Cox: James Zimaras, S- Charlotte Hallam, 3- Lea Gansser-Potts, 2- Pippa Sayers, B- Kate Attfield

It was a cold crisp morning as the first Women’s IV rowed up to the start of the race. Being right at the end of the division the crew had time at marshalling to demonstrate a variety of tapping and roll-up manoeuvres to warm up our legs and keep the blood moving as we psyched ourselves up for an intense race – the race plan consisting mostly of ‘race hard, push harder, and when you think that’s enough, try harder’.

A beautiful rolling start sent the IV off into a steady rhythm, and even a settle call couldn’t contain the power and excitement – the rate never dipping below rate 33. Even down first post reach it was becoming obvious that at some point in the near future an over-take was going to have to happen to the Quad that was in front. Beautiful lines around Grassy meant that as the IV steamed down plough reach it was finally time to give just a bit more and settle the overtake before hitting Ditton corner. A tight line around Ditton gave some hair-raising moments as it appeared the Quad might barrel into our stern, but with gargantuan effort we pulled around the corner, out their way and were ready to take on the reach.

A gear change down the reach had the boat flying even as legs began to tire and heavy breathing (which had started worryingly early down first post reach) intensified. Digging deep for yet another power 10, and a breathe call we held it together down the reach and pushing under the railway bridge, as if sensing we were almost there, a final gasp of energy as the crew went up 1 and then up 2 for an effective finish sequence. A gutsy race from start to finish from that IV – rewarded by a win in their division!