Winning performance against top competition

CULRC opened the 2020 racing season on Saturday at Quintin Head with a winning performance.  After a successful winter camp in Spain and some tough weeks training back in Ely the squad was keen to test speed in the eight for the first time. 

The strength of the single programme showed across all results at the weekend with the whole team posting good results. The Lightweight men won the Open Intermediate 2 division and pushed ahead of their boat race rivals. The Lightweight Women won their division and came out on top of Oxford while Cambridge’s Openweight Women’s 2nd VIII overcame OUWBC 2nd VIII  and posted a time only 6 seconds behind the OUWBC 1st VIII.

Everyone continues to learn from their racing experiences.  Chief Coach Robert Weber is delighted with the performances overall,

“I thought each of our crews did a very good job staying internal, executing their race plans and focusing on the elements we’ve been working on. It was a big step in the right direction for us as a program”.

Lightweight Men’s Crew division win in Open Intermediate 2

The crew quickly found a solid rhythm while navigating past other crews and choppy water. Coxswain Jamie (St John’s College) helped us to find this groove and steered without fault down a busy course.

With a verdict of a good row but with an awareness that there was still a lot more to come the race was a good learning experience and step on. The subsequent results confirmed a 10th place finish, up from 25th last year,  as well as a time which would have won the Open Senior division. While Oxford Brookes put five classy crews in the top 10 only 4 other crews bested us on the day. The gap to the Oxford Lightweight crew was predictably slim, just 3 seconds, with Cambridge coming out on top.

James Lee (Homerton College, The Skinners’ School) says,

 “Overall it was a very positive weekend, with great bunch of guys and girls. The results show our hard work is paying off and with a fantastic atmosphere in the squad everyone is looking forward to the final stretch of training before the big day.”

Assistant Coach, Katy Knowles is new to the club for the 2019/20 season, she joined the team from British Rowing.  Katy is really pleased with how the Lightweights have developed and comments,

“The lightweight men have had some individual challenges in this training phase but came out fighting and put on a great performance. The result was very encouraging and there’s plenty more speed to be gained from this squad, I look forwards to helping them find it!”

The Lightweight women’s crew won the Women’s Intermediate 1 Division, with 7 seconds over their Oxford counterparts.

Morgan Morrison (Homerton College, Rosebery School) learned to row at her college boat club, Quintin Head was only her 3rd race away from the River Cam.  Morgan was sitting in the 4 seat of the Lightweight crew and shares her reflections,

“My headphones were put on pre-race, to keep the nerves at bay and I imagined taking the first 10 strokes in my mind. From boating the energy was high, the crew were ready. Spirits were kept high during marshalling, even if our body temperature were not!  Conversation coming from not only within our boat but with the dark blue boat in front of us.”

The crew’s performance overseen on the water by Cox Emily Insanally (Fitzwilliam College, Kent College) another member of the team who learned her skills at the college boat club.  Emily handled the overtaking of a number of crews and kept the crew focussed throughout.  Morgan added,

“Winning our division, against strong competition, fuels us the for the rest of our 2020 campaign. The race and win were hugely satisfying and raises the bar for us as a crew, we can keep learning.”

A special thanks to Thames Rowing Club and London Rowing Club who, as always, provide us top quality facilities to train out of and all our hosts who are indispensable in accommodating all our athletes.

Thank you to Vicky Gillard for photo