Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Oxford women lead way in lightweight boat race

PERFECT weather conditions and exciting racing entertained an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the 36th varsity lightweight women’s boat race at Henley on Saturday.

Crews from Oxford and Cambridge Universities battled it out over the 2,000m downstream course that started at Phyllis Court Club and finished at Temple Island.

In the main race of the day, the women’s varsity lightweight eights, a powerful start by Oxford gave them an early lead and an advantage that was never relinquished.

The long and smooth style exhibited by Cambridge, often under-rating Oxford, kept them in a position to contest the lead for much of the race, but it was not to be.

Encouraged by their supporters concentrated near Upper Thames Rowing Club, Oxford, rowing with great determination, continued to press their advantage, responding to every Cambridge move, opening the gap between the crews to open water and then finally to two-and-a-half lengths by the finish in a time of six minutes and 28 seconds.

In the lightweight women’s reserves race, another close contest saw Cambridge prevail by one-and-a-half lengths in a time of seven minutes and 40 seconds. The Intercollegiate races for both men and women were very similar in character, although the latter kept umpire, Clare Briegal, busier than the former in the opening stages. In both races the Cambridge Colleges — Caius (men) and Newnham (women) dominated their Oxford counterparts — Wadham (men and women), to win their respective races by the same distance of five lengths.

The days racing also featured an alumnae race between former members of CUWBC and OUWBC. The light blues took the day, beating their dark blue opponents by an easily verdict.

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