For their first fixture of 2015, CUWBC lined up against Newcastle University Boat Club to take on the Tideway course.
Newcastle won the toss and took the Middlesex station for the first piece, from the start to Hammersmith Bridge. With a strong wind against the incoming tide, the crews faced some challenging conditions off the start and there was little to choose between the boats initially. Coming out of the start sequence Cambridge gained a few seats on their opposition, and as both crews stuck closer to the Middlesex wall to gain some shelter, Cambridge were able to push out into a strong rhythm and break clear before Barn Elms. Newcastle put in some gutsy pushes but were unable to reel the light blues back in, with an eventual result of several lengths open water to Cambridge.
The second piece began at Chiswick Eyot. Cambridge remained on the Surrey station and started half a length down. With flatter conditions, both crews had cleaner starts, once again Cambridge moved through to take the lead on the last section of the Surrey bend and pushed away onto the straight. The piece finished at Barnes with Cambridge ahead by around 4 lengths.
For the final piece, the crews started at Barnes Bridge and raced to the Boat Race finish. This was the sharpest start of the day, with Newcastle determined to use the inside of the bend to their advantage, and Cambridge keen not to let them. Cambridge were able to hold their own against the initial advantage of the bend and again move out to take the lead, lifting their pace once again into the finish to win by 3 lengths.
President Caroline Reid, rowing in the 4-seat, described the fixture as “a useful experience, allowing the crew to practice racing in windy and wavy Tideway conditions against an unknown crew. Over the next few weeks we will be consolidating what we learnt in preparation for our next fixture against Thames RC next month”.
Bow: Hannah Evans
2: Claire Watkins
3: Holly Game
4: Caroline Reid
5: Ashton Brown
6: Melissa Wilson
7: Daphne Martschenko
stroke: Fanny Belais
Cox: Rosemary Ostfeld