Cantabs sent 6 crews to race at the Fours Head of the River on 13th November, the first time Cantabs crews have raced on the Tideway for 2 years.
Stand-out performances came from the Women’s Club 4x and the top Women’s Club 4-, which finished 3rd and 4th in their respective events.
After showing good speed in training, the lightweight Women’s Club 4x of Jana Jaworska, Ulrika Andersson, Maria Stroyakovski and Evelyn Svingen had a strong start to their race, overtaking the Nottingham RC 4x they were following who had a slower start. Later in the race, Nottingham found more speed and made a big push to overtake the Cantabs crew back, before a side-by-side duel unfolded for about half of the course, with Cantabs racing outside of the stream alongside Nottingham, with whom they finished with overlap on at the finish. Despite so much time spent outside of the stream, the crew’s time was faster than the winning Women’s Academic 4x and some Championship entries, despite the weaker stream later on in the race.
Struggles with injury to a number of squad members in the run-up saw the Women’s Club 4- of Rebecca Smith, Gloria Jansen, Larkin Sayre and Molly Shaw race for time only due to substitutions. The crew had a strong start, going off first in their event ahead of a crew from Thames, and enjoying overtakes of several quads along the way. Their time would have been the 4th fastest of all the Women’s Club 4- that day, all the more impressive given it was only their 3rd session together as a crew and only Molly’s 5th time steering a 4- in 6 years!
Elsewhere, there was an excellent 8th place finish in the Women’s Club 4+ for a crew mostly new to racing on the Tideway. Abi Bartlett, Izzy Rhodes, Indy James and Emily Richards were steered by Callum Mantell to a finish time faster than the winning Women’s Academic 4+ crew and faster than one of the Women’s Champ 4+ entries.
Also new to racing the Tideway were Emily Kempin and Emillie Howard, racing in a second Women’s Club 4x with Charlotte Anderson and ChiYing Chen, who competed at Scullers Head in September (ChiYing the winner of WMasB1x). The crew raced well in a line-up formed just days before due to a last minute substitution, which saw J18 Emillie steer the Tideway for the first time.
The Men’s Club 4x of Dave Inman, Hannes Burfeind, John Cumner and Rohan Hodgson raced well in a strong field to finish 16th in their event, with a Men’s Club 4- nearly replicating their dead heat with local rivals Cambridge 99 at Autumn Head on the Tideway!
I’m immensely proud of the results achieved by all Cantabs crews at Fours Head. It’s been a bumpy ride for most of our crews in the lead-up, making coming home with top 10 finishes is all the more impressive. Days like today make me very proud and thankful to be able to work with the athletes and coaches at Cantabs.Tom Copeland – Women’s Head Coach
On the Sunday, a Women’s Masters C 4+ raced at the Veteran Fours Head of the River. It was a strong race for Gill Cooper, Amanda Clarkson, Debbie Morley and Judith Weik, who were steered by Isabel Nimmo to a 2nd place finish in their event behind an exceptional Wallingford RC crew. The brilliant performance of the Cantabs crew is highlighted by the fact that they were the 3rd fastest W4+ of the day, behind Wallingford and the winners of the Women’s Masters A 4+ event.
If you’re interested in finding out more about rowing at Cantabs, please visit the squad pages on our website for more information.
All Fours Head photos from our sponsor, Allmarkone, and Vets Fours Head from Bigblade.
Correction: An earlier version of this race report said that the Women’s Club 4x crews finished 4th and 21st. Their results were later updated to be 3rd and 20th after another club had their crew disqualified for containing athletes ineligible for the Club event.