On Sunday 12th March, OUWBC’s Blue Boat and Osiris once again took to the Tideway, this time for our second fixture of the season against Newcastle. Having seen the lovely weather at WEHORR we were hoping for some of the same, however, rain and wind was present instead – preparing us ever further for what may be faced on April 2nd.
With our opponents kindly giving us a free choice of station, the Oxford Blue Boat elected to race on Surrey for both pieces. In the first, from the start to the end of Dove Pier, Oxford were able to take an early lead with a strong start, and kept their bows in front all the way around Newcastle’s early advantage bend. We then continued to stretch out our lead down to Hammersmith Bridge, putting clear water between us and our opponents by the time the piece finished.
The second piece ran from Chiswick Steps to the finish line, which gave Newcastle an almost continuous advantage on the Middlesex station throughout the piece. Coming out of the blocks hard after their first loss, Newcastle managed to get up by about half a length in the first part of the piece, but our blue boat was able to stay calm and controlled and keep a strong rhythm that proved decisive in the second half of the race. Drawing level just before Barnes Bridge, Oxford then held our opponents off well around the last part of their advantage bend and end a couple of seats up to win the piece.
After the Blue Boat races, Osiris then took on the Newcastle 2nd VIII. After a shaky start to the first piece by Osiris, Newcastle took a lengths lead which they maintained for the rest of the piece, with Osiris edging some water back in the latter stages of the piece. In the second piece we had a much better start, with Osiris quickly finding a relaxed and powerful rhythm, which we used to stretch out a lead of nearly two lengths as we crossed the finish line at Chiswick.
Another really positive fixture and some more wins under our belts with three weeks to go until race day. Many thanks to Newcastle for coming and racing against us.