A Day of King’s and Queens’
After a week of racing, the stars of the week are Kings, winning the heavily contested M1 Coxed 4 in a close fought battle
On the final day of University 4s, it was King’s and Queens’ who claimed the glory, taking the M1 and M2 coxed categories respectively. Earlier in the week it was Lady Margaret and Downing who took the titles in the W1 and W2 divisions, and Caius who won the M1 coxless division.
After King’s put out a strong performance at autumn head the other week, all eyes were on them to see whether this performance would continue. After cutting it fine in the quarterfinals against last year’s joint victors Queens’, with a winning of 2 seconds, the dream was still alive. Coming to the final, it was only fitting that they came up against last year’s other victors, Caius.
With the Caius boat putting in a strong start, King’s found themselves about 2 lengths down coming past the Plough pub; it seemed like it might be all over, but the trials were still to come. Rounding Ditton corner, the crews found themselves set upon by the elements, with the wind doing its best to send both crews back at the start. Whilst the Caius crew began to feel the strain when confronted with the wind, the King’s men pushed through to make up the deficit and put another length on top for good measure, passing the line with a deserved win.
Over in W1, Caius had found themselves in a similar position earlier in the week, after a strong performance in the semis, a blistering head wind picked up for the final leaving the minty ladies at a disadvantage. After some aggressive steering from both parties, Caius suffered a crab. The ladies of Lady Margaret Boat Club took advantage of this and made quick work of the Caius crew, recording a time of 61s in the end, a formidable performance.
Looking closer, the results of the week as a whole have some interesting trends. On the men’s side, it seems King’s have been making hay whilst the sun shines, and have come back from the summer with big intentions. Getting 1-2 in M1 and M2 places them nicely looking forward to the Fairbairn cup. They will be sure to put in the dark hours at the gym, having tasted the prospect of victory.
Queens’ once again are sticking to type, and have a similar prognosis. Though they didn’t get to the M1 final, their margin on Kings in the quarter final was 2s, to Caius’s 3s in the final and their victory in M2 shows they have the squad depth necessary. Caius may have over stretched themselves somewhat through the week, aiming to win both M1 events with even boats, but having a finalist in both coxed and coxless M1s and the W1 division bodes well.