Every muscle put to the test!

Monday 16th December


The strength of the whole team was reflected in the Trial VIIIs races that took place yesterday from Putney to Mortlake.  Due to illness,  last minute changes were made to the crews, Chief Coach Robert Weber says,

“We’re learning what it’s like to be resilient this year, with lots of  illnesses in the past several weeks. But I think our athletes took the race day changes in stride and showed that they can deal with the “what ifs.” We learned some things by watching the crews race that we’ll be able to take into our winter training camp, and I think identified some areas where we definitely need to improve if we’re to prevail over a fast Oxford squad in March. We’ll be ready.”

Trial Eights Races form an important part of the build-up to the Boat Races on Sunday March 29th and this is key point in the selection process for the Boat Races crews.

The race was exciting with the crews side by side for the first part of the race.  By Hammersmith Bridge the crews were one length apart, Actin taking the lead. By the time the crews were under Barnes Bridge the crews were some length apart but by the end the margin had closed as Myosin put in a massive push to pull back some distance.

For many in the crew this was the first time they had experienced a Trial VIIIs race with 11 College Boat Clubs represented in the squad.  The 2019 team is made up of over 60% of student athletes who have learned to row as students.

Reflecting on the performances, President Larkin Sayre says,

“I am so proud of the squad and the race we had yesterday. Both crews showed professionalism and composure with last minute illness and changing line-ups. The race was gutsy and showed what a strong team we are becoming. It never gets any easier losing Trial 8s but I’m so proud of my crew coming back from 4 lengths down to about half a length of open water at the finish line. We never gave up the fight! Valuable lessons learned.”

Traditionally the crews also pick a name, from the poignant to the hilarious. The crews unite under the banner of a name to race their opposite numbers. This year the brawn was reflected in the names!



Cox: Angela Harper (Churchill College)
8: Laura Foster (Queens’ College)
7: Larkin Sayre (Emmanuel College)
6: Adriana Perez Rotondo (Newnham College)
5: Rebecca Smith (Newnham College)
4: Emily McHarg (Newnham College)
3: Jo Matthews (St. John’s College)
2: Gemma King (St. John’s College)
1: Anna Harrison (Wolfson College)



Cox: Dylan Whitaker (King’s College)
8: Caoimhe Dempsey (Newnham College)
7: Tricia Smith (Christ’s College)
6: Sophie Paine (Wolfson College)
5: Abba Parker (Emmanuel College)
4: Sarah Portsmouth (Newnham College)
3: Bronya Sykes (Gonville & Caius College)
2: Rebecca Dell (Christ’s College)
1: Catherine King (Caius College)


Photo Credit Ben Tufnell Row360



Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club is a performance student rowing clubs supporting the sporting and academic ambitions of the team.  The squad of young women and men train together within a supportive and challenging environment overseen by Chief Coach Robert Weber. The dynamic and positive team culture has been built by the many women and men who have represented CUWBC  over the previous 90 years.


2020 is the 75th Women’s Boat Races in 2020

Photo Credit Ben Tufnell Row360