Brookes Women kick off Fixture Series
BROOKES|Rowing took three women’s eights to the Tideway on Sunday to face off against the Cambridge crews that will race in The Boat Races in a couple of months time.
Due to the conditions, the racing included two pieces held between the Boat Race start in Putney and the Harrods Depositary.
Brookes I vs. CUWBC Blue Boat
The Brookes Women won the toss and chose the Surrey station. The Cambridge crew with Four Olympians took a slight lead off the start, then took a length lead on the inside of the bend around Fulham Football Club. Oxford Brookes then held the gap at one length. With both crews racing at rate 36 the gap remained at one length for further 5 minutes until the finish line in what was a fierce race.
The second race, crews switched stations. Oxford Brookes had a canvas lead at the Black Buoy after the first 90 seconds. Cambridge then moved level and then to two-thirds of a length up around the Mile Post. As the wind conditions deteriorated Oxford Brookes then held the gap, with both crews striking rate 36. As the finish line approached, Oxford Brookes, on the outside, against a tiring Cambridge crew attacked early and sprinted to shut the gap to just half a length at the finish.
Brookes II vs. Blondie
Brookes Women, won the toss and chose the Surrey station for the first piece. Brookes blasted out of the blocks in the first two minutes against Blondie around the outside of the first bend with only a few warnings from the umpire. Brookes extended their lead coming past Barn Elms – despite a brief encounter with buoy the Brookes women’s crew came out of the first race with a win of two and a half lengths.
The crews stayed on the same stations for the second piece. Brookes had a good start but couldn’t break clear water with some intense battling from the Cambridge crew on the inside of the bend. After a decisive move the Brookes women were able to break the final contact and extend this lead through the second half of the race winning by a margin of just under two lengths at Harrods.
Brookes III vs. CUWBC Lightweights
The race between Brookes III and Cambridge Lightweights proved to be one the most exciting and closest races of the afternoon. The lead changed hands multiple times with Brookes taking the initial lead on Surrey in the first third of the race. Cambridge had rowed through having the inside of the first bend. Through the middle of the race Cambridge women were just over a length up with both crews being warned by the umpire. Coming into the last part of the race with Brookes having the slight advantage on the inside of the bend – Brookes came back strongly missing out by half a length against the Cambridge crew. A great race!
The second piece Brookes had a row through after a Cambridge injury.
A great day out and a brilliant test for our students against a top Cambridge crew with four Olympians on board. To push them the whole way to the finish line was some fantastic racing experience. It was equally brilliant to test our strength-and-depth with the Oxford Brookes 2nd & 3rd Women’s Eights putting in strong performances against Blondie and the Cambridge Lightweight crew. We’re looking forward to returning to the Tideway in two weeks time with both our Brookes men’s and women’s crews for the next weekend of the Fixture Series vs. Oxford Women and Cambridge Men.
All photos courtesy of AllMarkOne📸