Coach: Isabella Mahoney Crew: Leonhard Redlich (Cox), Isobel Jack (Stroke), Bethany Capstick (7), Caroline Breeden (6), Emma Campbell (5), Zsofi Belovai (4), Carly Gilson (3), Alice Wenban (2), Jennifer Michail (Bow)

Michaelmas had been a difficult term for our crew, with fewer outings than we would have liked, mostly because of the pesky yellow flag! But come racing day, we were excited to challenge ourselves and prove a W2 worthy of both Isabella’s fabulous coaching and Queens’. With our regular 6-seat unfortunately unavailable, a saviour came in the form of novice Caroline, who very kindly and courageously stepped in to the 6-seat last minute. As the 42nd boat of our division, marshalling was long and slow, but slowly and surely the starting line got closer and soon it was ‘Queens’, whenever you are ready’.

And we were off! With the race divided into four sections, we focused on rhythm and power through the winding river to Green Dragon Bridge. After the plough we hunkered down and settled into a good rhythm, Leo calling for length and power. Before any of the rowers knew it, we were closing in on the crew in front, Darwin W2. As we raced down the Plough Reach and with the rowers hardly believing it, Leo called ‘come by! Through some expert coxing and the encouragement of both Isabella and the W1 coach Lisa, we powered past Darwin on Grassy and began to pull away from them. Spirits were high after our takeover and the third section of the race flew by. Soon we were nearing the Motorway Bridge and Leo called for us to empty the tanks. We pushed with the final strength in our legs and crossed the finish line.

We finished in a time of 18:49, the third fastest W2 crew. We were very excited and it was a fitting send-off for our cox Leo, who has been amazing this term and will be going home to row in Germany. Congratulations to W2 and we are looking forward to Lent