Nautics Boat Club – the OP and out of term time racing name for the College – returned to racing after many years of inactivity. A group of the College’s girls have been sculling over the holidays, and have been joined by Helen Jefferis (OP), back from a year at Washington Univ.
The first event was Maidenhead regatta on the 13th August. While plenty of good racing experience was gained by many in their single, the Webb twins having their very first races in a single – and probably their 10th outings too! Success was very scant, with only Emily Howard winning a race all day! A humble return to racing indeed!
The following Saturday, was City of Oxford Regatta – oddly a “Royal” regatta! The regatta, like Maidenhead was divided in two, with morning and afternoon divisions.
We opened the day with Georgia Misson and Helen Jefferis with heats in Novice sculls. They set the tone with handsome wins. Charles Waite-Roberts who overslept, was lucky to get a bye in the first round, and then livened things up by turning his boat over whilst on the stakeboats! Doh! Inevitably he seized up half way through the race, letting his opposition through. He was grimly determined to do better after lunch! Helen and Georgia M had semi-finals next, both seeing off student rivals by substantial margins – AND it meant a win as they were to meet in the final – but who would win? Georgia Francis surprised herself in Women’s IM2by beating a Barnes Bridge sculler by a couple of lengths – they would meet later too! The Webb twins in their double had a tall order in WJ18 doubles, rowing 3 years above themselves AND were racing the local club. They grabbed an early lead and were being pressed around the corner, when the locals sculled of the course and hit the bank! Thanks very much. The Novice sculls final was a corker, close early on Helen holding a slight lead, until the corner, which held onto for a well sculled win. Even better they were in a double later – unbeatable? Georgia F rounded off the morning with a good scull against a super City of Oxford sculler who beat the Abingdon sculler who beat Georgia F at Maidenhead. With two wins in the morning, our tails were up for the afternoon.
Shannon and Laura Webb opening our afternoon racing in controversial fashion in WJ16 doubles – they grabbed an early lead, despite having their opposition Hinksey in their lane for the first 400m, around the turn, they strayed into Hinksey’s water and were disqualified! Hmph! The Chief Umpire, and the bank umpire who made the call, has a lengthy discussion with Phil, but rules is rules! Fortunately Hinksey lost the final by some distance. Georgia F was next up (and well fired up!) rowed a storming race against a strong Abingdon sculler and won by just ½ length! Wow! Georgia M and Helen teamed up in a Novice double, and clinically dispatched a Lincoln College double (apparently OUWBC/OUWLBC glitterati/officers) by a distance! Charles revenged the morning, by walloping a Hinksey sculler, sculling with great purpose to win J18 singles. Georgia F’s final was against her Barnes Bridge opponent from the morning – and she duly saw her off sculling with great aplomb! The day was rounded off by Georgia M and Helen winning Novice Doubles by a country mile from a Reading RC double. Five wins for Nautics BC in one day!