The right hand of Rosemary Ostfeld symbolised Cambridge University women’s determination.

By Mark Taylor/Cambridge News. Full article here

Photo c/o Astrid Kopmels, CUWBC Alumna

In years to come, Rosemary Ostfeld’s right hand could become a symbol of determination and guts.

The raising of the arm by the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club cox signalled to umpire Rob Clegg that her crew would be going on to complete the Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race, despite their vessel being submerged in water.

“I don’t think I’ve actually experienced it being that bad before,” said Hughes Hall student Ostfeld. “I’ve been in some pretty rough water but I think that was the worst I’ve ever experienced and that was definitely the closest I’ve ever been to sinking.

“The girls were just incredible, their fight throughout the race was just unmatched. I think we did a 
really good job just putting in push after push and not really letting go for the first third of the race.”

Oxford had gained a slight lead, but Cambridge were cutting down their advantage, and then the Thames struck.

“It was just the wind and the waves were too much. The girls were just incredible. We were going under Barnes (Bridge) and they just kept on ploughing through the waves.

“Our stroke, Zara (Goozee), just didn’t stop. We were under Barnes and the cox box was floating and the only thing holding it to the boat was the cable.

“I was in well above waist deep water and Zara was saying ‘Rose, Rose, Rose’ and at that point they had been waving the red flag to pull us over.

“Had we stopped, we would have definitely have gone under but because the girls kept rowing we made it to a point where actually the pumps were able to kick back in.

And there was never any doubt from Ostfeld that they would not finish the race.

“Rob Clegg just said over the megaphone ‘Cambridge raise your hand if you want to continue’ and my hand just shot up. There wasn’t any hesitation in my mind.

She added: “So many people have reached out to commend the girls to say how exciting it was to watch, and people have said they were tearing up watching us.”

And Ostfeld said that throughout the season it was about being in it together and working as a unit – and they could not have demonstrated that better any better than on Sunday.

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