Oxford University Boat Club Fixture
By Louis Corrigan
This weekend, Oxford University Boat Club raced Molesey Boat Club, the first face in a series of fixtures leading up to The Boat Race on the 26th of March. Oxford come away with a clean sweep of 9 victories out of 9.
Oxford faced Molesey on Saturday, in three pieces over different parts of The Championship Course. The first piece from the start to Hammersmith Bridge saw Oxford on the Surrey Station take a strong lead from the start, and win with a margin of 5 lengths. The second piece started with a half-length lead to Molesey, crews raced from The Eyot to Barnes Bridge. Molesey started well and maintained contact for a time, before Oxford eventually opened up a 2.5 length lead. The final piece, from the crossing-point to The Boat Race finish line, saw the crews coming closer together as Oxford established a lead, rowing through to come away with a 4 length win.
Oxford ‘B’ had a double-header weekend starting with a series of races against Molesey ‘B’ on the Saturday and Imperial College on Sunday.
On the first piece to Hammersmith Bridge, Oxford ‘B’ established a clear lead on the Surrey station and won by 4 lengths. Piece 2 saw the crews swap stations, with Oxford ‘B’ now on Middlesex, gave Molesey B’ a 1 length advantage on the start. By the Chiswick Steps, Oxford had a 1 length lead, and went on to win by 3 lengths despite strong pushes from the Molesey B’ crew. In the final piece, the crews swapped station again, Molesey B’ had a half-length lead on the start. This was closer-fought race, Oxford took the lead around the outside of the bend and eventually won by 2 lengths.
On Sunday 5th February Oxford ‘B’ raced against Imperial College, London ‘A’. This was planned to be two longer racing pieces, one from The Boat Race start to St Paul’s School, and another from The Eyot to the finish.
In race 1, both crews started well, with Oxford on the Middlesex station opening out a small lead. Oxford capitalised on their early Middlesex advantage to open out a clear-water lead by The Mile Post. Oxford eventually win by three lengths, resisting a strong push from imperial after Hammersmith Bridge. Piece 2 saw the crews swap stations, and Oxford capitalised on their initial advantage extending to a 3/4 length lead by the crossing-point. As advantages switched, Oxford maintain their margin, and towards Barnes Bridge, Imperial are warned for their steering. Despite warnings from the Umpire the crews clashed oars under and after Barnes Bridge. One of the Oxford crew lost their blade and caught a crab. The Umpire stopped the race down and disqualified Imperial. The third piece was run from The Bandstand to the finish to maximise race experience, this was a hard-fought battle, Oxford won by 1.5 lengths.
Details of all The Boat Race Fixtures in the lead up to The Gemini Boat Race day on 26 March 2023 can be found here.