By Fiona Jamieson, Women’s Captain 2017
On 11th March, 8 excited but slightly terrified Corpus women (plus our cox, Cameron McGarry) headed to London for WEHoRR, the largest women’s rowing event in the world held over the championship course of 6.8km. We were kindly hosted by Quintin boat club, arriving with plenty of time to rig our boat in the sunshine, and go out for a quick practice paddle to settle some nerves and get used to the near-perfect Tideway conditions. We were starting 205th, with a marshalling position just past the start line, giving us a perfect view to watch the first lot of crews begin their race.
After the first 3 divisions had gone it was our turn. The call came for racing kit, we spun behind the start line, wound up to race pace as we came under Chiswick Bridge, and we were off. We wanted to really focus on long, strong rowing, setting a sustainable pace that allowed the crew to focus power into every stroke. It was apparent off the start we’d need to give way to the faster crew behind us, but we quickly settled into our racing rhythm, and the middle of the race was a bit of a blur, going (surprisingly!) quickly, with everyone committing to a push to overtake crew 201 ahead of us. The sights of Fulham football ground and the black buoy signalled the finish line was near, and the girls responded to Cameron’s calls and the noise of the spectators to push off 2 crews that had been threatening to close in on us, successfully keeping them away as we reached the end. Although exhausted, a very happy boat of Corpus women were thrilled (relieved?) to have survived the championship course! Fuelled by a tactical stash of jelly babies, we then faced the long slog against the tide to row back to Quintin.
We ended up with a time of 22:04, and an official finishing position of 209 out of the 321 entries. We placed us ahead of several other Oxford and Cambridge colleges, and only 2 seconds off a division 1 Oxford crew- a result we’re thrilled with. Overall it was a great way to end the term on a high, and we’d love to head back looking to improve on our position next year!
Cox: Cameron McGarry
Stroke: Martha Wallace
7: Fran Vernon
6: Fiona Jamieson (C)
5: Hannah Germain
4: Amy Shao
3: Rosie Arbuthnot
2: Sally Harding
Bow: Katie Hurt
With thanks to Gavin Suen and Sally’s Dad for looking after us and taking nice photos!