After a number of cancellations over the past couple of weeks due to difficult conditions on the Tideway, the BROOKES|Rowing Men’s 1st and 2nd VIIIs finally got racing in a rescheduled Boat Race fixture against Oxford University yesterday. This annually forms an important part of Brookes’ build up to Eights Head, and they were looking to repeat last year’s result where they beat both Oxford and Cambridge’s Blue Boats and Reserve Crew with their respective counterparts.
In both the Blue Boat and Isis fixtures, the first piece ran from Chiswick Steps to Beverley Brook at the start of the Putney hard, with the second piece also starting at Chiswick Steps, but running further towards Putney, finishing at the Black Buoy.
The 1st VIII lost the toss, and Oxford chose the favored Surrey Station for the first piece, with Brookes taking Middlesex. Brookes managed to push clear ahead of Oxford before reaching the point where the river favoured Oxford most around Hammersmith. Brookes cox, Harry Brightmore, was able to move in front and continued to move away throughout the second half of the piece, finishing with a comfortable margin of clear water between the two crews.
In the second piece, both crews switched stations, with Brookes now taking the Surrey side. Brookes had a conservative start compared with the first piece, finding three quarters of a length early in the piece. As both crews passed through Hammersmith Bridge, Brookes on the inside of the bend held Oxford at just over a length ensuring that Oxford maintained their line. As the river straightened, Brookes broke clear and were able to move away considerably in the final half this time finishing with significant clear water between themselves and Oxford.
In the Isis fixture, Brookes won the toss and chose the Surrey Station for the first piece. They started aggressively and had clear water by the time they passed under Hammersmith Bridge- and continued to pull away in the second half of the piece.
The second piece saw both crews switch stations. Although Brookes again pushed hard at the start, Isis held contact and made good use of the bend in their favour – holding Brookes wide throughout. As the crews reached Fulham, Brookes sprinted and broke to clear water with a few hundred metres to go. The piece finished with Brookes over a length of clear water ahead of Isis.
Brookes next race against Cambridge this coming Sunday with two Men’s Eights. The remainder of the squad travel to Kingston Head, their final warmup before Eights Head, the following weekend.
Photos kindly Courtesy of AllMarkOne 📸