The first regatta of the Development Squad season took place last Saturday, with a determined bunch of about 30 rowers heading off to get themselves some pewterware at Kingston Regatta.
Our first event of the day was the IM3 four division; with both boats getting off to a good start and making it to the semi-finals, despite some last minute crew changes.
Then went the novice eight, packed with the rowers lucky enough to be without previous British rowing points. Their British rowing cards soon gained a stamp, however, as they absolutely smashed their way through the heats and semis to beat Kingston’s home crew in the final. Most encouraging was the vast improvement made between the crew’s first and last race; with rushy slides being replaced with strong finishes, thanks to the confident and attentive coxing of Tim Nye and determination of stroke Imogen Grant.
The IM2 eight in the morning also won pots in a straight final. Competitor Wallingford attempted numerous moves, particularly during a rough middle section of the race, but were no match for the determination of the dev squad crew, who finished strongly.
The more experienced Cambridge rowers also performed well. Evelyn Boettcher, Hannah Roberts and Fiona Macklin competed in their first ever sculling race, and placed highly in heats despite some entertaining steering issues and inconveniently located buoys. Fiona and Hannah also went on to perform well in a double in the semi finals.
Cambridge also performed well at the Jubilee sprints race, with two dev squad eights going head to head in a tantalisingly close final, with the presence of returners in one crew spurring the other on.
The novice fours in the afternoon also performed well, with cox Sarah Wilson’s stern loader winning the final against Surrey by a foot, reaching a comfortable pace after a strong start under the leadership of stroke Isobel Edwards.
The final race of the day was the final of the IM3 eight event, with two development squad crews qualifying to face off the Oxford lightweight development squad. As one umpire predicted, there would be “blood in the water” this race, and, indeed, it was fiercely rowed. In the end, victory belonged to the crew containing Grànt, Roe (an Oxford lightweight alum herself!), Carlotti, Waterhouse, Rose, Woolner, Forsyth and Allen with cox Olivia Goodwin. Nevertheless, second place was happily received by the crew following stroke Rachel Snow, jubilant as both Cambridge crews were to have beaten Oxford so definitively.
Full results can be found here.