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Trial VIIIs

Trial Eights comprises pre-Christmas racing, usually over The Championship Course in London. This year both Oxford and Cambridge squads relocated to Ely in order to test the new course ahead of the 2021 Boat Race. It is an internal competition; two eights race from within the respective Cambridge and Oxford squads.

It is a rare chance to see how athletes stand up to race day pressure. Physically it is a costly endeavour to compete over the full distance, so the coaches watch carefully to see which rowers respond best.

The event was carefully managed to ensure the utmost Covid-security. In order to discourage the crowds, there was no pre-race social media or marketing. A handful of locals and the odd bubbled buddy did dot the riverbank and could be heard cheering the crews but, on the whole, it was the thumping rhythm of battling eights that punctuated an otherwise serene Fenland soundscape.

Cambridge were treated to cloudless blue skies, bright sunshine and fantastic water as they opened up their lungs with the full-dress rehearsal. Between the Cambridge event on the Thursday and Oxford’s trial eights on the Saturday, a deep clean and full sanitisation of the boathouse was carried out. Upon arrival the Oxford athletes seemed unsure of their decided light-blue surroundings with boat racks and bay doors painted Cambridge Blue. But any misgivings over the interior décor was soon put to one side as they readied themselves to compete and blast down the straights of the River Great Ouse for the first time.

All the rowers were excited to be racing. The preceding months were a tough slog for the trialists who endured many hours alone on the ergo under lockdown. Getting back on the water and testing their skills was a welcome and joyous event.

‘Henry 1st’

CUBC Men, Trial VIIIs

Cox Charlie Marcus

Str Oliver Parish

7 Callum Sullivan

6 Cameron Spiers

5 Seb Benzecry

4 Ben Dyer

3 Reef Boericke

2 Reggie Mitchell

b Sam Vosper

WON BY 1/3 OF A LENGTH

‘10, 000 Eels’

CUBC Men, Trial VIIIs

Cox Oliver Boyne

Str Drew Taylor

7 Theo Weinberger

6 Hugo Durward

5 Garth Holden

4 Clayton Roberts

3 Rob Harris

2 Oli Bridge

b Calum MacRae

LOST BY 1/3 OF A LENGTH

‘Matata’

CUBC Women, Trial VIIIs

Cox Angela Harper

Str Sarah Portsmouth

7 Adriana Perez Rotondo

6 Caoimhe Dempsey

5 Anouschka Fenley

4 Rhiannon Mulligan

3 Kasia Pilch

2 Elena Von Mueller

b Deborah Oakley

WON BY 2 LENGTHS

‘Hakuna’

CUBC Women, Trial VIIIs

Cox Dylan Whitaker

Str Sarah Tisdall

7 Bronya Sykes

6 Sophie Paine

5 Abigail Parker

4 Rebecca Dell

3 Alex Riddell-Webster

2 Jo Matthews

b Catherine King

LOST BY 2 LENGTHS

‘AstraZeneca’

OUWBC, Trial VIIIs

Cox Joe Gellett

Str Katherine Maitland

7 Sara Helin

6 Lucy Miles

5 Megan Stoker

4 Kaitlyn Dennis

3 Katie Anderson

2 Kate Culverwell

b Emma Lepinay

LOST BY 3 LENGTHS

‘Pfizer’

OUWBC, Trial VIIIs

Cox Costi Levy

Str Amelia Standing

7 Martha Birtles

6 Georgina Grant

5 Julia Lindsay

4 Oriane Grant

3 Emma Hewlett

2 Ciara Luxton

1 Esther Coomber

WON BY 3 LENGTHS

‘Track’

OUBC, Trial VIIIs

Cox Jack Tottem

Str Augustin Wambersie

7 Luke Robinson

6 Hal Frigaard

5 Tobias Schröder

4 Charlie Buchanan

3 Nicholas Elkington

2 Aubrey Warley

b Adam Teece

WON BY 2 LENGTHS

‘Trace’

OUBC, Trial VIIIs

Cox Oliver Perry

Str Jean-Philippe Dufour

7 Joshua Bowesman-Jones

6 Felix Drinkall

5 Martin Barakso

4 Henry Pearson

3 James Forward

2 Holden Eaton

b Alexander Bebb

LOST BY 2 LENGTHS


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