This year, CUWBC were kindly invited to participate in the Ramada Plaza University Boat Race – a 2100m side by side race against Queen’s University Belfast’s Senior VIII on the Lagan.
The crew sent to Belfast was an amalgamation from all three Henley crews. We had not trained together as much as we would have liked due to exams and college rowing commitments; however, our pre-race paddle went surprisingly well, with everyone moving nicely together.
For the race, we were lent the Empacher that had been used by CUBC in the boat race of 1996. Despite the large shell and even larger shoes (!), we soon found our bearings as we paddled to the start.
Queen’s pulled away off the start, whilst we were slower to get our shell moving. Once at speed we managed to establish a solid rhythm, holding our opposition at half a length for the majority of the race. Queen’s reacted to all of our moves, and eventually won by a margin of 1½ lengths.
Off the water, the competition continued in the regatta enclosure. It was a photo finish, but I think most will agree that Cambridge won the party…
A huge thank you to the organisers for showing us great hospitality, and to Queen’s for allowing us to be part of a great event.