The 2016 Blondie crew became the first Cambridge crew to win on the Tideway last weekend when they beat Osiris by 3 lengths. This was the first year the the women’s reserve race had been held over the same course and on the same day as the Blue Boat races.
After winning the toss, Blondie chose the Surrey station, which quickly proved to be a wise decision. Osiris was caught by surprise on the start line, and slipped back by a seat in the first few strokes, but quickly overturned the deficit and pushed through Blondie to a third of a length’s lead by Thames RC. Osiris continued to stride out around their bend, and at the mile post they already had a length; their rhythm looked loose and relaxed, and every indication pointed to the Dark Blues continuing to draw away from Blondie.
As the wind picked up, so too did Blondie’s determination to win back the lead, and they put on a spirited push past Harrods and it appeared clear that Blondie had the momentum. By Hammersmith Bridge, Blondie had drawn level with Osiris and looked to be going through.
As both crews approached the finish line and the water flattened out, Osiris put in a strong move and looked to be closing the gap, but Blondie’s lead had become insurmountable, and with a great deal of poise and strength, Blondie crossed the finish line as champions some three and a half lengths ahead of Osiris.
The full report from The Boat Races can be seen here.
Stroke of the crew, Imogen Grant, who also rowed in the lightweight race in Henley the weekend before was interviewed by her college (Trinity) after the race:
How does it feel to win?
Winning the Osiris – Blondie race was one of the best feelings in the world. Although we had been ahead for the last 10 minutes of the race, it was still a feeling of shock to cross the line first. I had to check to see the finish post before I began to believe it!
During the race when did you realise that Blondie was going to win?
We were down off the start, and about three minutes in we had to make a big move to stay in the race. We had to make sure Osiris couldn’t take our water before we had the advantage of the Surrey bend. The move worked and once our cox told us we were moving, I knew we had the momentum to move through them and win.
Rowing training is tough: do you endure it or actually enjoy it?
Rowing is one of the most rewarding sports I have ever played. It’s the perfect balance between team and individual, and caters fantastically for perfectionists – you repeat the same action again and again trying to always make it better! It’s also totally absorbing. When I’m on the water I think of nothing else.
How do you combine training and studying?
It’s definitely not easy and there are some days where I’m on the go from 5am until 9pm. Having so little time, you learn to be efficient with what you have, and I make sure I always have a snack if I’m flagging.
What are your rowing plans going forward?
Next term there are multiple opportunities to race with CUWBC in England as well as further afield in America, but Bumps is just as important to me! Further on than that, who knows? I want to learn to scull so that I can trial GB U23 Lightweights next year and I don’t want to put a limit on how far I could go yet.
Full article here.