Isis continued to show their dominance in the 50th running of the reserve crew race. In a boat containing three returning Isis oarsman plus an impressive line-up of junior and under- 23 international’s, including the first Zimbabwean to represent one of the Universities, it was Isis who moved away from the first stroke.
Goldie had won the toss choosing the Surrey station and for the first 3 minutes of the race they pushed Isis but were always behind. Isis had a ¼ length advantage at the Town Buoy where they had settled into a strong rhythm of 35 strokes a minute, against Goldie’s 36.
Goldie’s higher rating didn’t help though, as Isis very quickly pulled out to a clear water advantage. As early as the Mile Post the lead was 4 seconds. The lead continued to increase so by Hammersmith Bridge they had a 12 second advantage and the opportunity to steer wherever cox Sophie Shawdon chose.
The race thereafter was a procession. Isis dropped their rate to 30 in the strong head wind after St. Paul’s but continued to move away from Goldie rating 34. At Chiswick Steps the lead was 21 seconds. Goldie were desperate to try anything to claw back some time and moved under the lee of the Middlesex bank at the Bandstand in Dukes Meadow but it was all too late.
At the finish Isis has a lead of 37 seconds in an official time of 18minutes 39 seconds. This represented a triumph for stroke man Chris Fairweather who until the last two weeks had been in the Blue Boat and was desperate to prove his worth to the Dark Blue cause.
By Peter McConnell
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