Cambridge power past tired Oxford

first_imgOxford had a mixed day at the Henley Boat Races, which take place the day before the Men’s Boat Race. The Dark Blues won every race except for the eagerly anticipated Women’s Blue boat race. Oxford’s Women lost out to a powerful Cambridge crew by two and a third lengths, but there were victories for Men and Women’s Lightweight Blues as well as Osiris, the Women’s reserve crew, and Nepthys, the Lightweight Men’s reserves.The Women Blues followed a risky strategy which reflected their status as underdogs. Having finished well below Cambridge at the Women’s Head race three weeks previously, Oxford clearly felt they had to rattle Cambridge in the early stages of the contest to win. They blasted off the start rating three strokes per minute higher than the Tabs through the first kilometre of the course to inch into a length lead.The Cambridge crew, however, kept their composure. Rowing a much more efficient rhythm, they stayed in touch while Oxford charged and exhausted energy. As the race reached halfway, Cambridge pushed hard, cancelling out Oxford’s advantage, before powering into the lead. Oxford had already given too much to respond, and were left clinging on desperately as the Light Blue boat gradually extended their lead to the finish.President Nicola Fawcett was proud of her team, saying, “the girls rowed everything well. They front-loaded the race to put Cambridge under pressure, but Cambridge’s faster cruising speed paid off”. Fawcett’s disappointment was partly tempered by Osiris’ victory, where Oxford battled to a small lead in the first 1000m before stretching out to a one length win.The Lightweight races, however, belonged to Oxford. The Lightweight Blues crushed Cambridge by three lengths, while Nepthys was even more dominant, winning by four lengths. President James Gillies commented, “Our squad has been awesome, our coaching excellent and I think the results reflect this.” The Women Lightweights provided the race of the day, protecting a tiny lead against successive Cambridge pushes. Blades clashed all the way down the course as both coxes attempted to eek out a winning advantage and the race was still tight in the closing stages until the Dark Blues pushed on to win by a single length. President Claire Weldon was “delighted and relieved to win such a close race”.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2005last_img read more