Following their Champ 8s win at the BUSA Rowing Championships in May of this year, the 2007 Blue Boat was selected to represent British University Rowing at the European University Rowing Championships, held in Banyoles, Spain. With Janine Lumley (BB ’06, Vice President ‘07) in for Hannah Stratford in the 3 seat, the crew flew out to Spain on the 4th of September with the rest of the 60-strong British squad.
The temperatures in Banyoles proved to be significantly higher than those in Britain, and thus the crew spent their first day on the water in Spain getting used to both the heat, and the considerable afternoon headwind with accompanying waves. This afternoon headwind proved to be somewhat characteristic of the course over the next few days, leading to the cancellation of the following day’s racing due to safety concerns. The Blue Boat were expecting to take part in a race for lanes on this Thursday afternoon, but subsequent reshuffling of the racing program meant that this race was instead moved to Friday morning, with the final scheduled for Saturday morning.
Saturday morning dawned hot and calm, with the temperature being over 30°C when the Cambridge crew began their warm-up for the W8+ final. A fast start saw the very strong Dutch crew from Grongingen University open up an early lead, but the Blue Boat hung on to remain in contention over the first 500m. However, the Dutch crew then began to pull away over the next 1000m, and so a tough battle ensued between the Blue Boat and the Zurich University crew for second place. Cambridge entered the final 500m a few seats up on their Swiss rivals, but the Zurich boat had the edge in the fading stages of the race to pip the Blue Boat by 0.2s on the line.
After making the most of all the kit-swapping offers, the Blue Boat were presented with their bronze medals at the prizegiving, where the British squad took the prize for Best National Team. This was the last chance for the 2007 Blue Boat to race together as a crew, and this thoroughly enjoyable trip proved to be a fitting end to the year for this boat-race winning crew.
The Cambridge crew by the lake in Banyoles