come out of this regatta with renewed conviction that if we lay everything on the line and work together, Downing will go down. (Yining)
This was the race we had been gearing up for all day. From past results, we suspected that whoever won this race would win the regatta. Having had a few dress-rehearsals, our start had been honed a bit and though Downing took distance here, it felt sharp and clean.

We settled onto our race pace with a big rhythm change that set us up on a solid platform. Yining buoyed us up with calls for power and reports of what was going on on our right while steering such brilliant lines that Fordy was worried we might lose a blade.

While Downing maintained their lead, a series of pushed from both crews saw the gap between us oscillate. Jon, Fordy and Neil were fantastic, shouting encouragement and generally drowning out the Downing bank party. Definitely some psychological warfare taking place there.

The end of this story is that in a hard fought race, Downing won (and won the regatta), but we've made huge strides in the past few weeks, and we're going to continue to get stronger, sharper and more determined. This was some of our best rowing so far, but there's more to come. Next week we'll see if we can surprise everyone again. (Julia A.)
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2nd men's VIII, 2nd division

1st round
Beat King's M2 Easily
King's II were an unknown, so we went hard off the start, gained massively, then strode 5 or so times as they gave up and we paddled home. The 'easy there' over the finish line caught me rather by surprise... (John)
2nd round
Beat Jesus M2 by 1 length
'We're better than your first boat', we thought to ourselves smugly as we paddled better than them to the start line. Then we went off, preparing for the same race as we'd had against King's. They were neither slow nor gave up, so unfortunately we had to fight for this one. The consensus was that at no point were we in danger of losing, but neither could we force them to give up and save our energy. Fun race, but a pity. (John)
Quarter finals
Best Pembroke M2 by 2 1/2 lengths
Very similar attitude and race to the previous, although slightly easier; again this was a shame. Over confidence was our downfall the entire day - we knew we were the best M2, but we kind of forgot to prove it. IIRC this race as well we wound it down slightly before the finish line, although this time we were trying desperately not to hit the previous finishers and our race pace (Darwin women or someone) who didn't clear the finish line... (John)
Semi finals
Beat St. Catharine's M2 by a canvas
Much harder than it had any right to be, we paddled up with much more style than them (as per usual), then gained on them very slowly throughout the race... This race, coming very soon before the final, took a lot out of us (or at least me). (John)
Lost to Caius M2 by a canvas
Knackered and feeling severely unwell, this was not a race I was looking forward to coming hard on the heels of our semifinal. We paddled to the start line, trying not to betray how shaky we felt, then started and gained on them. They copied our tactics, however, and waited for us to die before moving through; not even cutting the corner under the railway bridge was enough to close the distance between us and they beat us fair and square. As commented afterwards, the problem was that we were comfortable at 34, not at 38, and 34 just wasn't fast enough to beat Caius over such a short distance; hopefully our extra high rate work between Pembroke and bumps was enough to give us the lead we know we're capable of. (John)
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2nd women's VIII, 2nd division

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3rd men's VIII, 3rd division

Quarter finals
Beat Clare Hall M2 easily
Easily is putting it lightly. The race was over after about 30 seconds.

3 strokes in, we caught a crab. They pulled away slightly.

Within 5 strokes, we were back ahead.

A few strokes later, their 3-man caught an ejector crab and they held it up to try and help.

We wound it down fairly fast and paddled the rest of the way to the finish. (Barney)
Semi finals
Beat Caius M3 by 2 1/2 lengths
This was a pleasing race.

On the row up to the marshalling position, we played around with crew order and sides, to accommodate our lack of natural bowsiders. It became quickly clear that putting me on the wrong side was potentially an error, as I nearly crabbed on the first practice start. How embarrassing.

Anyway, the start during the race itself was a bit smoother (I didn't dare attempt to feather until stroke 5 or so, which probably helped). Once we went into our wind, it became clear that we were all over Caius, taking a seat every two or three strokes. Some great calls from Tony saw that we pushed right through them seat by seat, and then finished them off by putting in a big ten for clear water.

At this point I blew up pretty hard. My lungs were deeply unhappy with the whole affair, in particular the cold air, and decided they had had enough. I think Adam had a similar experience - I don't know who's idea it was to put us in stern pair! Fortunately though, by then the race was largely over, and we just sat about a length clear of Caius all the way through to the finish line.

Textbook race really. Great coxing, and great determination from the crew, putting in the big pushes when they were needed. Still a bit more sharpness to come too, particularly around the front end, so hopefully FaT M3 will only be getting faster in the run-up to Bumps. (Gonzo)
Beat Clare M3 by 2 1/2 lengths
Following our victory against Caius, I think we were all feeling quite confident going into this race. The rest of the crew assured me that they had had a good race against Clare M2 recently, so hopefully this was going to be a more straightforward race than the last.

This was incorrect. Clare had a pretty solid start, and although we moved up a few seats off the first 10 strokes or so, we didn't quite finish them off like we had done with Caius. However, some more nicely-timed calls from Tony saw that by the time we reached the Railway Bridge, we had opened up some clear water. The row to the line was very nice, with good length and a good push off the bridge. And having been a bit warmer at the start than I had been for the previous race, I didn't blow up this time, which was a nice bonus.

A very well-deserved victory for the crew, despite having to carry me down the course. I look forward to seeing lots of yellow smilies from M3 next week. (Gonzo)
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4th men's VIII, 3rd division

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5th men's VIII, 3rd division

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6th men's VIII, 3rd division

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