A Tideway Week Album: The Cambridge Women

To misquote Rodgers and Hammerstein, “There’s a bright golden haze on the Tideway”. Do the Cambridge Women also have a wonderful feeling that everything’s going their way?

30 March 2022

By Tim Koch

Tim Koch follows in the Blue Boats’ wake.

There are only five sleeps to Boat Race Day and that means that Tideway Week is in progress. While the crews will be going out twice daily, the hard training is now done. The press launch will be shadowing each crew for one of their daily paddles, the writers looking for clues as to form, the photographers looking for that front page picture. 

Between now and Saturday, I will compile a Tideway Week Album, high on pictures and low on text, showing one crew a day. First up, the Cambridge Women’s Tuesday morning row.

Golden Days: Head on.
Golden Days: Reaching out.
Passing the Mile Post in their new Filippi.
The 2022 Cambridge Women’s Blue Boat Crew, bow to cox.
Jasper Parish, cox, and Imogen Grant, stroke. Jasper is studying computer science. Last year, his St Paul’s crew narrowly lost Henley’s Princess Elizabeth to Eton. Imogen is back studying medicine after intermitting for two years to trial and represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. She was fourth in the lightweight double sculls and is a double Blue.
Grace Prendergast is studying an MPhil in Planning, Growth and Regeneration. Rowing for New Zealand, she won gold in the women’s pairs and silver in the women’s eight at the Tokyo Olympics, was the world’s highest-ranked female rower in 2019 and is a double world record holder.
Grace cuts an ungainly figure at “7” due to her scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine, a condition that she shares with Usain Bolt. She told Row2k.com: “I’m fortunate that it hasn’t hindered my ability to row, although it has caused me to end up with a slightly unique rowing style to watch and sitting behind me in the boat probably takes a bit of getting used to… It also means that you’ll never catch me rowing stroke (port) side.”
Bronya Sykes (5, President) is studying archaeology. She was selected for the Blue boat for the cancelled 2020 race and was then part of the victorious crew in 2021. Caoimhe (phonetically, Kwee-vuh) Dempsey (6) is studying for a PhD in psychology. She represented Ireland at the Under-23 European Championships in 2017 and is a returning Blue from last year’s winning crew.
Ruby Tew (4) is studying for an MBA at the Judge Business School. She has rowed for New Zealand at the last two Olympics, 2020 and 2016. Paige Badenhorst is studying management, also at the Judge Business School. She represented South Africa at the 2016 Junior World Rowing Championships and then went to the University of Michigan, USA, where she was Big Ten Champion 2021 with the Second Varsity Eight.
Sarah Portsmouth (2) is studying architecture. She represented England at the Coupe de la Jeunesse in 2018, was in the Blue boat for the cancelled 2020 race and is a returning Blue from last year’s winning crew. Adriana Perez Rotondo is studying for a PhD in engineering. She is a product of the club’s development squad having taken up the sport at Cambridge. She was a part of the Blondie crew in 2019, and last year became the first Spaniard to row in the Women’s Boat Race.
Passing Chiswick Eyot.
Under Hammersmith Bridge shadowed by the women’s chief coach, Paddy Ryan, and Al Taylor, one of the CUBC support team.
Below Putney Bridge.
The crew looks pleased with the outing.
Instead of the traditional “Spare Pairs Race”, the women ran a “Spare Fours Race” in, oddly, coxed fours. Coxless fours would seem to be a more sensible transition from an eight (assuming both crews can steer such a craft).
Cambridge won the “Spare Fours” by three lengths, racing from the Boat Race start to St Paul’s School.

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