Pembroke Regatta 2011

M2 matched last year's performance against a series of strong crews, winning the first two races before losing to eventual champions Caius M2 in the quarter-finals.

For the first time this term, we'd managed to put out the full racing crew, and so were looking for a strong performance to indicate our intentions for bumps. However, the weather decided not to cooperate with the idea of sitting on the river for an all-day regatta, and hence various types of waterproofing, from ponchos to space blankets, had to be used.

1st round - Beat Queens' II by 2 lengths

Being in a quarter of the draw with 6 2nd division boats out of 8, we knew we were up against it. Whilst we had been faster than Queens' at Robinson Head, we were aware they were somewhat less likely to crash on the straight Pembroke Regatta course. After a practice start that is best described in words not suitable for this website, I was a bit concerned about our prospects for the race. However, after a much better start with only a couple of minor washouts had moved us up 3 seats, the power came on with the stride call, moving out a foot every stroke until Lara's call that we were 3/4 of a length up. A perfectly timed push to counteract their bend under the railway bridge, coupled by taking the perfect line, meant that we had clear water coming past the marshalled crews, and we continued to push away until 2 length clear, when the rate dropped slightly to ensure clean rowing through the line. A very pleasing result against a strong crew.

2nd round - Beat Emmanuel II easily

I would write a race report, but aside from being on the opposite stations, it was almost identical to the race against them at the same stage last year. This time the distance came from the stride, but the same story - we were a length up with 200m to go, they pushed too hard, 6 man crabbed again. Paddled it across the line. Another good performance against a strong 2nd division crew.

Quarter-final - Lost to Caius II by 1 1/2 lengths

I will admit to being slightly intimidated by that massive yellow boat that Caius M2 row. We'd seen them row up to the start in previous rounds, and they looked slick, quick, and most importantly, notably bigger than us. Whilst we gave it everything we had, they blew us out of the water at the start, and we'd quickly lost almost an entire length. Whilst some solid pushes meant that the gap didn't increase much, the occasional poor stroke gave them a few feet each time, negating all the hard work and meaning that we couldn't close the gap at all. However, against a crew who look like they are worth their position in the top half of division 2, it wasn't a bad result.

We now know the aspects of our racing that we have to address before bumps, and have 10 days to put it right!