Tales from the Riverbank

Words by Andrew Muston (m. 1981)

Throughout the term it was a joy to be associated with PBC owing to the results achieved by the various crews and respect given by other Clubs. It is quite something when Caius request battle paddling outings with both M1 and M2!

A remarkably benign Lent Term in terms of weather concluded with a nasty sting courtesy of Storm Larisa, but W1 (pictured below) still managed to achieve blades for the first time since 2009, despite cancellations and challenging conditions across the week.

Away from the Cam, Petreans have also excelled. Ollie Parish and Nick Mayhew helped the Cambridge Men’s Crew win against Oxford in the Boat Race. Ollie has also been involved in GB 2K Trials in an U23 pair. Two other 1st May colours (Tom George and Ollie Wynne-Griffith) continue to utilise what they learnt at PBC by being the quickest pair at GB 2K Trials.

Lent Bumps

Lent Bumps this year were marred by Storm Larisa: The Met Office promised temperatures well below zero, wind and snow scenes were expected and coaches donned more and more kit. Tuesday and Wednesday proved to be far more kind meteorologically with time for W2 to be ‘fined’ by CUCBC for ‘Peterhouse W2 - Rescuing a stray dog (called Lady) from the towpath - Commendation, and a plate of meatballs’.

W1 crew posing with blades outside of Peterhouse Boat Club after winning in Lent Bumps 2023On Thursday Larisa bared her teeth and deluged crews and coaches alike – luckily skin is waterproof. Come Friday the river level had risen well over the hards and with a strong stream. Racing was cancelled (previously only done for ice, Foot & Mouth and Covid) and, with conditions only a little better, racing on the Saturday only took place for the top two Men’s and Women’s divisions. However, over the course of the week, W1 still managed to bump Murray Edwards, Homerton, Darwin and St Catharine’s on the last day to win blades (pictured). This is the first time since 2009 that Peterhouse W1 has achieved blades and marks the return to Division 1. W2 had only 2 races and went down one; M2 had 2 races and went down 1 but then up 3 with a classy overbump; and M1 went down 2 over three races. Speed does not always translate into being able to race bumps effectively for M1.

Away from Bumps, there was much racing on the Cam with the following highlights:

  • January Head2Head  (2 x 2000m rowed back to back): M1 4th in College 1st VIIIs.  M2 6th in College 2nd VIIIs and Alex Dalton 1st Open College M1x some 41 seconds ahead of the field in a total time of 17:08.
  • February Newnham Head (2000m):   W1 1st in College 2nd Lents Division VIIIs 19 seconds ahead of the field, M2 1st equal in College Lower Divisions VIIIs and M1 3rd in College 1st Lents Division. Yes, it can be confusing when some events are run by Bumps division but others are by crew numerical category.
  • February Winter League (2600m): Alex Dalton 1st in Open College M1x some 43 seconds ahead of the field in a time of 11:39. While crew results are enjoyable, it is particularly pleasing to see success when individuals test themselves alone. Bumps Getting on Race: M2 and W2 both qualified though unfortunately M3 did not.