Farewell to Henley for the Women’s University Boat Race

Oxford retained the Francombe Cup as Victor Ludorum at yesterday’s Henley Boat Races, and were also the first to raise the new trophy as winners of the Newton Women’s Boat Race.

As the clocks sprung forward, spectators enjoyed warm weather and sunshine for much of the afternoon’s racing on the Henley reach.

In the headline event of the day, the Newton Women’s Boat Race, the Oxford women put in a dominant performance, taking an early lead and building their advantage to cross the finish line at Temple Island four lengths up. This followed Osiris opening the inter-varsity races with a win over Blondie, their third in three years, by just half a length.

Coaches Christine Wilson and Natasha Townsend were clearly delighted with their crews’ performances; OUWBC president Maxie Scheske said, “It couldn’t have been a better day. It’s amazing for Osiris and the Blue Boat, and a great confidence boost moving on to next year.”

There was also success for Tethys, the Oxford women’s lightweight club too: racing as OUWLRC, they caught up Cambridge after the latter’s fast start and moved through the light blues by halfway, before consolidating their lead to win by three and a half lengths. 

In the last race of the day, Cambridge at last saw off the threat of a whitewash. In the lightweight men’s race, CULRC shot out of the stakeboats to a length’s lead and soon took clear water and firm command of the race, winning by three and a half lengths.

The day included 1750-metre intercollegiate races, of which the women’s event was won by Wadham College, Oxford, while Downing College, Cambridge, won the men’s. 

There was also a commemorative row past before the prize-giving, celebrating 30 years of the women’s lightweight race, which featured all of the original 1984 Cambridge crew.

More at www.henleyboatraces.com or www.theboatrace.org/women