06 Mar Fixture No 2 v Oxford Brookes
Sunday 3rd March – Fixture Report
To read Crew Lists go to previous news item
Blue Boat Report – Hugh Spaughton, Jesus College
In the second and final official fixture the Blue Boat raced the First Eight of Oxford Brookes in three pieces of 5 minutes each.
Both crews suffered slightly from a quick call to start but coming down the line of boats Cambridge pulled out to a half a length advantage on the Surrey station. By the black buoy the two boats were matching speeds and fighting stroke for stroke. Brookes made good use of their bend advantage around Fulham. They started walking back into the race and were one seat down coming out of the bend. Approaching the milepost Cambridge then put in a push to increase the verdict to 6 seats.
We raced from the Harrods wall to Chiswick steps. Both crews had clean rolling starts as Cambridge took advantage of their bend coming into Hammersmith. Past St. Paul’s, Cambridge had a clear advantage but both crews suffered as the conditions worsened onto the island and both boats were swamped. Cambridge chose to stay in the faster but choppier water. Brookes made their way to the inside bank to find shelter. Cambridge won the second piece by several lengths.
Last and final piece
After drying out as much as possible both crews lined up and started the final piece from the bandstand. Cambridge quickly gained a length advantage coming into Barnes Bridge and both crews became more confident in their rhythm as the water improved around the bend. Cambridge won the final piece by several lengths.
All three pieces were very useful for practising side by side racing in tough conditions and we’d like to thank Brookes for giving us very competitive racing. We’d like to thank Sarah Winckless for umpiring us and Thames Rowing Club for hosting us.
Second Boat Report – Emma Andrews, Pembroke College
Blondie’s fixture with Oxford Brookes was excellent practices side by side on the Championship Course, with some very tough racing conditions on the Tideway.
The first piece at Putney was with the calmest of the weather. Both crews had clean starts, with excellent umpiring by the Blondie-Osiris Umpire Tony Reynolds. Blondie had a quicker start, and were in the lead coming through the black buoy, a late push from Brookes saw the gap close, and Blondie won by a few seats.
The second piece was Hammersmith – Chiswick steps, and this saw the worst conditions of the day down Chiswick Eyot. Turning into the head wind, both crews struggled, and Brookes moved out of the stream to find flatter water. Blondie used this advantage and battled on through the waves to win the piece by just over a length.
Last and final piece
Brookes was on the inside of the bend for the final piece, and under Barnes Bridge they looked like they had composed themselves in the bumpy water and were sitting half a length up. However the tough conditions were tiring and Blondie did not lose any ground, in the last few minutes Blondie put in a huge sprint to walk through Brookes and win by half a length.
It was fantastic to have such close races in such difficult conditions, and we want to thank Brookes for being such feisty competitors! Many thanks to Tony Reynolds our Umpire and our hosts Thames Rowing Club
Read the report on the Boat Race website here