Category: Racing

2018 Summer Regatta Report

Since the official end of the 2017/18 season, members of our squad have continued to train and compete at a large number of regattas.  OUWLRC has been represented at the following regattas:

Met Regatta (3rd June)
  • LW1x: Amanda, Grace J, Caitlin
  • W2-: Fiona & Grace H
Henley Women’s Regatta (22nd-24th June)
  • LW1x: Ellie, Anneloes, Amanda
Reading Town & Visitors (30th June)
  • Tethys 4+: Jolet, Emily, Naomi, Amanda, Katherine
  • 1x: Emily, Caitlin, Fiona, Anneloes, Ellie
  • 2x: Naomi, Amanda (Win in Band 1)
  • Dev Squad: 4+, 8+(A), 8+(B)
Molesey Regatta (21st July)
  • 1x: Oriane, Fiona (1st and 2nd respectively in Band 2)
  • 2x: Fiona & Oriane (1st in Band 3)
Henley Town & Visitors (4th August)
  • 1x: Amanda (1st in Band 3), Naomi (1st in Band 4), Anneloes (2nd in Band 2), Oriane (2nd in Band 4)
Warwick Regatta (18th August)
  • 1x: Naomi (1st, representing Warwick Boat Club)
Oxford City Regatta (18th-19th August)
  • 1x: Caitlin (1st in Band 2)
  • 8+: Jolet (three 1st place wins as cox for W8+ events with Green Templeton College Boat Club)

 

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Top row:

Caitlin O’Brien and Jolet Mimpen winning at Oxford City Regatta // Naomi Holland winning at Warwick Regatta // Amanda Thomas winning at Henley T&V

Middle row:

Naomi Holland winning at Henley T&V // Fiona Jamieson and Oriane Grant winning at Molesey Regatta // Ellie Watts competing at EUSA

Bottom row:

Naomi Holland and Amanda Thomas winning at Reading Town Regatta // Grace Hanna, Fiona Jamieson, Grace Joel, Amanda Thomas and Caitlin O’Brien at Met Regatta // Anneloes Hoff at Henley Women’s Regatta

European University Games

The lightweight double of Naomi Holland and Amanda Thomas, along with Ellie Watts in the lightweight single, represented Oxford and GB Universities at the 2018 European University Games in Coimbra, Portugal.

We arrived with a day to spare before racing began, in which we had two practice outings on the lake. The venue was the international standard watersports centre just outside Montemor-o-Velho, a short drive from where we were staying in Coimbra. During the second outing in particular, there was a serious headwind and the water was choppier than anything we’d seen back at Wallingford. We worked to stay positive and remind ourselves of the times we’d dealt with similar conditions in the past, but we knew that if it stayed like this, the races would be tough.

We went back to our accommodation and tried to get a good night’s sleep, despite the pre-race nerves, before the first day of competition. The following morning when we got to the lake, we were happy to discover that, though the conditions weren’t perfect, they were definitely better. Fortunately they stayed that way all three days of racing.

Ellie reports on her racing:

The first race of the day was the women’s LW1x Heat 1, where the winner would go straight to the A final. The aim of today was to acclimatise to the lake and assess the competition. I finished 5th, with plenty of energy left for the next two days of racing. There were perfect conditions for the repechage the following day. I was up against three other scullers, including a fellow Brit from Cambridge. Although down off the start I kept pushing-on and eventually finished 2nd in a time of 8:19, winning a place in the A Final. The A Final turned out to be a close fight between 4th, 5th and 6th place, with less than 1 second between these positions. I finished 6th overall, and then ate a chocolate croissant.

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Ellie Watts pushing off for her heat on the first day of racing.

Naomi reports on the double’s racing:

The first day of racing was a heat – finishing top two would mean direct qualification for the A final. Our strategy was that if we looked to be in a position to finish top two then we would go for it; otherwise we would save our energy for the next two days. Our start was powerful, but not quite as composed as in our final training sessions. It was enough to keep us in the field – by 1000m we were in 3rd place, and made one last push for 2nd. Once it was evident that 2nd was beyond reach we stepped it down to save energy, still finishing in 3rd. The next day brought the repechage. We took a different approach to the previous day: we rated lower, with a real focus on power per stroke. With this more controlled race plan, we ended up leading for most of the race, eventually coming in a close second and qualifying for the A final.

On the start line of the final, I remember a sudden moment of clarity: there was absolutely nothing to lose. The start and the first half of the race passed in a blur – we were somewhere towards the back of the pack off the start, but we found a strong rhythm and by halfway we had broken away from the crews in 5th and 6th. With 500m to go we made a final concerted effort, briefly gaining some ground on the German and Dutch crews who were battling for 2nd and 3rd. It soon became clear that we had given all that we had. By the final 100m my vision was blurring, and I’m pretty sure by that point I was simply dead weight that Amanda carried over the finish line (Amanda reports feeling similar…!) We finished 4th, behind crews from Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands, happy with our performance and knowing that there was no way we could have done anything more.

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The lightweight double crossing the line in second place during their repechage.

It was great to have the chance to compete against some of the best university crews from all across Europe – we all definitely learnt a lot from the experience! Many thanks to Chris and Clive for their invaluable coaching and encouragement all year and for this amazing opportunity. Thanks also to OUWLRC, Oxford Sports Federation and everyone who supported our crowdfunding campaign for helping us get to this incredible event. And a final shout out to the EUSA mascot DUC, pictured below, for just being generally brilliant.

DUC

DUC, the EUSA mascot, entertaining spectators during medal presentations.

— report by Naomi Holland

Henley Boat Races 2- reserve race

 

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report by Christina Turner:

On Sunday 26th of March 2017 the 2nd lightweight women’s reserve race proceeded under difficult conditions. The weather had threatened to prevent the pairs race during the week, however both crews bravely took to the water to showcase the work and training they had put in over the previous 6 months. The Oxford crew began strong, taking two lengths off the start, however due an unfortunate line taken by the Cambridge pair, Oxford was knocked off their rhythm.  Oxford quickly recovered, although Cambridge had now established a powerful stride and began to pull away from the Oxford pair. Cambridge extended their lead to two lengths by Remenham club. The Oxford pair put in a valiant effort with a push at the barrier, however it was just too late. Cambridge won the 2017 reserves race with a result of easily in 8:05.  Both crews dealt with tricky conditions well and we congratulate Cambridge on their performance. We look forward to the 2018 Henley reserves race!

crew: Maline Meiske and Christina Turner

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2016 Trial VIIIs

Video of the race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iatlvHtL0uA&feature=youtu.be. Many thanks to 247.tv!

 

On Sunday 11th December, OUWLRC had their Trial Eights race at Henley. This race was the final event of what had been a packed and productive winter season. The athletes have competed in a variety of regattas in the last few months. OUWLRC had two crews racing at Fours Head, which was for many their first head race or a longer course. The squad also went to Brit Champs and Wallingford Head. With each race, massive technical progress was made as well as giving athletes and coxes more racing experience, to be able to overcome whatever challenges the elements or other crews may pose.

The season’s final race came round all too quickly. The squad were really put through their paces in the training leading up to Trial Eights, arriving at the start line that Sunday afternoon after a week of erg tests, triple outings and seat racing. But as we sat there at front stops, we knew we could put our trust in all the training we had done. It had been a season of massive technical and physical gains – the cox had only to put their hand down and we were ready to make this our best race.

The crews off the start were pretty much level, the two French strokes equally keen for a good beginning to their race. The river conditions were good and so both boats benefitted from clean water to maximise their progress. Liberté however soon pulled away from Egalité. Egalité remained strong, not letting Liberté become too comfortable with their lead. Gradually throughout the race however, Liberté increased their lead and passed the finishing line roughly 13/4 lengths ahead. As both crews arrived back at the boat house however, a sense of success was shared by the entire squad. Every athlete had worked super hard over this season and the results were self-evident: we had rowed better and we had done it together.

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It has been an absolutely fantastic first part of season. As always there are improvements to be made, whether that’s in technique or erg scores, but I think this is more cause for excitement than anything else. With training camp ahead of us and then only a couple of weeks until The Boat Race, we go into the New Year with a sense of anticipation for all the further gains it should bring. Thank you to Chris, Clive, Jill and Andrew for your coaching and advice. Thank you also to committee members working behind the scenes to make the team run smoothly, to our President Alba Pellaroque for creating such a good squad atmosphere and holding us all together, and to each member for their enthusiasm and commitment to making OUWLRC such a fun and successful club.

By Jade Bogart

EUSA 2016

After a fighting performance and bronze medal this May at BUCS, the club qualified a lw4x for the European University Sports Association Rowing Championships this summer. The club are pleased to announce that the four athletes racing in this event will be Dani Edmunds, Laure Bonfils, Jowita Mieskowska and Anna Robotham. The girls, along with head coach Chris, will be flying out to Zagreb, Croatia on the 10th of July, and will be competing from the 12th-14th. We wish them all the best in the championships.

Sunny training at DOrney Lake

Sunny training at Dorney Lake

Henley Women’s Regatta 2016

Henley Women’s Regatta always provides an excellent opportunity for the top development squad athletes to race for the club in the intermediate academic 8+. This year we had 8 very talented development squad rowers coxed by Ellie Shearer, our 2016 Tethys’ cox. The eight put in a strong performance in the time trial, but due to the very high standard of the competition this year they sadly did not qualify. However, their talent and progress was excellent and we very much hope that they will return to trial next year. Many thanks to Jill and Anna Corderoy for their coaching and support of the development squad 8.

Dani Edmunds also competed in the senior lw1x, qualifying after a successful time trial. However, she was drawn against a very strong athlete from Tideway Scullers in the first round and, after a shaky start, was unable to make up the lost distance despite a fighting performance, sadly not making it through to Saturday. Thanks to Chris and Clive for their coaching and support of Dani in this event.

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BUCS 2016

This year we had a very large number of athletes competing in BUCS regatta at Nottingham from the 30th April – 2nd May in both sweep and sculling events.

On the Saturday, the club had three boats in the finals. Jenny Tran and Anna Robotham did excellently in the lw2x, finishing in 6th place in a very high standard final after a very strong day of rowing in their time trial, semi, and final. Fred Winter also made the final in the intermediate 2- with OUWBC’s Elettra Ardissino, finishing in 5th after a very good row. The highlight of the day was a silver in the lw8+, a combination of this year’s blue boat and Tethys’ crews, who put in a great fight, coming second to a very strong Exeter crew.

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On the Sunday the conditions were somewhat traumatic, especially in a lw1x! Dani Edmunds, Anna Robotham and Jowita Mieskowska put in solid performances in the lwt1x time trials and some very brave rows in the waves and wind in the semi-finals. Fred Winter had a successful day, making it to the final of the intermediate 1x. The club also had two 4-s competing, but due to an equipment failure, the A crew were eliminated after the time trial. However, the B crew went on to put in an excellent performance in the final, taking bronze behind CUWBC lightweights and Exeter, showing great determination in their battle with Bristol for third place.

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On the Monday, conditions continued to be sub-par. However, there was a brief patch of relatively still water at the time of the lw4x finals. The B crew ended in a gutsy 5th, and the A crew took bronze behind strong crews from Exeter and Reading. Due to this result, the club managed to qualify a lw4x for the European University Sports Association rowing championships this summer in Zagreb, Croatia, along with Reading and Exeter.

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The quad with their Bronze medals

 

Many thanks to Jill, Andrew, Chris and Clive for all their coaching and support of the athletes during the regatta.

GB TRIALS (31st October – 1st November 2015)

This year, for a second year running, on Halloween weekend OUWLRC sent athletes to GB Rowing Team’s 1st Assessment in Boston, Lincs. Jowita Mieszkowska and Dani Edmunds, in their first set of GB trials and both having learnt to scull that summer, competed on the first day in the 2k. Both pulled PB’s despite the addition of illness, static ergs and unfamiliar frag factor. Anna Corderoy accompanied the athletes trialling as a cox. On the second day both girls set their sights to the 5k single time trial. Dani made a huge improvement from day one coming 9th in a very strong U23 field whilst Jowita finished 22nd. Considering their lack of experience the results are promising. All three have learnt a huge amount from racing and are now preparing for Trial 8s and the next GB Assessment in February.

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BRIT CHAMPS (17th October 2015)

This year OUWLRC had four athletes participating in the women’s 2x category at the British Senior Championships in Nottingham on the 17th October. Participation in this event is compulsory for those aiming to partake in national trials, making it an excellent opportunity to race against the best athletes in the country. The day’s racing consisted of three events: a 1900m time trial, a six-lane side-by-side 2k semi-final followed by a final of the same format. Both doubles performed well in the time trial. OLW A, composed of Hannah Farley (Blue Boat 2015) and Sarah Lucas (CUWBC lwt Blue Boat 2015), ranked 26 out of all 53 open-weight and lightweight women’s crews, and OLW B, made of Dani Edmunds (Blue Boat 2015) and Jowita Mieszkowska (Spare Pair 2015) were just a second behind, ranking 27th. This placed both boats in the E-F semi-finals. Hannah and Sarah went on to win this race, qualifying for the E finals, whereas Dani and Jowita ended up 4th, placing them in the F finals. Although exhausted after two tough races, both crews put out a fighting performance in the finals, with OLW A finishing 4th in the E final, and OLW B 5th in the F final. Although the athletes admitted that racing three times in a day was very physically demanding, all agreed that it provided highly valuable racing experience, contributing towards their preparation for future races with the club and, ultimately, the Henley Boat Race in March. Competing in a very tough field consisting of many national team athletes, the results of the OUWLRC girls, some who had been sculling for less than a year, were very promising.

Dani Edmunds, Jowita Mieszkowska and Hannah Farley

Dani Edmunds, Jowita Mieszkowska and Hannah Farley

Pairs Head (10th October 2015)

This year, the first race of the season for OUWLRC was Pairs Head of the river, taking place on the 10th October. It was a great opportunity for the new triallists and returners alike to get in some early race experience, and this year the club had a record number of experiences scullers, allowing us to enter six doubles in three different categories. The event was a large success for the club, with two wins. Hannah Farley and Sarah Lucas put in an extremely strong performance, winning the elite lightweight 2x category, and ranking the 4th fastest women’s boat of the day. Dani Edmunds and Jowita Mieszkowska were also successful, wining the lightweight IM3 2x category. Friederike Winter and Anna Robotham competed in the open weight IM2 category, coming 6th. However, this was a very strong category, and if they had entered IM1 their time would have placed them 2nd. Zoe Triston and Nina Dalton, Katarzyna Habu and Nicola Olderoyd, and president Lucy Roberts and Amanda Thomas all raced well in the IM3 2x category, with impressive times. The day was successful, providing the athletes with valuable racing experience, and with two wins, the club was very pleased with the result.

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Hannah Farley and Sarah Lucas

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Dani Edmunds and Jowita Mieszkowska

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