Boat Race – Two Weeks To Go

Two weeks to go. The stress of crew selection is a distant memory, replaced by the fidgety anticipation of Race Week. I’ve gained my place as the Blue Boat bowmonkey. Our debut as a set crew was the Head of the Trent in Nottingham. We wanted both some head-race practice and to be the fastest women’s crew. Check and check.

Onto the mighty Women’s Head of the River Race – an opportunity to race against the rest of the country and also to compare ourselves to Oxford one last time before the big event.

I think I can sum up our race in two letters: OK. Whilst Blondie came off the water disappointed with their row, and the lightweights were annoyed with surrounding crews and confused as to the absence of their Oxford counterparts, our row felt uneventful. We weren’t overtaken. We didn’t overtake. It wasn’t a disaster, but we certainly didn’t fly in the way we had in some of the sparring pieces with Thames RC the week before. When the results came out it transpired that we had won Senior 3 but were 20 seconds slower than Oxford. For my four, this was major déjà vu from the Fours Head last November and it was not a situation that we were too pleased to revisit.

The next day there were the inevitable niggling thoughts about what we could have done differently to make up extra seconds. It was an unpleasant state of mind and one that we did not want to be in at this stage of the season, but we were not in it for long. Margins greater than 20 seconds have been overturned in the past and I believe, we believe, that we can win in Henley in two weeks time. The boat race is what we have trained for every day since September, and success there will cancel out any previous disappointments, both at the Women’s Head and last year at Henley. It has often been said that a 2k, side-by-side race is very different to a head race. We intend to show how different the two really are.