CUWBC opened the 2016/17 racing season with gold and bronze medals in the coxless fours and silver medals in the eight at this weekend’s British Rowing Senior Championships in addition to winning the B-final in both the four and the eight.
In the fours on Saturday, ‘CUW-A’ made a strong opening statement by winning the time trial by 8 seconds ahead of UL, with ‘CUW-B’ in 3rd place. The A-crew won the first semi-final by over 8 seconds and the B- crew raced in the 2nd semi-final and were prepared to chase UL. Cambridge stepped up, but so did UL so Cambridge entered the final having come second in the semi. In the final, the A crew led from the start finishing comfortably ahead for gold, with the B crew taking a well-earned bronze behind UL. The C crew won the B-final and said “The final was definitely our strongest row. Having settled into a strong rhythm, we executed our race plan well and responded to the crews around us.”
With the Head of the River Fours just 3 weeks away, the strong results in the fours are particularly pleasing and with additional squad members and crews to add in to the mix, the Club is looking forward to racing on the Tideway for the first time this season.
Sunday saw racing for eights with 31 women’s eights entered from clubs and universities. All 3 Cambridge crews finished in the top 12 of the time trial to progress to the semi-finals.
CUW-A, which was made up from the 2 medal winning fours from Saturday included 5 rowers who only took up the sport after arriving at Cambridge University and have learned to row with one of the College Boat Clubs. In the time-trial they finished just 1 second behind Leander Club, a crew containing a Rio 2016 silver medallist and multiple other international titles. The Cambridge crew said “The time trial was a good base to build off, and we felt we had a solid rhythm but with more gears to come.”
They won their semi-final to progress into the final where they lined up next to Leander. “We knew that we would have to row our best race to stay near to Leander in the final. We had a much more competitive and aggressive start, which put us in a better position than the previous race. In the third 500m we stepped on again and tried to take back as much ground on the leaders as possible. It was our best race of the day, sticking well overlapped with Leander the whole way down, leaving us with a very convincing silver medal!”
The result meant that Cambridge were the fastest university crew at the Championships for the second year running, setting a new record time fore the category.
CUW-B and CUW-C both secured placed in the B-final and finished 1st and 3rd respectively meaning Cambridge had the fastest women’s 2nd and 3rd eights at the Championships. CUW-C who are from the lightweight squad said “We learned a lot from the choppy conditions and fought hard. In the B final, we had our best race of the day and ended up finishing 9th overall out of 31 openweight crews, improving 2 places from the time trial that morning. A great start to our season!”
1 CUW-A – GOLD, Open Pennant (6:55.65)
2 University of London (6:59.37)
3 Cambridge B – BRONZE (7:01.2)
1 CUW-C (7:15.30)
2 Lea RC (7:16.97)
3 Worcester RC (7:26.91)
1 Leander Club (6:28.30)
2 CUW-A – SILVER, University Pennant (6:30.40)
3 University of London (6:34.40)
1 CUW-B (6:50.26)
2) Newcastle University A (6:50.71)
3 CUW-C (6:56.23)
The next race for CUWBC will be the Head of the River Fours on Saturday 12 November 2016.
The Henley Boat Races take place on Sunday 26 March 2017.
The Cancer Research UK Boat Races take place on Sunday 2 April 2017.
Cover photo: Christopher Down, Light Blue Images.