Triple Bronze, Olympic Qualifications for CUWBC Alumna at the 2019 World Championship in Linz, Austria.

Six CUWBC alumnae competed for their countries at the 2019 World Championship, three coming away with bronze medals and six qualifying their boat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After a long week of racing, finals began on Saturday, 31 August.


Imogen Grant (Trinity College) returned to the British Lightweight Women’s 2x, the only Lightweight Women’s event in next year’s Olympic Games. While at Cambridge, Imogen rowed with the Lightweight Women (2016),  as well as the victorious Blondie (2016) and Blue Boat crews (2017, 2018) while last week, she joined forces with Emily Craig at the World Cup.


In the heat, Imogen finished second behind New Zealand, progressing straight to the quarterfinals before racing to a first place finish there. Imogen and Emily also finished second in the semifinal, securing the boat’s spot in both the final and the Tokyo Olympics.


In the A Final, Imogen raced to a third place finish in a time of 07:21.38, finishing behind New Zealand (07:15.32) and the Netherlands (07:19.51).


Ida Gørtz Jacobsen (Newnham College) returned to the Danish Women’s 4-, which won gold at World Cup III. At Cambridge, Ida rowed with the victorious Blue Boat (2019) during her Master’s studies.

In last weekend’s heat, Ida’s four came second behind the Netherlands, earning a direct spot to the A/B semifinal. In that race, the Danes came second again behind Australia, which secured their spot in the 2020 Olympics and in the A Final at the World Championship.


In the A Final, Ida raced to a third place finish in a time of 06:47.84. They came in behind Australia (06:43.45) and the Netherlands (06:45.55), earning a bronze medal.


Olivia Coffey (Homerton College) moved to the five seat of the United States Women’s 8+. At Cambridge, Olivia raced in the victorious 2018 Blue Boat while studying for her MBA at the Judge Business School. The US boat started off well, winning their heat with the second fastest time of the day and advancing straight to the A Final.


In the Final, Olivia came in third place behind New Zealand (05:56.91) and Australia (05:59.63) with a time of 06:01.93. Their bronze medal also ensured the boat’s qualification for next year’s Olympic Games.


Renae Domaschenz (Darwin College) coxed the Australian PR3 Mixed 4+. While at Cambridge, Renae coxed the Lightweight women (2004). With this year’s Australian crews, Renae won her heat, and the crew advanced directly to the A/B semifinal, where they came second to secure their spot in both the A Final and the 2020 Paralympics.


In the A Final, Renae and her crew raced to fourth place in a time of 07:30.62 behind Great Britain (07:09.54), the United States (07:21.61), and Italy (07:29.34).


Melissa Wilson (Gonville & Caius and Lucy Cavendish College) returned to the British W4x for this year’s World Championship. At Cambridge, Melissa raced in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Blue Boats, returning to race in the victorious 2017 Blue Boat, which holds the current Women’s course record. In this World Championship, Melissa’s crew came fourth in their heat, going to the repechage for a chance at the A Final. With only the top two crews advancing out of the repechage, Melissa’s crew came second, securing their place in the A Final.


In the A Final, Melissa came sixth, qualifying for 2020 in a time of 06:46.84. China won the event in a time of 06:34.65.


Holly Hill (Downing College) raced in the British W4-, returning after a successful World Cup III in the W2-. At Cambridge, Holly raced in the 2015 and 2017 Blue Boats, coming away victorious in 2017. At the World Championship, Holly’s crew came in third in the heats, going to the repechage for another chance at the semifinals. In the rep, they came second to advance, earning a spot in the A/B semifinal. Coming fifth in the semifinal, the crew advanced to the B Final.

In the B Final, Holly and her crew put down a consistent first 1500m before sprinting in the last 500 to win the final and come in seventh overall. This placing earned the boat an Olympic qualification for 2020.


With the international summer racing season at an end, athletes will return to training with their eyes on 2020 and earning a spot in a crew for the Tokyo Olympics.

Thank you to Ben Tufnell from Row360 for images