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Fixture Report: CUBC vs Oxford Brookes

Fixture Report: CUBC vs Oxford Brookes
30th Jan 2017

In the first fixture to mark the run-in to The 163rd Boat Race, Cambridge University Boat Club took on a contingent from Oxford Brookes on a dreary overcast day on the Championship Course.

The provisional Cambridge Blue Boat, coxed by Hugo Ramambason, came up against an Oxford Brookes crew which featured several athletes who won the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta last year.

In the first of two pieces, the crews started from below the struts of Putney Bridge with Cambridge on the Surrey station. After 20 clean strokes, Umpire Simon Harris was called into action for the first of many times during the fixture as he tried to separate the racing lines. Brookes took a slight early advantage which was checked at the end of the embankment by Cambridge, who were stroked by CUBC President Lance Tredell. Further aggressive steering from Brookes led them to take a 3-seat lead passing Fulham football ground, but Cambridge responded again, working a smooth rhythm around the inside to once again align their bows with Brookes. In a race that was quickly shaping up to be a cracker, the Light Blues began to draw away from Brookes and, passing underneath Hammersmith Bridge, had stretched out to half a length. Revered for their never-say-die attitude, Brookes refused to succumb to increasing pressure from cox Ramambason and a smoother Cambridge style and ramped up the rate to claw back the deficit approaching the line. An official verdict was hard to come by and the coaches agreed that the piece had finished level.

In the second race, which began just before the Chiswick Eyot, Cambridge once again went off on the Surrey station. It was Brookes who started the brighter again though, firing through choppy conditions and a flurry of rain to lead by two seats after 30 strokes. Harris was forced into action to separate the two crews as they threatened to clash; Brookes seemed to deal better with the intensity of the opening segment and opened up a ½ length lead after 2 minutes of rowing. Cambridge looked to be struggling and could do little to halt the Brookes charge, as the latter drew further away. Passing under Barnes Bridge, Oxford Brookes had broken clear and continued to work their advantage throughout the second half of the race, finishing some two lengths ahead of Cambridge.

At 1215, under the watchful eye of race umpire Tony Reynolds, Goldie won the coin toss and choose Middlesex station.  The Oxford Brookes and Goldie crews met under Putney bridge at 1315 for the start of the first fixture of the 2017 Boat Race campaign.  Both crews got off to an even start with nothing separating them by the black buoy.  Brookes made sure to hold the speed of the Goldie crew around the Fulham bend and again by the mile post both crews were still bow ball to bow ball.  The Oxford Brookes crew, stroked by Ed Griesdale, pushed into their advantage of the Surrey bend and as a result pulled out to a 1 length lead by St. Pauls.  The Goldie crew, coxed by 2016 returning blue Ian Middleton, kept in contact with the Brookes crew to the end of the first piece at Chiswick steps.

Both crews stayed to their original stations for the 2nd piece of the fixture.  The Oxford Brookes crew got their lead from the start at the Eyot and never let Goldie back into the race.  At the finish line Oxford Brookes won by 1 1/4 Lengths.

Goldie valued the competitive racing with Oxford Brookes and the challenges that it presented. 


1 Ben Ruble

2 Robin Ponte

3 Charlie Fisher

4 Tim Tracey

5 Aleksander Malowany

6 Pat Eble

7 Henry Meek

8 Lance Tredell

Cox Hugo Ramambason

Oxford Brookes

1 Jamie Copus

2 Robbie Massey

3 Matthew Aldridge

4 Rory Gibbs

5 Michael Glover

6 Morgan Bolding

7 Henry Swarbrick

8 James Stanhope 

Cox Harry Brightmore


1 Tom Strudwick

2 Piers Kasas

3 Patrick Elwood

4 Peter Rees

5 Jim Letten

6 Louis Margot

7 Sam Wilson

8 Freddie Davidson

c Ian Middleton

Oxford Brookes 2nd Boat

 1 Chris Tebb

2 Chris Zahn

3 Dylan Mitchel

4 Gareth Syphas

5 Sam Nunn

6 Matthew Hnatiw

7 Richard Hawkins

8 Edward Grisdale

c Charlie Clarke 

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