Women’s Winter Head to Head Action

See the Tab’s coverage of the Women’s Divisions at Cambridge Winter Head to Head race.

college rowing First and Third Jesus rowing LMBC Trinity Women's rowing

First and Third W1 today eased to a comfortable 12 second victory over Downing W1, while current holders of the Lent Bumps Headship Emma W1 struggled.

Today’s race offered the first chance for college crews to get out the guns and test their strength in preparation for Lent Bumps. The Cambridge Winter Head to Head, run by City Boat Club, is the first opportunity for colleges to compete with each other in Lent term. It is a timed head race with two legs from the Railway Bridge to the Motorway Bridge and back again. Crews race up the 2km course, spin at the lock and race back down again. In the W1 division,

First and Third gave a characteristically top-notch performance, with a final time of 15:32, cruising to a safe victory ahead of Bumps rivals Downing (2nd with 15:44) and Christ’s (3rd with 15:55). This victory came despite some controversy in the first leg of the race, with the Catz W1 cox refusing to concede the inside line to First and Third around Grassy Corner, giving spectators on the bank an early preview of some Bumping action.

When asked about the result, FaT Women’s Captain Tom O’Neill said only, “We can do better come Bumps.” Controversially, the Emma W1 boat, who currently hold the Lent Bumps Headship, only managed 4th position in the race, just ahead of St Catherine’s and a good 46 seconds behind the winning FaT time.

This will only add to speculation that Emma’s Headship position is looking increasingly dodgy, making it very likely we will see some interesting action in the race for the Headship this time round.

At the bottom of the W1 division, Jesus put in a shoddy performance, finishing with a time of 17:16, just 21 seconds faster than the First and Third 1st IV. Surely an extra four people in a boat should contribute slightly more than 5 seconds per person? There may be some improvement in Jesus W1 come Bumps if Jesus incorporate some of their Fairbairn’s winning novices into the crew but without significant change, Downing look set to bump them easily on Day One.

In the W2 division, Christ’s and Downing both looked strong, beating the Lucy Cavendish/Hughes Hall 1st boat with no trouble. If they carry on like this, both of these crews could get blades – they are both only in the Women’s 3rd Division.

For more exclusive Tab coverage of the Winter Head to Head click here.