On the 4th and 5th of June, 2023 the Metropolitan Regatta provided a perfect platform for current Oxford and Cambridge students to sharpen their racing skills and for coaches to develop their squads ahead of next year’s Gemini Boat Race.

Established in 1866, the Met (as it’s known) is one of the key events leading up to Henley Royal Regatta. Coaches are known to use the Met to experiment with lineups and different boat classes to assess their best options for HRR… There are also some fabulous trophies up for grabs!

While we know that losing The Boat Race can be a brutal experience, there is at least the upside of knowing that all things being equal, there is a 50% chance that you are going to win.

In multi-lane racing, the odds are less forgiving. In a field of over 70 entrants, whittled down to an eventual winner trials and finals… silverware is tougher to come by.

The lion’s share of light and dark blue athletes raced on Saturday X Oxford Coxless Pair Jan Ole Ernst and Colston Andrews, (Isis 2023) won the Time Trial in their class (Championship Coxless Pair) by a comfortable margin of six seconds and progressed straight to the A-final.

Although Jan and Colston came off worse in the resulting duel with Molesey Boat Club (who pulled clear early in the race) we are excited to see how they fare as the season progresses.

Cambridge offered four crews in Women’s Coxless Pairs. All four qualified for the A-final which will no doubt have pleased coach Paddy Ryan. Once again it was a two horse race for the silverware… President Caoimhe Dempsey and partner Isabelle Bastien were narrowly beaten by a University of London /Leander Club composite crew. There was just 0.2 seconds between the boats, and both finished a whopping 30 seconds clear of the rest of the field.

Although they did not bring home any silverware, the Cambridge Women’s Pair put in an outstanding performance, and established themselves as the ‘ones to watch’ as the summer season of racing progresses.

Freya Keto (Blue Boat ‘23) just missed out on the win in the Women’s Championship Single Scull, facing fierce opposition from 2020 Great Britain Olympian, Mathilde Hodgkins-Byrne.

Gemma King brought home a victory for Cambridge on Sunday, winning the Women’s Championship Single Scull. This is a discipline that she’s no stranger to despite spending much of her time racing in sweep in recent years. Congratulations Gemma!

Oxford and Cambridge both had several crews racing in different events on both days of the regatta.

For a full breakdown, visit the Met Regatta website and use the navigation at the top to select each clubs for Saturday and Sunday’s racing (https://rowresults.co.uk/metsun23).