The first race since lockdown restrictions were lifted in 2021 was Head of the Cam, which saw Cantabs crews make up over one quarter of the total entries.
The Senior Women’s Squad showed that they hadn’t been slowed down by the lockdown, the fastest 2 women’s eights of the day coming from Cantabs. The A crew of Katie Brown, Ellie Darlington, Rebecca Smith, Gloria Jansen, Elena Williams, Molly Shaw, Jennie Astley and Gemma White were steered to the course record time by cox Callum Mantell to win the ‘CRA 1’ category. They were closely followed by the B crew, who were winners of the ‘CRA 2’ category.
Deprived of so many races since the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the Senior Women raced at least a second time, finishing as the fastest W4+, W4-, W4x and W2- of the day.
Elsewhere, there were entries from crews from the Intermediate Women’s Squad in the CRA 2 W8+ and CRA 2 W4+ and Progression Squad in WMas8+, racing for the first time since Christmas Head back in December 2020.
A number of Cantabs crews had strong 2nd place finishes, giving them motivation among plenty of opportunities to reverse the verdict in upcoming races on the Cam. The Aquaphobes raced well to finish 2nd in the Mas8+ event, with Motley Crew also finishing in the mix in their event after a productive lockdown on the ergs. The Senior Men finished as the 2nd fast CRA M8+ just 7 seconds behind Nines, and comfortably ahead of City of Cambridge, and will be looking to make up those few seconds over the coming weeks.
David Richardson and Cecile Auty-Jacklin made a strong return to the water together, finishing as the fastest mixed 2x, and the Cantabs junior contingent also had a positive return to racing. With the J18s focusing on revision, the younger juniors stepped up with 4 wins across the 12 crews entered from J13 through to J17.
It was a great day all round, with lots of potential on display and lots of lessons learned looking towards some of the bigger summer events.Coach Oli Frazer
Full results can be found here. Cantabs crews will next race at the Spring Head to Head and City Sprints.