Cambridge dominates the 2023 Interactive Investor Lightweight Boat Races

CUBC opened its account for the 2023 Boat Races season with two emphatic victories in the Interactive Investor Lightweight Boat Races. Buoyed by victories in the Spare Pairs and Fours Races on Saturday, the Lightweight Crews took further encouragement on race morning from winning both tosses, enabling them to choose their station for the Races, both choosing Surrey

Cheered on by their Openweight colleagues and Club members and supporters, the crews took the water to do battle.

Racing at 1020, Cambridge’s Women’s Lightweights took station on Surrey and once the starter’s flag had dropped, blunted OUWLRC’s expected fast start and moved to nearly a length’s lead by the Black Buoy, with coxswain Sam Clarke enjoying being able to say, “90 seconds in, and I have their bow ball”.  CUBC’s choice of Surrey giving them the outside of the Fulham Bend was no hindrance, as Cambridge extended their lead to clear water, and took the fastest water along the Crabtree Reach reaching 2 lengths before Harrods.

Stroke  Olivia Alliott drove her crew through the race, looking to extend their margin over OUWLRC, who raced valiantly but were able to make no impression on Cambridge’s rhythm and pace. By Chiswick Steps, the margin had reached 3.5 lengths and the only question was to the final margin. Clark was able to pick his line as the crews passed the bandstand and set up for the Barnes Bend and made the final 3 minutes a victory lap, crossing the line 6 lengths ahead of OUWLRC.

Times and Margins

Mile Post: 4:34.02 – Cambridge led by 6.56 seconds

Hammersmith Bridge: 8:10.09 – Cambridge led by 10.29 seconds

Chiswick Steps: 13:41.41 – Cambridge led by 15.29 seconds

Finish: 23.34.35 – Cambridge WON by 17.10  seconds

After a prolonged delay due to river traffic, the flag dropped for the Men’s Lightweight Race at 1145. Umpire Matthew Holland started the crews with blades nearly touching. Along the boats, Holland was kept busy as the crews clashed blades, an event that would later result in a protest from OULRC. The clashes were not material, and CUBC took an open water lead by the Fulham Bend and coxswain Tteja Senthilnathan could move over to take the water within 3 and a half minutes. Settling to a race beat significantly lower than OULRC, CUBC’s lightweight men were able to relax into their rhythm and push out on their Dark Blue opposition.

Through Hammersmith Bridge and right under the  second Lamp Post and the margin was extended further in the choppy water of Corney Reach, the live cameras struggling to place both  crews in the same frame. Heads dropped for OULRC as the crews passed Chiswick Steps, and the triumphant Lightweight crew pushed their lead further each stroke until the crew passed the finish post 11 lengths clear  of OULRC.

Mile Post: 3:41.35 – Cambridge led by 7.14 seconds

Hammersmith Bridge: 6:43.05 – Cambridge led by 11.55 seconds

Chiswick Steps: 13:41.41 – Cambridge led by 19.13 seconds

Finish: 18:18.19 – Cambridge WON by 31.44 seconds