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Cambridge-based Cantabrigian Rowing Club make history at Women’s Eights Head of the River Regatta in London

Cantabrigian Rowing Club spearheaded Cambridge’s charge at the Women’s Eights Head of the River Regatta on London’s Tideway on March 4.

A total of 320 crews gathered from throughout the United Kingdom and overseas to race the 6.8km course from Chiswick Bridge to Putney Bridge, making it the largest women’s rowing event in the world.

Cantabrigian sent a total of six boats – the senior women’s A, B, C and D squads along with intermediate and junior teams – down to the capital to compete, and as a result they were the second best represented club in the competition.

Cantabrigian Rowing Club in March 2023. Picture: Chris Radbone (62961414)
Cantabrigian Rowing Club in March 2023. Picture: Chris Radbone (62961414)

In the Provincial Pennant, Cantabs A ended in 34th position overall with a finishing time of 20 minutes and 27.4 seconds, which was 16.5 seconds adrift of Tyne Amateur Rowing Club A, who won the category.

However, their performance saw them finish as the fastest Cambridge-based club, beating City of Cambridge Rowing Club’s A team by 33.5 seconds.

Meanwhile, Cantabs B came home in 86th place, finishing just 0.5 seconds behind Cambridge ‘99 Rowing Club’s A crew with a time of 21:15.

Also within the top 100 crews was Cantabs C – and in doing so they made club history. The crew’s finishing time of 21:29.1 was good enough to take 95th position and it was the first time a Cantabs third team had come within the leading 120 positions at the event.

Cantabs also sent a fourth team to the competition for the first time and they stopped the clock in 22:18.6 to take 166th spot.

Five places better off was the Cantabs Juniors, which was the best finish for the club’s youngsters by 80 places and it puts them in a good position for the School Head of the River on Friday (March 17).

Rounding off the day for Cantabs was the intermediate team, who finished in 173rd place with a time of 22:26.3.

Club captain Ellie Darlington said of the performances from each crew: “This was a strong set of results from the women’s squads, with Cantabs enjoying by far the strongest set of results of any of the Cambridge-based club.

“It’s a testament to the excellent coaching team at Cantabs, as well as a strong group of motivated athletes.

“The disappointment felt at missing out on a win in the provincial pennant this year will only serve to motivate the squad in their training over the coming months as they turn their focus to competing at summer regattas such as Henley.”

The Head of the River Regattas, which are scheduled to take place this coming weekend, will mark the culmination of the head race season, after which athletes start the training process for the shorter, quicker summer races.

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