PCBC W1 and W2 both competed in this year’s women’s eights head, raced on the Tideway course down in London. After last year’s 105th place (amongst 300 British and international crews), W1 hoped to finish in the top 100. W2 were making their first trip to WEHoRR in recent memory, with only First and Third Trinity also sending a W2 crew.
Preparations began after Lent bumps, with the VIII’s continuing to train on the Cam. In addition to training in Cambridge, W1 and the W2 cox made a trip to Tideway Scullers’ School for a practice on the course in the week leading up to the race. Both coxes were new to the Thames and took the opportunity to find the racing line, while those rowers new to the course got used to rowing on a massive river, and identified the landmarks between Mortlake and Putney that they would race past on the day.
The weather on race day was perfect, always a surprise on the Tideway! Both W1 and W2 had clean races, avoiding blade clashes, and trying to make the most of the stream. W2 raced well over the 4.5 mile course, holding their own amongst the 1st VIII’s in this challenging race. Overall, W2 finished 265th, in 22 minutes 49 seconds. W1 also had a good row, despite the cox box failing to give a rate, and conking out completely at Hammersmith Bridge (thanks to Alex Whiscombe, loudhailer/cox!). Perhaps the lack of rate turned out to be helpful, as the rhythm felt natural and lively throughout. Overall, W1 finished 90th, in 20 minutes 49 seconds. The solid result put PCBC W1 top of the Cambridge colleges in this year’s race.