This weekend was a solid performance for CUBC’s crews against the cream of British Rowing’s domestic clubs.
Saturday saw CUBC’s Women’s A crew race in the Women’s Eights Head of the River Race, pitting themselves against the best of domestic competition, with their opposition strengthened by the return of their GB triallists.
Starting well down the order as a returning starter, CUBC’s Women’s “A” crew had a strong performance to finish 9th overall, and third University Crew. Chief Women’s Coach Patrick Ryan commented, “I’m fairly happy with this performance. After a disrupted preparation, the crew achieved what it should have today. I’m looking forward to seeing them race on Sunday against Leander, and to the lead in to the Gemini Boat Races on Sunday 26th March”.
Sunday was the last men’s fixture, this weekend pitching CUBC’s Men’s Crews against those of Oxford Brookes, who have been the dominant men’s program in UK University Rowing for several years.
Racing commenced with CUBC’s Men’s Lightweights racing against Oxford Brookes C over two pieces covering the halves of the course. Off the line in the first race, the Lightweight crew competed well with Brookes, with a competiitve race down the boats although Brookes took the lead and drew away steadily to a 3 length win. The second piece saw many umpire’s warnings to Brookes, and after a clash, Brookes was disqualified, handing the lightweight the piece, and a good preparation into their Boat Race.
CUBC “B” raced Brookes “B” in a similar series of pieces. Both pieces showed excellent CUBC speed off the start in the first minute, but the transition to race pace was troublesome and Brookes took victories by 3 and 5 lengths in the pieces.
The weekend was capped off by the CUBC “A” boat taking on a strong Oxford Brookes “A” crew, which was tuning up for the Eights Head. The first piece showed a need to CUBC to search for a stride from start to race pace, as Brookes took a lead and steadily increased the margin to 3.5 lengths.
Determined to improve matters, CUBC “A” came out more strongly than in the first piece, refusing to allow Brookes to draw substantially away, but were still defeated by just over 1.5 lengths. Chief Coach Rob Baker noted that he was looking forward to the lead in to the Races, commenting that, “I think this crew is fast enough to win against Oxford, but we need to implement the learnings from today in the next three weeks”.