Oxford Women Start the Season at Head of the Charles
Thanks to the support of Newton Investment Management and the Bank of New York Mellon, the Oxford University Boat Club sent its first university crew to race in the world’s largest international regatta.
The racing opportunity was intended to expose a relatively young crew to the speed and competitive depth of women’s rowing in another part of the world, while providing a high level race experience to a group of athletes aspiring to race in the Boat Race.
Oxford started 38th in a Championship Women’s 8+ field of 39 entries.
At the first timing marker at Riverside Boat Club, Oxford posted a split that put them in 16th place, but over the next mile of the race, bow number 39 Clemson charged Oxford in the approach to Weeks Footbridge, where Olivia Cleary made a strategic decision to slow the crew and prevent a dodgy line into the arch of the bridge. This costly loss of 20 seconds gave Oxford a running time of 27th at the second marker at Weld Boathouse. As the crew moved into the third mile of the race, they resurrected their boat speed, posting a 14th ranked split at Cambridge Boat Club. Olivia’s steering into the last 750m of the race, and the crew’s push through Eliot Street Bridge allowed them to close water on Clemson; however, at the finish line Oxford’s overall time of 17:43.69 for the three-mile course placed them 21st overall.
The winning eight was a collection of top elite scullers from the Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.S.A. Oxford’s Jack Carlson drove this crew, and his leadership in the stern allowed the Cambridge BC entry to post a 1.2 second victory over the U.S. Women with a time of 15:59.54.
Virginia, the defending NCAA Champions in the Varsity Eight, covered the course in 16:36.52 and posted the fastest time for a university eight, finishing fourth behind Cambridge BC, USRowing and Rowing Canada.
The Oxford line up included:
Coxswain – Olivia Cleary
Stroke – Maxie Scheske, Blue Boat 2012
7 – Laura Savarese
6 – Amber DeVere
5 – Elo Luik
4 – Nadine Graedlberg
3 – Hannah Ledbury, Osiris 2012
2 – Liz Fenje
1 – Hannah Roberts