This year, Cantabs will be entering 12 women’s eights – the largest number of women’s eights entered by any competing club, and 2 more than in 2019 despite COVID causing numerous setbacks for all rowing clubs. In 2019, division 1 Cantabs women’s crews finished as 1st, 3rd, 4th and 7th on the river.
Despite several events being cancelled due to COVID this season, the 2020/21 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 the Intermediate 8+ at the Spring Head to Head for the Intermediate Squad, to the women’s squad’s first ever crew boat victory at Met Regatta, an appearance in the final of the Aspirational 8+ at Henley Women’s Regatta, and good performances for masters athletes at the British Masters Championships.
You can read more about each squad by clicking the link on each crew list.
The 2021 Cantabs women’s crews
The top 5 crews this year are all from the Senior Women’s Squad. Their coaches Tom Copeland, Chris Radbone and Jon Winch are all racing in M8 – the coaches’ 8+.
Only club captain Ellie Darlington returns from the 2019 headship crew to race in W1 this year. 5 of this crew have been selected for Boat Races, with cox Callum Mantell steering the Cambridge lightweight men to victory in 2014, Chiara Avancini racing in Cambridge’s lightweight women’s blue boat in 2019, and Ellie racing in Oxford’s women’s blue boat in 2012. Rebecca Smith and Gloria Jansen were named in 2020’s Blondie crew, but unfortunately their race was cancelled due to COVID. Katie Brown steps up to race in W1 this year, after going +2 in 2019 as part of W4. Katie’s former crew mate at Hild Bede College Durham, Molly Shaw, races her first ever bumps race. Elena Williams and Becca Hatton race in their first bumps for Cantabs, though Becca is no stranger to a bumps headship, holding the Lents headship in 2020 when a student at Downing College.
This crew is the 8+ which made the final of the Aspirational 8+ at Henley Women’s Regatta, won the Women’s Club 8+ at Metropolitan Regatta and made the A final at Marlow Regatta. After Town Bumps they will be targetting qualification for the Wargrave Challenge Cup, a new event at Henley Royal Regatta for women’s club eights.
W1 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting Head of the River:
Callum Mantell (cox), Ellie Darlington, Rebecca Smith, Katie Brown, Elena Williams, Molly Shaw, Becca Hatton, Gloria Jansen, Chiara Avancini
This year’s W2 includes athletes from the Aspirational 4- and Development 4+ which raced at Henley Women’s Regatta earlier this month. They are joined by two Cambridge blues – former Cantabs junior Freya Sutcliffe who has been in the victorious Cambridge lightweight women’s blue boats in 2020 and 2021, and former CUWBC president Larkin Sayre was in the victorious Cambridge women’s blue boat in 2019 and selected for the cancelled 2020 race. Maria Stroyakovski was selected to race in this crew but unfortunately was forced to self-isolate after a member of her household tested positive for COVID. On Tuesday, W2 will be chasing City W1.
W2 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 3rd in Division 1:
Isabel Nimmo (cox), Freya Sutcliffe, Abi Bartlett, Larkin Sayre, Lin Slapakova, Emily Hillan, Cam Lardy, Jennie Astley, Gemma White
Eve Beere races in this year’s W3, having been in 2019’s W3 crew which bumped up to be the highest W3 on the river. Eve is a former J18 medallist in the JW2- and Fours Head winner. She has two headships – Town Bumps in 2018 and Oxford Torpids in 2016 with Magdalen College. This crew also includes Rosa Mueller and Vanessa Lockyer, who were in the Aspirational 2x which made it to the quarter-finals at Henley Women’s this year, and former lightweight blue Yfke van der Heijden. On Tuesday, W3 will be starting behind W2 and will be chased by X-Press W1.
W3 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 4th in Division 1:
Tom Boekestein (cox), Vanessa Lockyer, Rosa Mueller, Eve Beere*, Yfke van der Heijden, Freya Parry, Claire Restarick, Natalie O’Hare, Charlotte Anderson
This year’s W4 mainly comprises athletes who raced in the Cantabs B Aspirational 8+ at Henley Women’s Regatta. Gill Cooper and Judith Weik are successful masters rowers, with wins at Pairs Head, Vet Fours Head, Vets Head and the British Masters Championships under the belts. They are also seasoned bumps racers, and previous blades winners, as is Laura Wey. This will be the first ever bumps race for Emily Kempin, Janeska de Jonge and Kat Bruce. In 2019, cox Catherine Bowden steered Cantabs W3 to bumps on Nines W1 and X-Press W1 and will be looking to see whether she can achieve that again this year from a different position on the river.
W4 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 7th in Division 1:
Catherine Bowden (cox), Gill Cooper, Laura Wey, Laura Rozing, Frances Badcock, Emily Kempin, Janeska de Jonge, Kat Bruce, Judith Weik/Anna Maria Fischer
2016 Town Bumps men’s headship cox Amy Henfrey steers W5 this year, a crew mainly consisting of athletes who competed in sculling events at regattas this season. Sue Hakenbeck, Gemma Douglas, Christina Woolner and ChiYing Chen are successful masters athletes, with Sue and Christina winners in past Masters C 4- events. On Monday, they will be chasing City W4.
W5 – Senior Women’s Squad – Starting 4th in Division 2:
Amy Henfrey (cox), Gemma Douglas, Sue Hakenbeck, Rosie Strong, Katerina Menelaou, Bev McCann, Christina Woolner, ChiYing Chen, Stani Georgieva
This year’s W6 are athletes from the Cantabs Junior Performance Squad. Most of this crew were in the Junior 8+ which raced at Henley Women’s Regatta earlier this month. On Monday, they will be chasing Nines W5.
W6 – Junior Squad – Starting 11th in Division 2:
Louise Koch* (cox), Roisin Scanlon*, Rosie Oliver*, Emillie Howard*, Scarlet Barton Gilheany*, Livvy Durrant*/Jasmine Pelligrini*, Ella Penkul*, Katie Parker*, Jenny Leek*
The majority of the crew which raced in the Masters B 8+ at Henley Masters Regatta earlier this month race as W7. They were also winners of the Intermediate 8+ at the Cambridge Head to Head this season. Debbie Morley’s daughter Catherine is stroking the Hills returners crew and her husband Andrew is racing in Past Masters. Rebecca Cicolecchia’s husband Lucio is racing with the Aquaphobes.W7’s coach, Will Cherry, will be racing in M8. On Monday, this crew will be chasing W6 and looking to keep City W7 at bay behind them.
W7 – Intermediate Squad – Starting 12th in Division 2:
Maria Chukanova (cox), Lucy Walker, Jenny Bartley, Sally Hames*, Debbie Morley*, Emma Gordon, Sue Waterhouse, Emma Siragher*, Rebecca Cicolecchia*
There are also family connections in W8, with Catherine Pearson’s brother Josh racing in the Hills Returners crew and mother Nicola racing in W9. There is further pedigree in this crew – some may be familiar with Lucy Trapmore’s father Steve, who stroked the GB M8+ to gold at the Sydney Olympic Games and is currently in Tokyo as coach of the GB M8+. On Monday, this crew start as head of Women’s Division 3 and will be looking to bump Chesterton W3 whilst sandwich boat to make it into Division 2.
W8 – J15/16 Squad – Starting 1st in Division 3:
Catherine Pearson* (cox), Nora Howie*, Martha Rogers*, Bella Huff*, Rachel Cowell*, Lucy Trapmore*/Emily Blatch*, Lucy Frielander*/Lia Spiegel Emmerich*, Sophie Merchant*, Charlotte Parr*
W9 is a crew of long-standing Cantabs members incuding former women’s captains. Emma Mawdsley stroked the winning Blondie crew in 2001. On Monday, they will be chasing City W8.
W9 – Cambridge old girls – Starting 4th in Division 3:
Susannah Clements (cox), Jacqui Robinson, Syra Vanderhoof, Emma Mawdsley, Cecile Auty-Jacklin, Nicola Pearson, Stephanie Creasey*, Roz Fitzgerald, Emma Menzies
The Intermediate Squad’s 2nd 8+ this year races as W10. They will be chasing Isle of Ely W2 on the first day of racing.
W10 – Intermediate Squad – Starting 6th in Division 3:
James Letten (cox), Johanna Shoenecker, Marie Goujon, Sophie Machin/Catherine Hayhurst, Jane Gilbert, Vicki Hesketh/Tanja van Reisen, Liz Jamie, Jessica Santos*, Laura Brightman
Former Hills Road squad members return this year as W11. Members of this crew now row at universities including York St John’s, Worcester, UEA, Oxford and Exeter. 2 of this crew are previous blades-winners, and will be looking to move up the bumps charts this year. They will be chasing W10 (so shouldn’t be able to win blades!) and will be looking to keep City W9 at bay behind them.
W11 – Hills returners – Starting 7th in Division 3:
Jen Thackstone* (cox), Catherine Morley*, Shannon O’Shea*, Fiona Musto-King*/Ellie Cook*, Katie Oliver*/Maria Cavalcanti*, Melody Lessan*, Sophie Gledhill*, Eva Hassan*/Crystal O’Kelly*, Ellie Defries*
This year’s W12 are from the Women’s Progression Squad and will be racing in memory of their crew mate Maureen Donnelly who sadly passed away earlier this year.
W12 are coached by David Winch, who is himself racing in M12. A number of this crew have family racing in other Cantabs crews. Kate Bradshaw and Helen Walker’s husbands will be racing in M11, which will be coxed by Kate’s son Will. Helen’s daughter Livvy races in W6. On Monday, they will be chasing City W9.
W12 – Progression Squad – Starting 9th in Division 3:
Katie Thurkle (cox), Alyson Savill*, Barbara Blacklaws*, Barbara Hughes/Kate Bradshaw*, Sheena Almqvist*, Aoife McMahon*, Marta Wylot, Helen Walker*, Cota Toro, Yamini Cinamon Nair
*Indicates someone who learned to row at Cantabs.