Disrupted but not deterred by Dennis

Avoided hit from Dennis for First Fixtures on Tideway


Storm Dennis caused race cancellations around the country but after careful review and consideration CUWBC fixtures and races continued last weekend.  The Tideway often brings challenging conditions and this weekend proved to be no different!


Our Lightweight Women raced the Junior crew from Henley Rowing Club.  A much anticipated fixture in the Lightweight Boat Races preparation.  Many thanks to the crew for starting their half-term break by racing our crew in London.

Captain Catherine Walker (who learned to row at Caius College Boat Club) looks back on the racing,

“After valuable race prep with Lady Eleanor Holles School  (LEH) last weekend we came into the fixture against the Henley RC  Junior Women wanting to implement what we had learnt. Three pieces of close racing (both in speed and spatially) gave us a great opportunity to practice race moves, but did leave us with minor damage after some blade clashing.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to both LEH and Henley RC for some valuable experience racing side by side and we’re looking forward to the Oxford Brookes’s fixture this weekend”


Cambridge with Henley Rowing Club


On Sunday 16th the CUWBC 2nd Open-Weight Women’s crew were excited to be racing a crew from Tideway Scullers School (TSS).  We would like to thank Kieran Clark, the TSS’s Coach for agreeing to the fixture.   We would also like to thank the Umpire, Kath Finucane, for being on hand to guide the racing safely.

Georgie Archer (who learned to row as an undergraduate at Trinity College Boat Club, known as First and Third) reports on the fixture:

“Sunday saw a determined crew heave the ‘Parma’ (the affectionate name of the Parmigiani Spirit Filippi boat) onto surprisingly placid waters.

Training the previous day had taken place during the worst of Storm Dennis’s  attempts to thwart our Tideway weekend.  Even on the morning of the Fixture day torrential rain and high winds had us trudging around in soggy kit, clutching cups of coffee amidst the most bitter of winter storms.

The first piece saw Tideway Scullers School ease their way ahead, but we continued pushing until the last metre.  We utilised our experience as a crew to push together and stay focused.  ‘Parma’ started the second piece with half a length’s lead, and  we lined up ready to push for round two. This time, we peeled away from TSS and managed to increase our lead to a length, holding off the other crew until the end of the piece. Lining up for the third stretch of racing, nearing the end of the course, we began the final push. The boats remained in line for the first half of the piece, before an almighty blade clash saw TSS pull ahead. Racing against the tide and our increasing fatigue, we pushed hard,  but weren’t able to get back ahead.

Many thanks to TSS for a great session’s racing. Important lessons were learned for us as a crew and it’s exciting to see what we can do. We look to be even stronger as a crew in upcoming racing.”


Our Open-Weight Women faced the crew from ASR Nereus.  The Dutch students made the trip over from Amsterdam especially to race our team.  We would like to thank the crew and their Coach for coming to race.  We extend our thanks to the race Umpire Richard Phelps, for keeping everything on track.

Abba Parker (CUWBC 2019 President, Emmanuel College) gives her report from the racing;


“We kicked off our 2020 fixture season with some great racing against Nereus, a Dutch university crew. Despite warnings of high winds, the Tideway cooperated and provided fairly flat conditions throughout the course.

Our first piece ran from the Boat Race start to the Mile Post. With our first chance to execute our start sequence, we took a few seats on Nereus off the line and hit an energetic race rhythm. We were side-by-side down the Putney Embankment, but pulled ahead to a full length by Barn Elms, in part thanks to our cox, Dylan’s superior line.

The second piece was from Harrods to Chiswick Eyot; our Middlesex station gave us a challenge here.  We gave it everything, we had to pull ahead several seats under Hammersmith Bridge. We held Nereus around the Surrey turn, and again pulled out to a length as a headwind picked up while we approached the Eyot.

Unfortunately, one of the Nereus rowers was injured so they did not race the third piece. We took the excellent racing experience we had gained that day.  

I really enjoyed this chance to show the strength we’ve gained over the last few months, and we’re excited to spend more time training and racing on the Tideway over the next 6 weeks!”


As ever we would like to thank our hosts, Thames Rowing Club and London Rowing Club – the warm welcome we receive is always great!  Our team is incredibly grateful to all the families who open their homes to the team.

Without doubt these fixtures are an important and enjoyable feature of Boat Race build up and we would like to thank everyone involved.