2nd & 7th Overall for CUWBC Crews at Women’s Eights Head

Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club’s three crews finished 2nd, 7th and 62nd overall at the Women’s Eights Head of the River on Saturday, the best result on record for the club. CUWBC is the only club to have 2 finish crews inside the top 15.

The CUWBC A crew, stroked by Melissa Wilson (Lucy Cavendish), was the fastest university crew of the event by over 28 seconds. They finished 2nd overall (out of 321 crew), just 4 seconds behind a Leander crew containing 2 Olympic silver medalists and 4 current world champions. Speaking after the race, Cambridge’s Holly Hill (Downing) said:

“We all bought into the plan, stuck together the whole way and were absolutely thrilled to cross the line feeling like we’d done the job and end up in 2nd place, only 4 seconds behind an international standard crew. The race has given us a lot of confidence in our processes, but it’s time now to focus on the remaining changes that we need to make, and retain the momentum over the next few weeks”

The B crew finishing in 7th position was the highest place on record for a CUWBC 2nd VIII at the Women’s Eights Head. The result won the crew the “Intermediate pennant” as the highest placed 2nd crew. Brittany Presten (Peterhouse) who joined CUWBC having previously rowed at Stanford University commented:

“Our crew went into the Women’s Head excited to use this opportunity to practice executing our race plan for the Boat Race, and I think we did this well. We still have elements to improve over the next 3 weeks, but I think we as a boat have established a good platform that we can continue to build from.”

CUWBC 2nd VIII. Photo: Mark Ruscoe


The third entry from CUWBC was a development crew which included 7 rowers and the cox who have learned to row with their College Boat Club in Cambridge and progressed through the CUWBC Development Squad. A finish position of 62nd overall was a fantastic result for the crew showing great potential for these developing rowers.

For the CUWBC crews, the focus now moved towards the Henley Boat Races on 26 March and the Cancer Research UK Boat Races on 2 April.

Reflecting on the day, CUWBC Chief Coach Rob Baker said: “We’re extremely pleased with the results from all 3 of our crews. Racing the Head provided a great learning experience as we continue our preparations for this year’s Boat Races.”

All photos are (c) Mark Ruscoe.