The Women's Boat Race Season 2018:
OUWBC Trial Eights
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River Thames between Putney and Mortlake
Snow in the morning, rain in the afternoon - a rather unpleasant day, especially for the athletes that had to compete!
For this photographer it was, despite the rain, the best Boat Race event in the last 6 years. As neither boat could pull really away, both crews stayed in "useful" distances - it felt like a staged photo shoot, and was an absolute pleasure to photograph.
The Trial Eights are the only opportunity either side have to race the full course Boat Race from Putney to Mortlake with the Race Umpires, so provide an important test for rowers and coxes alike; and allows both sets of coaching teams to analyse the progression and potential.
The first Trial Eights race was staged by Oxford 153 years ago in 1859 and Cambridge joined the tradition three years later in 1862. The first Trial Eights for the Women's Boat Race was in 2014, when their race moved from Henley to the Tideway
You might also be interested in the CUWBC Trial Eights from December, when the weather was a bit better!
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Crew name: Coursing River
Bow - Sarah Payne-Riches (Linacre)
2 - Rachel Anderson (St Cross)
3 - Stefanie Zekoll (St Cross)
4 - Anna Murgatroyd (Christ Church)
5 - Morgan McGovern (St Catherine's)
6 - Katherine Erickson (Wolfson)
7 - Juliette Perry (Somerville)
Stroke - Beth Bridgman (St Hugh's)
Cox - Ellie Shearer (Nuffield)
Crew name: Great Typhoon
Bow - Matilda Edwards (St Anne's)
2 - Laura Depner (St Cross)
3 - Madeline Goss (Jesus)
4 - Linda van Bijsterveldt (University College)
5 - Olivia Pryer (St Edmund Hall)
6 - Sara Kushma (Christ Church)
7 - Abigail Killen (St Cross)
Stroke - Alice Roberts (St Edmund Hall)
Cox - Jessica Buck (Green Templeton)
Great Typhoon defy nature to beat Coursing River
Great Typhoon summoned the strength of will to defeat their crew-mates, Coursing River, in a pulsating Tideway encounter at the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club Trial Eights. Driving rain and plummeting temperatures did little to discourage either crew, as the race ended with a flat-out sprint to Chiswick Bridge.
Coursing River won the toss, choosing the Surrey station to launch their Trial Eights campaign. The crews lined up in downcast conditions on the start line of the championship course under the guidance of umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent. Off the start. Coursing River took an advantage of around two seats before Great Typhoon recovered to draw level passing Barn Elms Boathouse. Short, sharp rhythms seemed to be the order of the day in swirling conditions, as both crews worked their way around the Fulham bend
Stroked by returning Blue Alice Roberts, Great Typhoon made full use of their first bend advantage to draw away from their opponents. The race was beautifully poised approaching Hammersmith Bridge, as Great Typhoon led but the course curved into Coursing River’s favour. Passing St Paul’s School, Coursing River had stretched their rhythm and led by a couple of seats. Despite the best efforts of Pinsent to keep the crews apart, they clashed just ahead of the Chiswick Eyot but the lead remained the same.
Rowing around the outside of the Surrey bend, Great Typhoon put in a series of pushes to work their way back to parity before easing out on the start of the second Middlesex bend. It was an impressive manoeuvre, as they took the lead for the second time in the race. Winding up underneath Barnes Bridge, they continued to move away as Coursing River, who were steered by Blue Eleanor Shearer, could do little to halt their charge. That push decided the outcome of the race as a late rally from Coursing River was not enough to stop Great Typhoon from claiming a 1/2 length victory.
Text with kind permission by The Boat Race Company