After a disappointing term of rain and red flag M1 returned to the Isis early for a pre-term training camp preparing them for Summer Eights. As the weeks passed, our triallists – Alex Bostrom, Matthias Wyss and Sophie Shawdon from OUBC and James Plimmer from OULRC – began to make more regular appearances at training, balancing this with the commitments of their respective university boats. This strengthened M1 further and brought great depth and experience to the crew, half of whom had only started rowing this year. The crew and coach Richard Williams were confident as the Wednesday of Eights approached and had Division I in their sights. However, after an exciting chase of Wadham, it was not to be as both crews rowed over. Day 2 dawned, and with Adrien Hitz replacing Matthias Wyss in the fourth seat, the crew rallied for a second shot. Once again however Wadham, desperate to maintain their position, narrowly held off our M1 and both rowed over once again. On the Friday, Wadham bumped out before our M1 could catch them and the crews behind them also bumped out allowing them to row over in style. On the final day, after a strong start the crew made good progress chasing Hertford but were being closely pursued by New College. As the three crews came into view of Boathouse Island, New College made their move just as Lincoln were closing on Hertford and unfortunately bumped our M1. Not quite the end that the crew had hoped for, but they remain in a strong position for next year as 3rd in Division II, with a lot to be proud of.
Following their very successful stint at Putney Regatta, W1 returned to the Isis in full force. They were now more regularly joined by the solid 5 and 6 pair: retuning Blues Nadine Graedel Iberg and Rhianna Cearns, who juggled LCBC commitments alongside their continued work with OUWBC. Steadily led by Emily Howe as stroke and dutifully followed by Middlebury’s Isabelle Dietz, W1 pulled through training during the last two weeks before Summer Eights. Hyped up (despite the cold and rain) and keen to go in for the kill, W1 boated on Wednesday of Eights only to be disappointed by St Anne’s early bump of Exeter. Undeterred, they rowed over and faced the second day of Eights with fresh gusto. With Exeter ahead of them, W1 remained confident, with the eternal enthusiasm of the newly elected Women’s Captain Eleanor McKay and ‘back of the bucket’ Johanna Rankin to drive them forward. Despite having an extremely strong Trinity I behind them, W1 in full force bumped Exeter before Donnington Bridge, with bow pair Leah Rand and Lise Noyau even gaining bruises to show for it. Victory was near and evasion of Trinity more than satisfying. The third day of Eights saw W1 chasing St Anne’s once again. Powered on by cox Alex ‘RELAX’ Astley, they closed in, only to be foiled by spoons-earning crew St Catz who gave into St Anne’s just outside the gut. Some careful steering by Astley led W1 safely to the finish line with a solid row over. The sun finally made an appearance on the Saturday and tensions grew as Trinity, once again, chased W1. However, donning their beautiful LCBC stash, they pushed off the raft and off Trinity too as they closed onto Catz I. Haden Spence, in the cox seat on this final day, gained his first contact bump in 4 years of coxing as just as W1 exited the Gut, securing their success and celebratory Pimms. W1 have ended up 6th in Div 2 behind St Anne’s who they will undoubtedly get next year.
M2 started their Summer Eights campaign strongly and made good ground on the Brasenose crew ahead. However, despite a fast recovery, a unfortunate crab allowed the pursuing Green Templeton crew to catch them. On the Thursday, after boats bumped out around them our M2 were left with a lot of empty water around them. A strong performance from St John’s M2 saw them make up a lot of the water between Longbridges and the finish, creating a nail-biting atmosphere for the spectators on Boathouse Island. For the last 200m there may have been overlap but Lincoln M2 were able to push off them and pull away to row over the second day. The following day, despite a very strong start from our M2, Osler House (who went on to win blades) gained rapidly and bumped us early on in the race. Saturday brought perhaps the most frustrating day for the M2 crew, who started very strongly and were making good progress, holding off the crews behind them. However, along Greenbanks a seat broke leading to a double crab and resulting in a bump by Hertford M2 landing them 13th in Division IV. Eights provided excellent experience for the crew, and gives a great platform to build off into the next season, and the men should be extremely proud of what they have achieved in a year plagued by bad weather and lack of water time.
Cheated out of their certain Torpids success by the floods of Hilary Term, W2 came into Summer Eightss full of confidence and extremely good at squats! Coached by Maria ‘More Squats!’ Mazza and Tom ‘I’m not going to row this year’ Frost, freshers Anna Herrmann and Nia John proudly set a steady rhythm in line with cox Kyle Groves, which led them to their first ever bump on Merton II on the first day. Success was steady as the second day brought another bump onto Hertford II, to the joy of the boat’s powerhouses Emma Abell and Annina Graedel. Seniors Megan Milarski and Hannah Hodson at 4 and 3 seats knew that victory was near and all were distraught at the devastating klaxon on the third day. Freshers Lucy Cross and Christelle Alvarez stayed positive despite the frustration and sat the boat expertly throughout the week from the bows. Being chased by GTC I on the final day was always going to be tough race and, although rapidly closing in on ChCh II coming out of the Gut, GTC I unfortunately got the bump first (although, W2 had denied them blades by bumping very early on the first day of Eights, which is still an excellent achievement!) The girls remained positive and we remain certain that Div III is still well within reach next year. The girls formed an incredibly tight-knit crew, which has driven them to great success this year and they should be extremely proud of their achievements, finally finishing 3rd in Div IV.
Following weeks of tough training in a 4+, W3 was finally put in an eight a mere 6 days before Summer Eights began. Tragedy after tragedy followed in the build up to Eights making for a stressed and unconfident W3, despite the strength and technical ability in the boat. The solid four freshers, Emily Stubbings, Ellie Williams, Jess Bailes and Alice White remained confident however that there was more to Summer Eights than rain and confusion! W3 came back on Day 2 with their ‘usual’ line up, supported by experienced stern pair Elizabeth Finneron-Burns and Sam Ivell who set a solid pace. With renewed confidence they threw themselves into the race, but unfortunately could not hold up against the strength of Balliol II. Undeterred, they reappeared on Thursday and the stakes were heightened. Returners Marlena Whiting and Nicky Andrews and, along with cox Michael Skidmore, were astonished at the poor level of coxing and marshalling on Day 3, which lead to various crashes and dangerous situations further up the division. Pumped from their excellent rowing and the frustration of having their bump stolen, W3 appealed and was rightly awarded a technical row over, securing them fixed divisions for another year no matter the outcome of the final day. As a result, W3 came into Saturday of Eights cool and collected. Mike’s expertise lead them to a powerful row over, ending their Summer Eights 11th in Div IV, yet again the first and only W3 to maintain fixed division. In the face of adversity in many cases simple bad luck, these girls maintained their enthusiasm, remained calm and technically secure, and were a fantastic crew of whom Lincoln is extremely proud.