Trial Eights 2015

OUWBC took to the tideway waters yesterday to race the iconic Trial Eights down the boat race track. The crews, dubbed Scylla and Charybdis, were named after a Greek idiom meaning ‘having to choose between two evils’.

Following a win from the coin toss for Charybdis, Stroke Maddy Badcott chose the Surrey station, putting Scylla on the Middlesex station. With three returning blues across the two boats, including last years boat race winning President Anastasia Chitty, the race was set to be an exciting one.

The Middlesex station proved advantageous in the early stages of the race as Scylla took an early boat length lead as they passed the end of the Putney embankment. A strong rhythm being set by Stroke Emma Lukasiewicz, backed up firmly by returning blue Lauren Kedar, proved to be more effective than Charybdis who battled the hard hitting crosswinds from the Surrey side. Charybdis were still fighting hard to stay in the game. The intentions and fight set out by both crews was clear from here.

Scylla pulled out to a two length lead running into Hammersmith Bridge. Lukasiewicz’s rhythm proving to be relentless. At this point Charybdis had settled onto a better rhythm and were starting to inch back into the race. Now coming round the Surrey bend at Hammersmith, the crews were no longer sheltered from the elements. A strong headwind flowing against the tide has created rough conditions for the crews, which were to only worsen coming through Chiswick Eyot. It was Charybdis who looked more composed charging into these conditions. With a slightly lower rate of striking, the strong Badcott rhythm started to inch Charybdis back to being half a length down on Scylla. The excitement really building now, and the huger burning deeper, Charybdis set to take advantage of this surge and continued to push through. Now out to quarter of a length’s lead by the end of crossover.

The bend now in favour of the Middlesex station, Charybdis continued to work the push, clocking a boat lengths lead by the Bandstand. Still resilient in their focus, Scylla weren’t giving up, throwing everything back at Charybdis to make the most of the Middlesex bend. Both crews fighting hard.

It was Charybdis who had the momentum coming through Barnes, pulling ahead to a three lengths lead by the finish.

A huge thank you for the support of the team down the riverbanks, on bridges, and back at Imperial College Boat Club. Both crews demonstrated the fight, determination and passion required for the ultimate battle down the boat race course. They raced to paint the river dark blue.

Left: Charybdis Right: Scylla