Over the May bank holiday weekend, Cantabs put in some good performances to come home with wins at all 3 races they attended: Wallingford Regatta, the Spring Head to Head, and City Sprints.
The stand-out performance of the weekend was by Georgie Plunkett, of the Senior Women’s Squad, who won the women’s club singles at Wallingford Regatta on Sunday.
The regatta, held at Dorney Lake, is the first major race of the summer regatta season for club crews, though its course can often suffer with bad weather. This year was no exception, with a strong headwind causing problems for crews aligning at the start of the 2km race. This means that a number of finals from the morning division were cancelled to ‘catch up’ time lost by crews taking nearly 15 minutes to get ready to race rather than the usual 3 minutes.
The Senior Women’s Squad fielded a women’s club 8+, consisting of most of the athletes from their provincial pennant-winning WEHoRR A crew. Despite being drawn in lane 6, which was the most exposed to the bad conditions, they won their heat by clear water, proceeding automatically to the final. However, the prize for the event was awarded to the fastest crew from the heats – Vesta, whose earlier heat was less windy and who were drawn in the much more sheltered lane 1, which produced by far the most wins of the day.
The Senior Men’s Squad‘s club 8+ race was scheduled for after the cancellations, and so only raced a time trial. James King, Jonah Harris, Finn Grimwood, Guy Fiddian, Tom Chess, Andrew Marsden, Hadi Boukhatmi, Sean Collins and cox Sara Russo finished 10th overall.
Millie Perrin, Bailee Stratton, Jordan Bruce, Georgia Vann and cox Esther Momcilovic doubled up from the women’s 8+ into a women’s club 4+ in the afternoon. Their race was also a straight time trial, where they finished an impressive 3rd of 30 crews despite only having 2 outings together beforehand.
The final race for Cantabs was Georgie’s race in the 1x. A lightweight racing in an openweight event, Georgie finished 13 seconds clear of the 2nd placed sculler from upper Thames, to claim victory despite some very difficult conditions in her time trial which saw most scullers taking on water as waves crashed over their boats in the opening stages of the race.
The next race for the Senior Squads will be at Nottingham City Regatta on Saturday 13th May.
Spring Head to Head
Back in Cambridge, at the Spring Head to Head, Cantabs came home with 2 wins and many close 2nd place finishes. The Head to Head has crews racing 2k in one direction, spinning, and then racing 2k back in the other direction. Entries this year were patchy, meaning that few smaller boats had any opposition.
Nonetheless, Alice Brownjohn and Emma Dalrymple from the Senior Women’s Squad won W.NOV.2x for the second head race in a row, finishing nearly 2 minutes faster than the 2nd placed crew. There was also victory for the Intermediate Women’s Squad as Debbie Morley, Liz Jamie, Megan Leoni, Jacqui Robinson, Sally Hames, Rebecca Cicolecchia, Emma Siragher, Marjon Hilgenga and cox Kat Crawford won W.IM3.8+, beating a number of Cambridge college women’s first eights in the process.
There were 2nd place finishes for Cantabs in M1x, W.MasDE.1x, MasDEF.8+ and NOV.8+, with a W.MasC.4+ from the Senior Women’s Squad finishing as the fastest ‘4-woman boat’, beating all other quads and coxless fours, as they had no opposition.
Full results are available here.
The City Sprints, on the Sunday, are raced over 400m just in front of the boat houses towards Jesus lock. This event is popular with the Cantabs juniors, who were victorious in several events: J15.2x, J15.4x-, W.J15.1x, W.J15.4x- and W.J18.2x, with many of those being Cantabs vs Cantabs finals. There was also success for adults, with Andrew Morley winning IM3.1x.
Full results are available here.