OXFORD CITY REGATTA
The men’s and women’s squads headed up the M40 to Oxford for the weekend with a very heavy trailer and some high hopes. Despite a disappointing start as the women’s eight went out to Oxford Academicals early on Saturday, they got their revenge in the Sprint Eights, beating Academicals on their way to beating home club City of Oxford to win the biggest pot on the circuit in the Sprint Eights final.
The trailer would have been even heavier on the way home, loaded with silverware, were it not for some quick crews from Cantabrigian RC. Cantabs came out on top in the IM2.8+ final, the men’s sprint eight final and en route to the mixed sprint eight final, where Cantabs picked up their second quart pots of the weekend. Still, in those events it was some consolation to know we were second fastest. Elsewhere, the women’s novice four reached the final on Saturday having won three races to get there, the men’s IM2.4+ was beaten by the event winners on Sunday in the semi-final, and the men’s IM3.2x were also beaten finalists.
It was a weekend when the men’s development squad really joined the seniors, with two of the IM2.8+ and men’s sprint eight having learned to row only ten months ago helping that eight beat several crews, including from home club City of Oxford, before falling to Cantabs in both cases. Other crews across the weekend also featured a mix of development and experienced oarsmen.
It wasn’t just about crew boats – several of the squads turned out in singles and in many cases ended up on the wrong side of some incredibly fast girls from the University of Tokyo – perhaps “novice status” was lost in translation!
And so the curtain falls on 2015-16, but with a flourish. The girls have now taken home pots from three consecutive regatta weekends (Staines, Peterborough and Oxford) and the boys put in some strong, encouraging performances that in many a regatta would have yielded silverware. 2016/17 beckons: we can’t wait.