As we prepare to start an exciting new year here at CUWBC, we look back at some of the highlights of 2016…
After returning from a productive training camp, our series of pre-Boat race fixtures began when we raced Oxford Brookes A and B on the Tideway.
More fixtures and seat racing and selections got serious!
It is fair to say that it was an ‘epic’ set of Boat Races! Our lightweight crew lost by ‘a canvas’ in what was arguably the most exciting race of the day. The 2016 Women’s Boat Race provided a mixture of close racing and drama with the image of the Cambridge Women rowing through sinking conditions very quickly being shared around the world. This was shortly followed by an incredible victory for our reserve crew “Blondie” by 3 lengths.
The “CUWBC Bowl” was presented for the first time at British Rowing’s Junior Inter Regional Regatta for the winning women’s junior 16 eight. Congratulations to Henley Rowing Club, the inaugural winners!
The Squad were out in force at at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Regatta picking up medals in openweight, lightweight and beginner categories.
We were honoured to be the guests of the University of Washington as we competed in the Windermere Cup.
We welcomed 59-times Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova to Cambridge for her first ever rowing lesson. Martina said ‘I was neutral at the last Boat Race – but not any more!’
Our summer racing continued with many of the Squad representing their College Boat Clubs for May Bumps on the River Cam – a Cambridge tradition!
Sir Harpal Kumar, Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK came to the Goldie Boathouse to talk to us about the amazing work that CRUK is doing and receive a donation of £3,950 raised by 2015/16 Lightweight Captain Tricia Smith (Christ’s).
At Henley Women’s Regatta, all three of our boats made the finals of the elite categories with 2 of them winning prestigious Henley trophies.
We returned to Henley for the Royal Regatta where CUWBC were represented in two crews. Melissa Wilson (Lucy Cavendish) was part of a composite crew with Leander and Reading Rowing Club that won the Princess Grace Challenge Cup.
Our Development Squad raced at Kingston Regatta picking up a huge number of wins and also the Victor Ludorum for the third year.
During the summer, we were lucky to be able to do some international racing which began with the European Universities Rowing Championships where we won gold and bronze in the women’s coxless pairs. Following this, the group travelled to China for 10 days of racing and cultural visits, very kindly hosted by the Chinese Rowing Association.
An amazing month for sport with incredible moments from the Olympic Games in Rio including 2016/17 Squad member Claire Lambe (Homerton) representing Ireland in the final of the lightweight women’s double scull.
Towards the end of the month, 2016/17 Squad member Holly Hill (Downing) represented Great Britain in the U23 Women’s eight picking up a silver medal at the World Championships in Rotterdam.
The new season started on 3rd September when the large and experienced group of student-rowers met at the historic Goldie Boathouse.
Later that month, we welcomed many CUWBC Alumni and Supporters to Goldie where Sarah Winckless and Alistair Potts spoke about how the combination of studying at Cambridge and competing at elite level is transformative for those who take on the challenge.
We opened our 2016/17 racing season with a bang at the British Rowing Senior Championships with gold and bronze in the coxless fours and silver in the eight. The eight was the fastest university crew at the Championships for the second year running, setting a new record time for the category.
Our President officially Challenged Oxford to “an eight-oared race over The Championship Course on Sunday 2 April 2017”. They accepted!
8 of our Squad travelled to Boston, Lincolnshire for the first GB Rowing Team Assessment of the Tokyo Olympiad. 5 of the 8 learned to row at Cambridge University and all of the trialists achieved excellent results.
At the Head of the River Fours, we had the fastest women’s four, finishing over 30 seconds ahead of any other coxless four. Our coxed fours finished in 2nd and 3rd places.
December started with an early Christmas present – a state of the art new boathouse. The new facility which is shared with CUBC and CULRC was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor. We are incredibly grateful to the core team of volunteers from across the three clubs who worked tirelessly to either raise funds or manage the planning and build projects.
The term finished with our trial races in Henley for the lightweights and on the Tideway for the openweights.