Oxford Brookes Women claimed both the Championship and Academic Eights at Henley Women’s Regatta while the Men put on a dominant display at Marlow Regatta
In a first for the regatta, Brookes took home both the Ron Needs Challenge Cup for Championship VIIIs and the Colgan Foundation Cup for “Aspirational” Academic VIIIs. It personifies the huge strides the women’s group has made in recent years led by coach, Hugo Gulliver. These results set the entire group up towards mounting a challenge towards Henley Royal Regatta next week.
After a fantastic display of rowing across the previous two days of competition, including a win in the time trial, Brookes faced Leander in the semi-final. With a powerful start, Brookes took a lead early on in the race and were able to comfortably cross the finish line to book a space in the Championship Eights final against Thames Rowing Club.
This crew had 4 returners from the Championship VIII from last year, bolstered by others who won the Academic pennant in 2022. In the final, Brookes made a blistering start and took an advantage out the end of the island immediately. Stretching out into the middle part of the course, Brookes kept inching out their lead in emphatic style and broke clear water after 600m. Brookes crossed the finish line 7 seconds ahead of a talented crew from Thames RC. A phenomenal achievement, replicating the success of the 2021 covid effected year when Brookes last won.
Brookes were also looking to retain their title in the Academic VIII. After some prolific performances throughout the weekend, Brookes drew Newcastle University in the final. After an initial challenge in the opening part of the race, Brookes were able to power away and complete the double in both Champ and Academic VIIIs.
The Academic Four also made the Final – Brookes drew Imperial – the favourites for the competition in the final. Brookes put on an honourable performance missing out on victory but with a crew containing several members new to Brookes this year, they will be looking to build on this experience for next season.
Alongside the racing in Henley this weekend, Brookes raced at Marlow International Regatta. Brookes made a clean sweep of the of the Open pennants in the Men’s Championship Eights, Coxed and Coxless Fours. The Men’s 1st VIII crossed the line in 5:44 with the 2nd VIII four seconds back. The Coxed Four won by a large clear water margin in a time of 6:31. The Coxless Four won by a length in a time of 6:19 over Molesey BC. The Brookes squad now focus towards their final preparations after a huge show of the depth through the entire team ahead of Henley Royal Regatta in a weeks time.
📸Courtesy of AllMarkOne