OBUBC came out on top with both men’s eights in the first of Cambridge’s official Boat Races media fixture. Both crews raced their respective Blue Boat and Goldie counterparts over two pieces – from Putney to the Eyot, then restarting again at the Eyot, and finishing at the University Finish Post by Chiswick Bridge.
With a stronger Cambridge Blue Boat than last season, and the 2016 Temple-winning Brookes lineup as the weekend’s sparring partner, one would expect some fiercely competitive racing. In the first piece, Brookes took an early lead out the blocks from the Middlesex station, by Harrods saw Cambridge taking the lead by 3 seats. In their rhythm, Brookes took the lead back round the outside of bend by St. Paul’s – in the closing few hundred metres, both crews stepped on again, with CUBC and OBUBC’s coaches deciding the result as a draw at the Eyot. The second piece took off with Brookes gaining a 2-seat advantage approaching the bandstand, and capitalised on their bend to put clear water between them and Cambridge once again, extending this to 2 lengths by the Finish Post.
You can watch race footage of the 1st boat’s fixture against Cambridge HERE.
In the 2nd VIII’s fixture with Goldie, both crews were relatively level past Fulham in the first piece, with the Brookes crew on the outside Surrey station. As the bend swung round toward Hammersmith, Brookes began to steadily draw away, reaching the Eyot just over 2 lengths up on Goldie. In the second piece, much the same events played out, with the Brookes crew rowing away from Goldie on the outside of the Barnes bend, to finish again 2 lengths ahead.
Overall, a really good day’s racing for both boat clubs, and a very useful training exercise moving forward from last year’s fixture. The next fixture will feature the Women’s squad against OUWBC on the 19th February, followed by the Men racing OUBC on the 26th.