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It’s no toy story as Woody gets the better of Buzz in Cambridge University Boat Club Trial VIIIs

Cambridge University Boat Club women's president Bronya Sykes. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge University Boat Club women's president Bronya Sykes. Picture: Keith Heppell

Bronya Sykes was able to take plenty of positives from Cambridge University Boat Club's Trial VIIIs on the Championship Course last week.

The original race before Christmas had to be postponed so the Light Blues headed to London for the rescheduled event which is a key point in the build-up to the Boat Race, which is on Sunday, April 3 this year.

The crews were named Woody and Buzz, after head coach Paddy Ryan's dogs, and it was Woody that won by just under a length.

Buzz were racing on the favoured Surrey side of the river, and after an early clash which led to a warning for Woody, the latter crew went three quarters of a length clear.

There was little between the crews throughout the course, with Buzz fighting back and Woody seeking to pull further clear, and they eventually crossed the line first.

Light Blues president Sykes said: "Both crews were really pushed to the limit in the race today. Buzz didn’t let us (Woody) get away with anything, exactly the kind of race we wanted. I’m very proud of the squad today, and looking forward to the next 3 months before the Boat Race."

Ryan added: "I was incredibly proud of how the athletes conducted themselves, with not long to prepare we had a good close race. The collision early on was a good reality on the skills required to be best prepared for a collision but also the skills required to recover. They learnt some lessons on strategy too."

Buzz - Bow Caroline Breeden, Jo Matthews, Nicole Molina, Jenna Armstrong, Clare Hole, Ruby Tew, Adriana Perez Rotondo, stroke Caoimhe Dempsey, cox Jasper Parish; Woody - Bow Alex Riddell-Webster, Elena von Mueller, Paige Badenhorst, Vera Kunz, Grace Prendergast, Millie Hopkins, Bronya Sykes, stroke Sarah Portsmouth, cox Dylan Whittaker.

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