This year, Cantabs will be entering 11 women’s eights – the 2nd largest number of eights Cantabs has ever entered into Town Bumps. Last year, the Cantabs women’s crews went +28 across all 12 eights entered – by far the highest climb of all clubs taking part in the event – and took the Women’s Headship for the 2nd time in the club’s history.
The last time Cantabs held the Women’s Headship was in 1993 when women’s Town Bumps was run in coxed fours. You can see the women’s Town Bumps charts since here, showing Cantabs crews since 1983.
The 2017/18 season has been a successful one for all of the Cantabs women’s squads, seeing wins across events on-Cam as well as nationally. This has included everything from wins in novice eights for the Women’s Progression Squad and Racks Out, to the J16 girls’ 8+ winning a fantastic bronze medal after being selected to represent the Eastern Region in the Junior Inter Regional Regatta.
Highlights this season for the Senior Women were wins in the Intermediate 2- at Pairs Head and Masters C 4- at Vet Fours Head, the A crew finishing 20th at WEHORR, breaking the course record at Winter League, X-Press Head and Champs Eights Head, winning gold and silver medals at the British Rowing Masters Championships, and some great performances at Henley Women’s Regatta.
On the Sunday after Town Bumps, 6 women from W1 will represent Cambridge at the Power8 Sprints, being held in Bristol Harbour. You can read more about Power8 here.
The 2018 Cantabs women’s crews
5 of last year’s W1 which bumped City of Cambridge on the first night to claim the Town Bumps Headship race again this year in W1. The crew contains 7 of the 8+ which missed out on a place in the final at Henley Women’s Regatta this year by just 1 foot in an exciting race against Thames RC, and 4 of the crew who won that event last year in a course record time.
W1 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting Head of the River:
Esther Momcilovic/Ro Price (cox), Andrea de Bruin, Ellie Darlington, Jessie Spivey, Eve Beere*, Ann Laube, Georgia Vann, Harriet Cross, Bailee Stratton
Eve Beere learned to row at Cantabs as a junior, when she won silver medals in the JW2- at the National Schools Regatta and British Rowing Junior Championships. This will be her 2nd time rowing in a Headship crew, having raced in the Magdalen College Headship crew at Oxford University’s Torpids in 2016. Cox Esther Momcilovic also held a Headship with her former college, Clare, and steered Cambridge in the 2011 Lightweight and 2013 and 2014 openweight Women’s Boat Races, when she was CUWBC president. There is also Boat Race experience in 7-seat Ellie Darlington, who raced for Oxford in 2012 and for England in the W2- at the 2015 Home International Regatta. Esther’s 2011 Boat Race crew included Georgie Plunkett, who is racing in W2.
W2 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 3rd in Division 1:
Isabel Nimmo (cox), Fiona Macklin, Eve Caroe, Jordan Bruce, Georgie Plunkett/Emma Dalrymple*, Alice Brownjohn, Hannah Stewart, Eleanor Milne, Cecilia Collins-Taylor
This year’s W2 will be starting 3rd on the river, after bumping X-Press W1 and Cambridge 99 W1 last year to finish as the highest placed W2. Isabel Nimmo has steered over 100 bumps races in her coxing career so far including May, Lent and Town Bumps. This year she will be coxing M9 as well as W2. The crew will be stroked by Fiona Macklin, who raced in the 2014 Lightweight and 2016 openweight Women’s Boat Races, and has won gold in Championship events at BUCS Regatta and EUSA. 3 of W2 were in the crew which won the Club 8+ at Henley Women’s Regatta last year, and Eve Caroe was in the Cantabs crew which won the WEHORR Provincial Pennant in 2017. Eleanor Milne, is also a past winner at WEHORR, having won the Junior Pennants in 2008 and 2009. Several crew members have family racing in Town Bumps – Eve’s mum Carol will be racing in Champs W1, Cecilia’s sister Fi is racing in Cantabs W3 and Alice’s husband Phil will be racing in M9.
W3 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 7th in Division 1:
Callum Mantell (cox), Gill Cooper, Judith Weik*, Debbie Morley*, Fiona Collins-Taylor, Emily Kruger, Christina Woolner, Isabella Mahoney, Sue Hakenbeck
Last year, W3 bladed to 7th on the river, bumping Chesterton W1, COWs, Robs W1 and City W2 along the way. This year they will be coxed by Callum Mantell, winner of the 2014 Lightweight Men’s Boat Race with Cambridge. Stern pair of this year’s crew are Gill Cooper and Judith Weik, who won silver in W.MasC.2- at the British Rowing Masters Championships, and they are joined by Debbie Morley who won the W.MasC.4- pennant with them at Vet Fours Head in November. Debbie’s daughter Catherine will be racing Town Bumps for the first time with the J16s in W4.
W4 – Junior Squad (J16s) – Starting 14th in Division 1:
Carrie Frazer (cox), Katie Oliver*, Rosie Oliver*, Amy Hill*, Mia Beauchamp*, Zara Parr*, Jessie Hassett*, Catherine Morley*, Lucy Jennion*
Many girls in W4 have family members racing, having either taken up rowing after seeing their family enjoy it or inspiring other members of their family to row. Catherine’s mother Debbie is rowing in W3 and her father is a single sculler at Cantabs. W4’s stern pair, Katie and Rosie, are sisters and Mia’s father rows in M13 and her brother in M3.
W5 – Intermediate Women – Starting 9th in Division 2:
Amy Henfry (cox), Sarah Cross, Steph Creasey*, Sally Hames*, Marjon Hilgenga*, Jacqui Robinson, Laura Mitchell, Hana Lango Allen, Lenka Dinnage
Members of this year’s Intermediate Women’s crew have all rowed in bumps before, some from university days and some up to 8 times for Cantabs, with nearly everyone having at least one blade – and Steph Creasey rowing for their 5th! As well as rowing, other sports that the crew participate in include long distance running, cycling, open water swimming, dressage, power lifting, modern pentathlon and horse riding. One crew member credits rowing with saving her health and sanity after a particularly nasty accident early in her rowing career. Laura Mitchell and Lenka Dinnage rowed in the X-Press crew bumped by Cantabs’ Intermediate Women on the last night of Town Bumps last year! W5 will be coxed by Amy Henfry, who coxed the 2016 Cantabs men’s Headship crew. This year she will be doubling up, and coxing M3 as well as the Intermediate Women.
W6 – Junior Squad (J18s) – Starting 11th in Division 2:
Hannah Jones (cox), Rosie Allwood*, Lorna McBride*, Fiona McBride*, Eleanor Hewitt*, Syra Vanderhoof, Ellie Gibbs*, Lucy Newman*, Tabitha Thornton-Swan*
W7 – Hills Road Returners/Intermediate Women – Starting 1st in Division 3:
Ben Whitelaw* (cox), Jenny Bartley, Anna Norgett*, Kiah Conroy*, Deidre Wylie, Alina Gatley, Alice Haddow*, Susan Rutter*, Jasmin Stein
This crew comprises 4 athletes from the Intermediate Women’s Squad, and 4 former Cantabs juniors who are now back from university for the summer holidays. For ex Hills students Alice, Anna and Kiah this is their 3rd Town Bumps, and Jasmin will be racing her 4th. Alina Gatley and Susan Rutter learned to row at York University and Grey College, Durham, though Susan previously coxed at Cantabs as a junior. Cox Ben Whitelaw is also going to be coxing the men’s Hills Returners crew, M3.
W8 – Hills Road – Starting 3rd in Division 3:
Eva Hill* (cox), Amelise Burr*, Hollie Adams*, Daisy Church*, Emily Staplehurst*, Cass Baumberg*/Ghazal Seidi*/Michelle Santos*, Ruby Page*/Ellie Cook*, Ellie Wicks*, Chloe Moulding*
W8 will be coxed by Junior Captain Eva Hill who, along with Ellen Goode, Bex Hawthorne and Izzy Ritchie, will be sitting out of racing Town Bumps this year in order to focus on racing the 4x at the British Rowing Junior Championships.
W9 – Women’s Progression Squad – Starting 5th in Division 3:
Barbara Blacklaws* (cox), Alyson Savill*, Evelyn Svingen, Katie Bradshaw*/Kasia Brzoska*, Barbara Herdy, Sheena Almqvist*, Catherine Lam*/Agnieszka Chaberska, Helen Walker, Maureen Donnelly*
W9 are coached by David Winch, who is himself racing in ‘InveterEight’ (M14). A number of this crew have family racing in other Cantabs crews. Alyson’s son Tim is rowing in M2, Katie’s husband Andrew is rowing in M10, Helen’s husband Simon is rowing in M16, and Sheena’s son Robert is rowing in M9. W9 are a very international crew, with members originally from Scotland, England, Norway, Hungary, Germany, China, Poland, Portugal and Ireland.
W10 – Racks Out – Starting 6th in Division 3
Tracey Allison (cox), Darcy Weaver, Hannah Becker, Kate Belger*/Beverley England, Jane Gilbert, Jane Thorpe, Jennifer Mullucks*/Sue Lacey, Elena Provenzano, Jenny Darsley
Racks Out are Cantabs’ international specialists. Rowing in boats coxed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Heidelberg in 2017 has been their high point so far. In 2016, they raced with the German M8+ in Heidelberg, Cambridge’s twin city, raising money for Cancer Research. They have had the further pleasures of racing around the beautiful Tyrrhenian island of Ponza, and competing in international regattas in Budapest and, most recently, Warsaw.
W11 – Hills Road Learn to Row – Starting 9th in Division 3:
Jenny Thackstone* (cox), Emily Froggatt*, Martha Pierce*, Xing Yi*, Ruby Freeman*, Alice Bates*/Holly Cox*, Emily Aldridge*/Anita Megarry*, Emma Stephens*, Sirena Neaves*
W11 are from a squad of 11 Year 12 students from Hills Road. They all learnt to row as part of the autumn or spring Learn to Row courses this year, and joined Cantabs so they could continue once the course finished. Bumps will be their first ever race, and they hope to continue rowing next year. They are coached by Matt Crowe, who will himself be racing in M2.
*indicates they learned to row at Cantabs