Hilary 2016: from the Women's Vice-Captain
Univ was one of just a few colleges who had three women’s crews competing in Torpids. For many crew members (five in W2; two in W3) it was their first experience of bumps racing, and both crews dealt admirably with the occasional chaos which is more common in the lower divisions, whether it was adapting to new crew combinations as people subbed in, or staying calm when their race was klaxoned due to an ejector crab in the gut (thankfully not from a Univ crew!).
W2 achieved one of the earliest bumps of the whole of Torpids, catching Green Templeton II just off the start on the Wednesday to reach second place in Women's Division IV. On Thursday they had a hard-fought row-over behind St Antony's first boat, gaining on them but not quite catching them. Thursday's Division IV was brought to a halt by a klaxon due to a contentious pile-up in the gut, from which Univ sadly emerged four places down. On Saturday, the crew were bumped early on by Oriel II, but recovered to finish their Torpids campaign with a bump on Jesus II at the end of the gut. Sadly, the chaos of Friday meant that W2's end result (fifth in Women's Division IV) didn't reflect all the hard work the girls had put in, but we saw some very good rowing, especially on the Thursday when they gave a tough race to another college's first boat, and their enthusiasm was evident, with plans for Summer VIIIs already being discussed at Torpids dinner!
W3 had a little less water time than W2, with their third outing (their first in the new combination of crew and bow-rigged boat) being Rowing On. Nevertheless, they managed to qualify for Torpids, starting fifth in Women's Division V. As with W2, the crew had a great start, getting a clean row-past on Brasenose II in the gut. Thursday sadly ended with a penalty bump against Univ after another very messy situation in the gut, but the crew recovered to get the overbump on Hertford II on Friday. Saturday started a little chaotically; the crew were down to seven rowers going through the gut, as one rower struggled to get her oar back in its gate. St Catherine's II gained overlap on Univ, but the crew had a narrow escape, and went on to bump outside Univ boathouse on Green Templeton II (the same crew that Univ W2 bumped on the Wednesday!). Having had just three outings before Torpids, and adapting to different crew combinations every day of racing (supported by a variety of subs, from a Univ alumnus to current students, one of whom hadn't rowed in a year!), W3 managed to finish two places up.
As ever, Univ's strength in the lower boats shows the boat club's friendliness to rowers with all levels of commitment and experience, as well as helping to develop future W1 rowers. Both crews performed remarkably well given the many cancelled outings due to rising river levels. And of course we are thankful to everyone who has supported us, from the W2 coach Argyris Stasinakis, to the many members of UCBC who helped with coaching and bankriding, or subbing in to outings.
Women’s Vice Captain
Posted on Apr 19, 2016
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