HBR 2019 - Race Reports,
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Perfect weather and exciting racing entertained an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at the 36th Varsity Lightweight Womens Boat Race at Henley yesterday. The contrast in atmospheric conditions with HBR 2018 could not have been stronger. Warm temperatures and a gentle breeze replaced the freezing weather and strong winds experienced last year, allowing excellent racing under fair conditions. What was the same this year was the competitiveness, technical skill and quality of racing demonstrated by the Varsity Women's Lightweights - characteristics that have become a feature of this annual fixture.

Prizes were awarded by Zoe Lee, former member of OUWBC, World Champion and stroke of the GB silver medal VIII at the Rio Olympics.

Race Reports

In the main race of the day, Women's Varsity Lightweight VIII's, a powerful start by Oxford gave them an early lead and an advantage that was never relinquished. The long and smooth style exhibited by Cambridge, often under-rating Oxford, kept them in a position to contest the lead for much of the race, but it was not to be. Encouraged by their vociferous supporters concentrated near Upper Thames Rowing Club, Oxford, rowing with great determination, continued to press their advantage, responding to every Cambridge move, opening the gap between the crews to open water and then finally to 2 1/2 lengths by the finish.

Verdict : Oxford win by 2 1/2 lenghts in a time of 6:28.

In the Lightweight Women's Reserves Race, another close contest saw Cambridge prevail. A faster start by Oxford gave them the early advantage, but relentless pressure from the Cambridge pair, rowing a long and relaxed stroke, allowed them to ease past the dark blues through the middle of the race. The contest was not decided, however, until the closing stages . Oxford tested the Cambridge pair with repeated attacks, maintaining a determined effort to break their opposition. As the finish line approached the pressure of the race led to some steering difficulties requiring the intervention of the Umpire to keep the crews apart.

Verdict : Cambridge win by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 7:40.

The Intercollegiate races for both men and women were very similar in character, although the latter kept Umpire, Clare Briegal, rather busier than the former in the opening stages. In both races the Cambridge Colleges - Caius (men) and Newnham (women) dominated their Oxford counterparts - Wadham (men and women), to win their respective races by the same distance.

Verdicts : Caius(Cam) beat Wadham (Oxf) by 5L in a time of 5:54 and Newnham(Cam) beat Wadham(Oxf) by 5L, NTT.

The days racing also featured an Alumnae Race between former members of CUWBC and OUWBC. The light blues took the day, beating their dark blue opponents, verdict Easily.

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