Whilst other Cantabs crews were racing at Peterborough Regatta, 4 crews from the Senior Women’s Squad went to race at Met Regatta on 1st and 2nd June.
The Saturday saw some crews race for the first time in their Henley Women’s line-ups. The 4x of Ann Laube, Tina Sassow, Ellie Darlington and Eve Caroe first raced in the Tier 2 Women’s 4x event. They raced well in the opening stages of the race, with the lead changing hands between Cantabs and Molesey, before the crew’s lack of time together saw them unable to capitalise on their lead over Gloucester Hartpury next to them, and were eventually rowed through to finish in 3rd.
The crew put what they had learned from the Tier 2 race into practice in the Championship W4x event in the afternoon. A win wasn’t going to be on the cards, with a Leander crew containing former U23 medallists and Beth Bryan from the bronze medal winning GB 4x at the 2017 World Championships, meaning the crew could relax in trying to put together the best possible race. After a better second 1000m, they raced well to finish 3rd.
Deborah Oakley had some very close racing in the Tier 2 Women’s 1x. With 3 crews from the heat making it to the final, Debs found herself leading at the half way point, but the field closed in in the last 250m of the race, and she was pipped into 4th place.
After a series of car-related mishaps which resulted in the Tier 4 Women’s 4+ of Anita Holender, Clara Lloyd, Isabella Mahoney, Charlotte Anderson and cox Catherine Bowden, arriving just in time for their heat, the Cantabs crew raced well, leading in the early stages of the race and managing to clinch a spot in the final by less than a second. The final of this event was, surprisingly, considered to be the most exciting race of the day, with only a couple of seats between the 7 crews in the closing stages of the race, with the Cantabs crew finishing 4th overall. This crew went on to race at Peterborough Regatta the next day, where they won the Women’s Band 1 4+ event.
The best was yet to come, however, with Georgie Plunkett racing in the Lightweight Women’s 1x on the Sunday. In the heat, Georgie put in a strong performance to finish 4 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed sculler from Oxford University Lightweight Women’s RC. Conditions worsened throughout the day, with many coxed boats struggling to line up on the start. A quick start after all boats were attached saw Georgie confidently launch out to a lead of nearly 4 seconds by the 500m marker, continuing to push on through a horrible cross-head wind and lead from the front for the whole race.
Women’s captain Ellie Darlington said:
The races at Met this weekend were all useful experience for all crews, with the new line-ups all learning good lessons and enjoying their racing, which will propel us through this final phase of training for Henley. I’m over the moon with Georgie’s result, it’s well-deserved after a lot of training, and a disappointment earlier this season when Scullers Head was cancelled.
These crews next race at Henley Women’s Regatta in a couple of weeks’ time.