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Novice Women Michaelmas 2014 Report

This Michaelmas term all started at the Univ Freshers’ fair, where rowers and coxes, including several of Univ’s university squad triallists, were available to answer any and all questions about rowing, and to direct any interested students down to the boathouse for the taster day. Our taster day this year was a big success, with a barbeque manned by senior rowers, tours of our unique facilities, and opportunities to use the club ergometers and to sit in a boat and take some strokes. We also continued our tradition of valuing and recruiting coxes by holding a Q&A session where several of our experienced coxes explained what it is that coxswains do.

Overall the recruitment was a big success for women’s rowing – we had no problem gathering a large squad together to run a few “taster outings” over the next week, before asking rowers to sign up for boats. We had the highest level of enthusiasm for the A boat in several years and had another bunch of keen girls for the B boat. In terms of coxing, the club was delighted to get 9 novice coxes signed up to learn – something other boat clubs will be envious of in terms to come!

After lots of training, our first competition was in 6th week at Nephthys regatta. Novice coxes and crews showed up for a day of racing on Saturday. WNA won against Lincoln C and then lost to a strong St. Anne’s A, while WNB lost their first race to Lincoln B. Everyone came away having gotten the nerves of a first race out of their systems and looking forward to Christ Church regatta.

Unfortunately, bad weather conditions to the east of Oxford meant that the stream was high in the week coming up to Christ Church. Despite lots of crossed fingers and the best efforts of the lock keepers, the stream was too fast to allow novice coxes to race at Christ Church. This continued through all four days of the competition. Luckily Univ has some extremely dedicated experienced coxes who agreed to help out – many thanks to Ilaria Confalioneri and Becky Collins for subbing in to crews during Christ Church and making sure everyone got to race. All the novice coxes came down to support their crews and are still an integral part of every novice crew despite only getting to race at Nephthys.

On the Wednesday, WNA won against St John’s A, while WNB, now a friendly crew due to injuries, beat Exeter A by an impressive 2 lengths. This put both crews through to the Friday, so after a day off to watch the men competing on Thursday, the girls got back in their boats for some more racing. WNB beat Queen’s A easily in an impressive last race, but couldn’t progress further due to seniors subbing in. WNA won against LMH A and then raced the Queen’s A crew who had raced WNB, in their second encounter against Univ that day, again a win by more than four lengths.

This meant that WNA were the last Univ crew standing! They were through to the quarter final against Regent’s Park on Saturday – losing by an extremely close canvas. Regent’s Park were a very strong crew who went on, two races later, to win Christ Church regatta – so we are all incredibly proud of the WNA girls for “making them bleed” and putting up such a good fight. Then, after the post-race boat washing and polishing, it was off to Temple Lounge for a great Christ Church meal with all the novice crews to celebrate the term’s achievements.

Looking forward to next term, we know we’ll have a lot of really great new rowers to compete at Torpids!

Niamh Broderick UCBC Women’s Vice-Captain


Posted on Dec 12, 2014

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