After a solid set of results at last weekend’s GBR trials in Boston, it was a quick turn around for the Leander women’s team to get back into the eights in preparation for a first in a series of boat race fixtures on the Championship Course. With the leading Leander athletes currently on training camp with the British team, the fixtures provided an exciting opportunity for our club crews to take on Oxford.
Leander A vs Oxford A
(pictured above, photo credit: allmarkone)
For safety reasons, the arrival of storm Franklin meant that racing was not allowed to carry on past Hammersmith Bridge. This meant both races would be held between the Boat Race start and Hammersmith Bridge. In Race 1 Leander A, led by Meg Slabbert, showcased the raw power within their crew by taking almost a length lead in the first 2 minutes. Oxford held on to the stern of Leander and as the race progressed, and Oxford had the advantage of the inside of the Surrey bend, they drew back level and moved out to 3/4 length lead at the finish.
For race 2, both crews made their way back to the start at Putney bridge. With stations switched, Leander with a more conservative start than race 1, opened up a 1/4 length lead on Oxford. Oxford pushed and both crews stayed level for most of the race. In the sprint for the line, Oxford were able to open up a marginal lead and won by a 1/4 length.
Leander B vs Osiris (Oxford B)
(photo credit: allmarkone)
The Leander B crew was formed with largely the Club development group. Osiris opted for 3 x 5 minute races all happening between Putney and Hammersmith Bridge.
In the first two races, Osiris could not match the power of the Leander crew, stroked by Abigail Topp. Leander opened up a large lead in both pieces to win by 3 lengths and 2 lengths respectively.
In the third race, Oxford were able to keep with the Leander women over the five minute race. However, the Leander women still opened up a lead to win by a canvas.
On the day’s racing, Leander Women’s Chief Coach Ross Hunter said:
“What a fantastic show piece for British women’s rowing. All the athletes involved absolutely loved being part of such an exciting day of racing. For Leander, it’s a great opportunity to test ourselves on the build up to WEHORR. Our focus is now on the fixture against Cambridge in two weeks and Womens Head of the River on 12th March at 1130.”
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