Category: Racing

OUWLRC Crew Announcement 2019

We are delighted to announce the 2019 OUWLRC Blue Boat and Reserve Pair to represent Oxford at the Oxford-Cambridge Lightweight Boat Races in Henley on Saturday 30th March 2019:

Cox: Jolet Mimpen (Green Templeton)
Stroke: Fiona Jamieson (Corpus Christi)
7: Grace Hanna (Exeter)
6: Ellie Watts (Wolfson)
5: Naomi Holland (Christ Church) (President)
4: Grace Joel (Balliol)
3: Katie Hurt (Corpus Christi)
2: Leah Mitchell (Balliol)
Bow: Katherine Ferris (Trinity)

Reserve Pair: Caitlin O’Brien (Jesus), Emily Hinson (St Hugh’s)

We are looking forward to seeing all the Oxford supporters in Henley on the 30th March!

Find out more about the races on our Facebook event



2019 Lightweight Women’s Boat Race



The Lightweight Women’s Boat Race 2019

OUWLRC and CUWBC are delighted to announce that this year’s Lightweight Women’s Boat Race will take place on Saturday 30th March 2019 at Henley. We are privileged and proud to be able to stage this event on one of the world’s premier regatta courses.

This year, the Lightweight Men’s Boat Race will be on the Tideway. Although we will miss the experience of racing on the same day, at the same venue, as our male counterparts, we are excited to hold our race on the Henley Reach and look forward to watching and supporting the lightweight men in their race on the Tideway on Saturday 23rd March, as well as the openweight crews competing in The Boat Races on Sunday 7th April.

Race programme, 30 March:

13:00 Alumnae Race
13:30 Intercollegiate Women’s Race
14:00 Intercollegiate Men’s Race
14:30 Varsity Women’s Ltw. Reserve Race
15:00 Varsity Women’s Lightweigt Boat Race

Trial Eights Report 2018: Speculation vs. Faff

The OUWLRC Trial Eights took place over the weekend of the 8/9th of December, with the race schedule set to to include an omnium of six races over three different distances.  The winner of each race would be awarded points with 2 points awarded for a win in a 500m race, 4 points for a 1000m race and 8 points for a 2000m race.  The two crews were named “Faff” and “Speculation” after the coaches most resented squad habits.

Saturday’s racing took place at Eton Dorney, with the two 8+s competing in four races (two 500m and two 1000m) in a breezy cross-wind.  The two 500m races were closely fought, with Speculation taking the first win, but Faff drawing level on points after a win by a bow ball in the second 500m.  Speculation took both wins for the 1000m races, leaving them ahead by 10 points to 2 going into day two.

Sunday’s racing saw both a change of location and of conditions, with the Eton Dorney lake swapped for the Henley course and consistent breeze replaced with relatively calm conditions, with scattered gusts.  Faff (racing in white baselayers) entered the second day of racing needing to win both 2000m pieces to win, while Speculation (racing in dark baselayers) knew that a win in the first race of the day would guarantee them the overall win on points.  Speculation won the toss and chose to race on the Bucks station first, giving them the advantage of sitting in the stream.  After a strong start, Speculation took the win in the first 2000m race by 2 lengths, thus giving them the overall win of the competition.

The final race of the day saw both crews racing with nothing to lose. Faff could not win the competition, but now had the favoured station with no races for which to save themselves.  Speculation would be racing for the near white-wash of the competition, looking to win 5 of the 6 races.  A stronger start from Faff in the slight stream of the Bucks station but them slightly up of the start, gaining to a length lead by 1000m in.  Speculation fought back, gaining ground in the final 500m to finish only 3/4 of a length down.  The final standings left Speculation ahead, leading Faff by 18 points to 10.


Crew Orders:

NB: The rowers were consistent across the two crews for all races, but the coxes were switched between all crews for races.


  • S: Grace Joel (Balliol)
  • 7: Jane Ellis (St Edmund Hall)
  • 6: Ellie Watts (Wolfson)
  • 5: Oriane Grant (St Catherine’s)
  • 4: Emily Hinson (St Hugh;s)
  • 3: Katie Hurt (Corpus Christi)
  • 2: Leah Mitchell (Balliol)
  • B: Katherine Ferris (Trinity)


  • S: Fiona Jamieson (Corpus Christi)
  • 7: Grace Hanna (Exeter)
  • 6: Amanda Thomas (Trinity)
  • 5: Tuuli-Anna Hulkuri (Nuffield)
  • 4: Laura Boddy (St John’s)
  • 3: Jessica Wang (Christ Church)
  • 2: Anneloes Hoff (St Antony’s)
  • B: Anna Glück (Somerville)


  • Jolet Mimpen (Green Templeton)
  • Charlotte Lee (Balliol)
  • Ruby Harrison (Corpus Christi)
  • Cal Shearer (St John’s)




OUWLRC Squad Members Compete at GB Trials

This year Oriane Grant, Naomi Holland and Ellie Watts attended the GB Rowing Team’s 1st assessment in Boston Lincolnshire. Despite illness and some initial teething problems on the static ergs all three achieved 2k PBs, enabling them to progress through to the second day of trialling. Ellie Watts came 7th overall, Naomi 17th, and Oriane was the 8th fastest under 23.

On the next day there was a 5k time trial in singles. The strong wind meant progress was slow, but everyone persevered. Oriane was the 9th fastest U23 and Ellie finished 14th overall. Despite a speedy start Naomi had an unfortunate tangle with some outlying branches which damaged her overall ranking. All three gained valuable racing experience and are excited to pursue the rest of the season’s challenges.

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Photos courtesy of All Mark One.

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)


Processed with MOLDIV

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.


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.


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, the EUSA mascot, entertaining spectators during medal presentations.

— report by Naomi Holland

Henley Boat Races 2- reserve race



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


2016 Trial VIIIs

Video of the race: Many thanks to!


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.


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.