The women’s squad took on local rivals OUWBC in an official fixture, over two pieces on the Tideway. After some unofficial sparring before last year’s Boat Race, this would be a good opportunity for both crews on the championship course.
In the match between Brookes’ 1st crew and the Oxford Blue Boat, Brookes sprang out to an early lead but by the end of a competitive first piece, Oxford on the Middlesex station had made the most of their bend advantage, and came out on top by just over a length. Going into the second piece, the crews’ coaches and media onlookers were treated to a fantastic, closely-fought duel, with Brookes again taking the lead and stretching out to 3/4 length which they held for the majority of the piece from Harrods to the Bandstand. Going into the closing stages, Oxford had clawed themselves level, and reached the line marginally ahead of their local rivals at the end of a fiercely competitive piece.
In the 2nd boat fixture, Brookes took the initial lead from the outside station, but saw Osiris begin to make steady progress back to level by Barn Elms. However, Brookes made the most of their advantage as the bend swung back toward Hammersmith, gaining the lead once again, and finished 2 lengths in front. On the second piece, Brookes didn’t think twice, taking the lead within 20 strokes, and extending out to 3 lengths by the Bandstand winning in impressive style.