Four days after the Oxford men and women ran their Trial Eights, on 16 December it was Cambridge’s turn for the last 16 rowers and last two coxswains from each squad in battle it out over the full Putney to Mortlake course, all hoping to impress the coach who has to pick their final crew.
The Cambridge Women’s Race
The crews were named Myosin and Actin after two proteins which pull against each other in muscle contraction.
Cambridge Men: The Dark Blues
With this year’s Trial Eights done, the squads return home for a final few weeks of training before the holidays. Winter training camp begins in early January and then February and March will see fixtures against crews from other top clubs over parts of the Tideway course.
As we do not know what were in the minds of the Oxford and Cambridge men’s and women’s coaches when they formed their Trial crews, it is difficult to draw conclusions. Were they testing units or were they testing individuals? Were the crews supposed to be ‘matched’? Probably the Cambridge men came out best, showing more depth of talent than the other squads. However, the Fours Head first boat results showed some close times and, ultimately, only eight good oars and one good steers are needed to win on 29 March.