On the 14th of March, MUBC’s women had a challenging start to WEHORR with broken trailer lights, broken axles and flat tyres. Nonetheless, we produced a result to be proud of with the first 8+ placing 59th out of 300 – a massive improvement over last year when we came 85th. Our second 8+ also competed in the IM3 category, finishing 212th and the novice women pulled off an admirable performance in their longest race yet of 6.8km, placing 258th.
Conditions were clear and dry but typically for the Tideway there was a strong headwind to battle with. The first 8+ boated just before 9am and successfully avoided a long and cold wait marshalling near the start at Chiswick Bridge. Before we knew it, it was time to spin and prepare to race.
Tension was high as we crossed the start line with Magdalen College Oxford a little too close to our stern for comfort. Despite this pressure, we held them for the first 5 minutes of the race with a stong rhythm. As we passed under Barnes Bridge, the headwind suddenly hit us and held us up to what felt like a complete stop. Battling the headwind we pushed on to put more than six lengths between Magdalen and us.
We passed Chiswick Eyot still feeling strong and continued to Hammersmith Bridge overtaking a crew in the process and pulling even further away from Magdalen.
As we reached Hammersmith Bridge, our cox Emma made a call to push off the bridge, empty the tank and look good for the photos, which did admittedly turn out quite well. We ramped up the power, passed Fulham FC with about 750m left, and finally finished the race in confidence with overlap on another crew.
It was an exciting day of overcoming set-backs and performing well against the odds, with the best result we’ve had in years. As Jake Brown, our performance captain said, if we keep going at it, Henley Women’s Regatta in June should be quite a lot of fun.
Hattie West started rowing for MUBC in September.
1st VIII: Hattie West, Kat Hunt, Charlotte Walsh, Hannah Russell, Emily Harding, Ro Charles, Becky Hartwell, Ellie Higginbotham and was coxed by Emma Carter
2nd VIII: Izzy Gibson, Maddie Thew, Roisin Coogan, Beatrix Freeland, Tilly Pye, Sarah Baird, Alix White, Georgia Crichton, Coxed by Caitlin Butler.
3rd VIII: Rachel Hopkins, Anna Wynne, Rebecca Hall, Kitty Murphy, Ellie Tripp, Anahita Mk, Anna Kerby coxed by Alice Campbell Davies.