As the 2012 University Boat Race squads competed on the Tideway for the first time in the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours on Saturday, Oxford finished with more to celebrate than their Cambridge rivals.
Isis I, the top Oxford boat with sole returning Blue and President Karl Hudspith on board, finished more than 12 seconds ahead of Cambridge II in the Elite 4+ category race. The respective times between Chiswick and Putney Bridge for the two leading rivals were 19:05.35 and 19:17.54. Both boats finished behind a strong Leander crew who won the category in a time of 18:54.08.
Dark Blue Chief Coach Sean Bowden declared himself ‘reasonably pleased’ with the performance of the 1st coxed four and noted that they still have work to do following the performance of the other three Isis boats.“
15th overall and close to the GB squad boats represented a solid performance for such an early season race. Of course we were not too far ahead of Cambridge’s fastest boat, so we won’t get too carried away, and with less impressive performances from our other boats we know we have plenty to do in the months ahead. Injuries held us back a bit more than usual for the time of year and as people return we should see the squad strengthen up a bit with more competition for places,” said Bowden.
Cambridge Chief Coach Steve Trapmore felt the race was a great experience and both Boat Race squads delivered strong performances against impressive competition. Having decided to race six boats, five coxed and therefore involving all five coxswains in the squad, he commented:
“The Fullers 4’s HoRR was a learning experience for us in a strong field that included many GB team athletes. CUBC boated six crews in all, four of which battled it out together in the Elite 4+ category. I was pleased to see a lead boat (which included President Dave Nelson) emerge from a group of relatively matched crews. OUBC have put together a strong performance which shows they will be a force to be reckoned with on Boat Race day. Focus now turns to Trial Eights on 13 December.”
Full results can be found at: www.hor4s.org.uk.