Thursday 2nd September 2004
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A Guide To College Rowing

In case you had not picked it up by now Pembroke is a rowing college - it is what we are good at. The boat club is the strongest in the whole of Oxford in terms of results, people and equipment. To keep it like that we need people like you to row for us. Whether you are an international oarsmen or a complete pie boy there is a boat for you. I usually delegate my content maker duties to one of the junior editors and ask them to write my discussion post for me.

A brief intro about rowing in oxford: There are two main events of the year "Torpids" and "Summer Eights" the former being in 7th Week of Hilary term and the latter 5th week of Trinity term. Basically all the boats are ranked in order according to their finishing position the year before. They then line up in divisions of 13 with 1.5 boat lengths between each boat with the idea being to catch up with the boat in front and "bump" them and hence change places for the next day. The ultimate aim is to become "Head of the River" that is 1st in the 1st division. The Men's 1st VIII are currently Head of the River in Eights with the Women's 1st VIII 5th in Torpids and Head of The River in Summer Eights. The Men's 2nd, 3rd and 4th VIII's are also the highest of their respective competitors, with the Women's 2nd VIII improving all the time. In 1st term there is a side by side regatta for novice crews - that is people who have never rowed before - with the emphasis more on having fun than winning although that would be nice. Look out for the Boat Club Party at the start of term - it is going to be messy!

Men?s Rowing

We would like to offer you the opportunity to join the most successful sports club in Pembroke. Whilst at Pembroke most people try their hand at rowing, ranging from complete novices to internationals.

For the novices our first goal is Christ Church Regatta at the end of the 1st term where you will get to race side by side against novice crews from other colleges (and hopefully open a 6 pack of whoop ass on them!) The build up to the regatta and the racing itself are very enjoyable and not the degree destroying, soul crushing, time waster that the football captain would have you believe, with nearly all of the people who row in Christ Church carrying on for the rest of the year mainly for the 2nd and 3rd Eights. Christ Church can also be a springboard for the more talented novices into the 1st VIII. It is quite possible that there will be at least one novice going on to row for the 1st VIII. In fact this year 4 of the 1st Torpid had learned to row in previous years at Pembroke.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have rowed before, we would strongly encourage you to continue rowing with us at Pembroke. The Men's Boat Club is extremely well equipped and very successful. We are currently Head Of the River in Eight, with arch rivals Oriel right behind. To give you an idea of the standard at Pembroke the 2003 1st Eight included three Junior or U23 internationals. To achieve this level of success does require a degree of commitment and the 1st VIII will be training most days, but it is unquestionably worth the effort.

In summary rowing can take up as much or as little time as you want it to. You might as well give it a go while you have got the chance and when 20,000 people are cheering for you in Summer Eights you will not regret your decision. If any one wants to know anything else about rowing then don't hesitate to contact the President or Men?s captain at or .

Women?s Rowing

Ever been at a loss for things to do during those wee small hours when you've just got home from a night on the town, and the rest of the civilized world is still asleep?

Pembroke women's boat club can relieve you of that troublesome decision making and introduce you to the fun and frosty frolics of early morning rowing. As unappealing as it may sound to some, at least you can look smug whilst munching on chocolate cake in front of your calorie conscious friends.

Even if you've never considered rowing or even gone for a light jog it's worth having a go. And if you're a health freak, enjoy pain or merely want to discover what it is about rowing that turns so many Oxford and Cambridge students into ergo score preoccupied weirdoes - we're the people for you.

The unique success enjoyed by both the women?s and men?s clubs at Pembroke mean that, unlike at other colleges, facilities and coaching resources are far more evenly allocated.

Finally, if anyone wants to know anything about rowing or coxing then please don't hesitate to get in contact at .


If you are not big enough to row or simply can't bear the thought of physical exertion but you still want to get involved in rowing then why not give coxing a try. Pembroke has got a good reputation for coxing. In 2000 you may have seen the Oxford-Cambridge Boat race which Kajsa Mclaren coxed, Ben Crystal also coxed the Lightweight Blue boat.

The cox is responsible for steering the boat and giving commands to the rowers. It doesn't matter if you have not done it before as there will be a coach there to help you and people generally pick it up quite quickly. Coxing a novice crew is really good fun and a great chance to get to know people. At the end of the term there is Christchurch Regatta which is usually pretty good fun and you can then go on to cox in Torpids and Eights. This will give you the opportunity to pickup a nice sun tan with evening trips on the river, plenty of alcohol after your last race and the chance to be thrown in the Isis. Last year the Men's 1st Torpid and 1st Eight cox was a novice who had only coxed for one term before, the men's and women's 2nd VIII's in the summer were also coxed by novices. We are looking for experienced and novice coxes male and female. We have men and women coxing both men's and women's crews. So if you want a chance to get involved with the best sport in Pembroke has to offer without getting out of breath then have a go. Or if you have any questions contact the Captain of Coxes at .

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