Henley Women's Regatta

On the 20th, 21st and 22nd June, OUWBC entered both Senior and Elite eights at Henley Women’s Regatta. 

The Senior eight was a composite crew which included members of the 2014 Osiris boat, an ex-Blue Boat athlete from 2013, new athletes to the squad and two members of Wallingford RC in the bows, Chris Heemskirk, Caroline Greves who will matriculate as Graduate students of Oxford in October.

The Elite eight was comprised of all nine members of the victorious 2014 Blue Boat albeit in a different combination for the summer racing season. On Saturday, the Senior eight faced University College Dublin RC (IRE) in the Quarter Finals and in slightly blustery conditions they convincingly defeated their opposition in 5 minutes 5 seconds by 1 and a quarter lengths. In the previous race, Yale University beat Imperial College RC meaning the Senior eight would face the US team in Sundays Semi-Final.

On a very sunny Sunday, the Senior eight lined up against a strong Yale crew. The crew had a strong start but Yale proved too strong a crew and beat OUWBC in 4 minutes 58 seconds by 1 and a quarter lengths.

In a new line up for summer rowing, the athletes of the 2014 Blue Boat faced a formidable Yale crew in Sunday’s Semi-final. Yale, considered to be among the top ten rowing programmes in the US and holds the course record for the Elite 8+s at HWR. A great deal of wash impacted both crews on the start line but Yale came out a few seats ahead by the end of the Island.

Characteristically, the elite crew demonstrated its gritty approach to put everything into each racing opportunities. OUWBC were down by a length and a quarter by the enclosure a big push with around 650m to go saw them draw to within half a length of Yale. The crews crossed the finish line with Yale leading the Elite eight by half a length in 4 minutes 47 seconds – 12 seconds faster than the other Semi-final.

Although the racing results weren’t quite the results we wanted, the racing opportunity proved incredibly valuable for both crews and tested the limit of what each athlete thought she was capable of. The side-by-side racing was also a great opportunity to experience the intense one-on-one racing that epitomises the Boat Race.