Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

Molesey Regatta 2016

By Zoe Goodwin

A gloriously sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-July saw the Wolfson women travelling down for the day to Molesey Regatta, a traditional regatta held since 1873 over an 850m course on the River Thames just upstream of Hampton Court. Due to a smattering of points amongst the rowers, eight rowers were entered into two coxed IVs in the morning and an VIII in the afternoon at IM3+ level.

Photo: Thomas Chapman

Photo: Thomas Chapman

First in the morning the Wolfson-Depner IM IV+ crew, racing in Phwoarsome, faced an experienced crew from the Lady Eleanor Holles School (LEH); Wolfson pulled off the start and cemented their lead for a comfortable win by 2.5 lengths.

Minutes later Wolfson-Goodwin IM IV+ crew, racing in Hermione, faced a junior crew of Eton Excelsior. Lighter per woman, the Eton Excelsior had a fast start and pulled away by half a length within the first few strokes. However, Wolfson had a good race, pulling Eton Excelsior back to parity and starting to edge a lead. At 700m the Eton Excelsior crew suddenly crumbled allowing Wolfson to pull away for the win by half a length.

Having qualified for the semi-finals both crews now faced further LEH crews, Wolfson-Goodwin against LEH-Benson who had already defeated a crew from Weybridge Ladies, and Wolfson-Depner against LEH-Jackson who had a bye to the semi-finals. Both Wolfson crews found it tough going against the experienced LEH crews; both LEH crews had fast starts, pulling off ½ length within a few strokes, hitting their stride the Wolfson crews held them before losing ground in the final third of the race to lose by 1.5 lengths. In the women’s IV+ final, LEH-Jackson were victorious over their club mates in a close race.

Photo: Abigail Killen

Photo: Abigail Killen

In the afternoon, the two Wolfson crews combined to form an IM VIII+, practicing their start sequence for the first time as they warmed up the crews found themselves on the start line with a combined crew from the LEH-Benson and LEH-Jackson crews from the morning! Once again the LEH crew pulled off half a length with a superb start, this time the Wolfson crews were able to hold onto the LEH crew for the rest of the race, pushing the LEH crew all the way to the finish line in one of the closest races of the day. The LEH went on to defeat a crew from Vesta by over one length to claim their 2nd trophy of the day.

Considering Wolfson entered with just 2 outings to practice, the day’s competition was considered good side-by-side experience, and a thoroughly enjoyable day out on the different part of the Thames with enjoyable rowing in good weather. And left with a greater determination to get those pots next time.

W IM3 4 + Crew (“Goodwin”) in Hermione: Charlotte Diffey (Stroke), Zoë Goodwin (3), Ellie Watts (2), Sofia Hauck (Bow), Niclas Palmius (Cox)

W IM3 4 + Crew (“Depner”) in Phwoarsome: Fuchsia Hart (Stroke), Sabine Parrish (3), Laura Depner (2), Charlotte Hornby (Bow), Kirstin Anderson (Cox)

W IM38 + Crew in the Filippi: Charlotte Diffey (Stroke), Zoë Goodwin (7), Fuchsia Hart (6), Sabine Parrish (5), Laura Depner (4), Charlotte Hornby (3), Ellie Watts (2), Sofia Hauck (Bow), Niclas Palmius (Cox)

Coach: Thomas Chapman