Harald Joergens Photography

The Boat Race season 2015: The Women's Trial VIIIs Image Library

375 large photos of the OUWBC and CUWBC Trial Eights on the tideway.

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River Thames, London,

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  • About the Trial Eights

    "Trial Eights is a key step in each Club’s preparations for racing in April, as it is the only opportunity the athletes have to race the full Championship Course side-by-side before race day.
    As a full dress-rehearsal, each squad splits into two evenly matched crews as the athletes pit themselves against their team mates. The coaches will be looking for as close a race as possible to see their athletes tested fully, but will also look to see which combinations work well under racing pressure."

    Text with kind permission of The Boat Race Company

    Crew list OUWBC

    For the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club, ‘Real Life’ will race ‘Fantasy’.
    Fantasy won the toss and chose the Surrey Station.

    REAL LIFE

    Bow: Maxie Scheske
    2: Lucinda Foote-Short
    3: Katie Davidson
    4: Georgia Daniell
    5: Nadine Gradel Iberg
    6: Emily Reynolds
    7 Maddy Badcott
    Stroke: Lauren Kedar
    Cox: Ayesha Rasheed

    FANTASY
    Bow: Caroline Greves
    2: Anastasia Chitty
    3: Abigail Cottingham
    4: Elo Luik
    5: Alice Carrington-Windo
    6: Chris Heemskirk
    7: Ruth Siddorn
    Stroke: Amber De Vere
    Cox: Jennifer Ehr

    Crew list CUWBC

    For the Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, ‘Rise’ will race ‘Grind’.
    Rise won the toss and chose the Surrey Station.

    RISE
    Bow: Evelyn Boettcher
    2: Daisy Gomershall
    3: Sarah Gibson
    4: Isabella Vyvyan
    5: Ashton Brown
    6: Caroline Reid
    7: Daphne Martschenko
    Stroke: Fanny Belais
    Cox: Rosemary Ostfeld

    FANTASY
    Bow: Holly Game
    2: Valentina Futoryanova
    3: Catherine Foot
    4: Gabriella Johansson
    5: Claire Watkins
    6: Melissa Wilson
    7: Hannah Roberts
    Stroke: Hannah Evans
    Cox: Will McDermott

    Official Newton Women’s Boat Race Trial Eights Report

    9th Dec 2014

    The Championship Course whipped up a stern test for the Newton Women’s Boat Race Trial Eights today as both clubs continued their progress towards April 11th in this landmark season.

    Clear and calm conditions greeted the crews in Putney for the warm-up and start, but strong winds along the Eyot and through Barnes Bridge to the finish made for challenging racing.

    The Oxford University Women’s Boat Club raced first at 13:15, ‘Fantasy’ winning the toss and choosing the Surrey Station in their battle against ‘Real Life’. Fantasy included President Anastasia Chitty, and Blues Alice Carrington-Windo and Amber DeVere, along with St. Paul’s Girl’s and Tideway cox Jennifer Ehr. Three Blues featured in Real Life, including Maxie Scheske (President 2014), Nadine Gradel Iberg and Lauren Kedar at stroke.

    The crews span and met under Putney Bridge to begin the race. Real Life were quicker through the first few strokes without sacrificing boat acceleration, taking an early edge as the crews moved past the Boathouses. Fantasy held their rhythm however, keeping the margin at around three seats through to the Town Buoy where the course takes its first bend towards Middlesex. Real Life used this bend to their advantage, moving out to almost a length but unable to gain enough ground to take the centre of the stream. Jennifer Ehr, cox of Fantasy held a strong line on the best of the stream as Ayesha Rasheed in the Middlesex crew took a much tighter line leaving a good distance between the crews.

    Approaching Harrods the crews were still moving stroke-for-stroke. Real Life began to take the bend and were warned by Umpire Simon Harris with the crews then moving under Hammersmith Bridge. The Surrey Bend brought Fantasy back to within a few seats, but Real Life held on strongly around the outside of the Surrey Bend to maintain their slight advantage of half a length.

    The margin stayed constant past the Eyot where the conditions began to turn with a firm headwind picking up against the crews. With the headwind, Real Life began to extend their advantage. It was past the Bandstand before the first sight of open water was seen between the crews as Real Life began to take control of a tightly fought contest. With the upcoming bend at Barnes Bridge to Middlesex’s favour, Real Life look set to move on to victory. By Barnes Bridge there was a length of open water advantage to Real Life who struggled to shake off their squad teammates. With the push for the finish, Fantasy couldn’t maintain the pace and were defeated by 3 lengths.

    The second of the races saw Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club’s Trial Eights race, with crews named ‘Rise’ and ‘Grind’. Rise won the toss and elected to row on the Surrey Station. Rise included U23 internationals Fanny Belais and Daphne Martschenko in the stern pair, with President Caroline Reid at 6, and Blue Isabella Vyvyan at 4. Grind included Blues Catherine Foot, Claire Watkins and Melissa Wilson and four members of last year’s Blondie crew.

    After a short delay aligning the crews, Rise moved ahead quickly off the start, slower through the rates than Grind but laying down a huge amount of power and taking half a length inside the first 20 strokes. Grind maintained their slightly higher stroke rate, but Rise extended their margin over the Middlesex crew to two-thirds of a length by the Town Buoy. At Fulham Football Club the lead became a length.

    As the race progressed, a confident and composed Rise crew moved out to a length and a half, pushing away from their opposition to take increasing control of the race. The lead slowly but steadily grew as Rise’s race-rhythm proved more effective: the lead was 2 lengths at Hammersmith Bridge and 3 lengths by Chiswick Steps. The headwind proved to be much stronger for Cambridge’s race, stifling the progress made by Rise over Grind and making for thoroughly challenging conditions as the crews passed the Bandstand and headed towards Barnes Bridge. The wind eased slightly after Barnes, but by this stage the damage was done, with Rise holding a commanding lead over Grind. Belais and Martschenko in the stern of Rise set down a stubborn and strong rhythm that was set to last the length of the Championship Course and eventually won by over 5 lengths.

    The Newton Women’s Boat Race Trial Eights proved a true insight into the best the Championship Course has to offer, with the crews demonstrating themselves to be more than a match for some difficult and testing conditions. The squads will now re-gather ahead of their next training phase and the Christmas break, which will be followed by training camps in more temperate areas of Europe.

    Text with kind permission of The Boat Race Company