Oxford crews win in Zambia

To celebrate 150 years since David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, a special regatta was held on the Zambezi River at Livingstone. Crews from Oxford, Cambridge and leading South African Universities; Rhodes, UCT (University of Cape Town) and UJ (University of Johannesburg) competed in a regatta on the Zambezi at Livingstone. The races consisted of a 2000m race, a 500m race in 8 s and a 300m flat water rafting race.

The crews spent the week prior to the race training and experiencing what Africa had to offer. We were given incredible hospitality, enjoyed fantastic accommodation and many delicious local dinners. As well as rowing with hippos and crocodiles on the Zambezi everyday we were also fortunate enough to have spare time to visit the edge of the falls, go on a game drive, watch beautiful sunsets and visit Livingstone and the local markets.

On Race Day there was an incredible atmosphere at the Boat Club. There were races all day including events participated in by locals. Racing in the 38oC sun was very tough and a couple of 500m re-rows due to steering faults made it even more so! However by the end of the day and some tightly fought races, Oxford came out on top to claim the ‘BA Victor Ludorum’ Trophy with both Men and Women’s teams winning the 500m race and coming 2nd in the 200m race. The week culminated in a fantastic party and a day of “racing” down the rapids white water rafting. There are many sponsors and organisers who make this incredible trip possible – a list far too long to include here. However I would like to thank Richard Fishlock and Peter Jones for the organisation of the whole trip and regatta.

Claire Weldon recounts her trip to Zambia (2005)

OUWLRC secures 4th consecutive Boat Race win!

On Saturday 26 March 2005, OUWLRC beat CUWBC Lightweights by ½ length in a time of 6min 55 s.

President Claire Weldon describes her memories of the race below:

“Once we pushed off away from Upper Thames, things started to relax. From then on in I knew we just had to do what we had been doing day in and out and we would come out on top. After we finally got away for the second time, the 2000m race becomes very much a blur. I cannot tell you where Cambridge were relative to us all I knew was that we had the advantage and I was going to do all I could to stay there and push it on. As a crew we dug deep during the middle of the race, knowing that if we were up at 500m to go we could finish it off.

This, somehow, we did. It was not the cleanest of rows, but we got our bows across the line first, in what was a very exciting race. A huge mix of emotions flowed through each and everyone of us as we crossed the line and as the realisation of what we had done began to sink in. I am very proud to have been part of that crew that performed when it counted. For me the day was made incredibly special by the support of all the old girls, it was fantastic to see you all there. On behalf of the crew I would like to thank again all those who supported us, in particular the coaching team and our sponsors; JP Morgan, JLracing and Resolute Racing Shells.”