Pembroke Regatta – King’s W2

Pembroke regatta was the first race as a crew for this Lent's W2. Having not yet raced any other W2 crews we were eager to learn how well 
we could perform against the Hughes Hall/Lucy Cavendish boat. Outings up until the race had been reasonably successful, though early 
morning traffic had often prevented us from getting up to race pace and sustaining it for more than a few minutes. During marshalling we 
were all reasonably unsure what to expect, but embraced the "Yeah, King's!" mind set and approached the start.

After a successful standing start, we wound up the rate, feeling the boat lifting out of the water.  After 15 strokes we had half a 
length on Hughes/Lucy and continued to pull away. After no time, we easily had a length on them. Seeing the competing crew drift off 
into the distance, we continued to put the power down, though letting the rate drop slightly as we knew we were destined to win by a 
long way. Perhaps we didn’t realise that the ‘long way’ would end up being 17 lengths!
Exhilarated, we crossed the finish line. What a first race!

In the next race we would be racing Newnham W2, who we knew from Queen’s Ergs would be far more difficult to beat. Again, we marshalled 
up to the starting point and came forward to row, alongside Newnham. On “GO” we all exploded back together, laying that power down in 
the draws, before winding up the rate and lengthening out the stroke, with great timing. After five lengthens we were neck and neck if 
not slightly ahead of Newnham, who had not raced earlier in the day and were therefore on fresh legs! Racing on meadow-side of the reach, 
Newnham had the advantage in the first section of the course, and began to edge away slightly with each stroke. With this, we increased 
the rate to the point where they had only a quarter of a length on us. However, by halfway, they had increased to half a length, and we 
were really feeling tired by now, though keeping clean and giving it everything.

As the gap came close to a length, we started to drop off, feeling as though we had already lost this race. Though, after some loud 
encouragement from our bank party, out rate increased and we started to gain back on Newnham. Approaching the bridge we did a power 10 
and heard shouts of ‘we’re gaining on them!’. Exhausted, we continued our pursuit, rowing well and maintaining only 2-3 feet of clear 
water between the two boats, but we could not catch them.
We learned that Newnham W2 came runners up in the whole regatta for the division, so despite losing, we were extremely pleased with our 
performance.