The Boat Race 2019 - Reserve Boat Race Review

Blondie versus Osiris

The women’s reserve race followed the women’s blue boats and had a very similar story. It was Oxford again who got the faster start off the line and were leading by about a canvas for the first two hundred metres but as the crews came past Thames Rowing Club, Cambridge put a push on and breezed past to go from half a length down to almost a length up in the space of a few strokes. Through the mile post and Harrods, Blondie maintained their lead of a length and were looking to pull ahead of Osiris to make the race their own. Once through Hammersmith Bridge Blondie started to take the race away from Osiris.

They began to lengthen their lead to one and a half lengths, and from there they continued to pull away. As they approached Barnes bridge there was a clear open water gap between the two crews with Blondie looking much quicker and their cox, Catriona Bourne, was able to move across ahead of Oxford and pick her line. Coming towards the finish Cambridge pushed hard and crossed the line far ahead of Oxford.

The final margin was five lengths in a time of 19:19 to give Blondie their fourth consecutive win, however the margin was not as large as the last two years. With the result Blondie extend their overall lead to 27 wins to Oxford's 20. The race was a very well controlled by Blondie who did not let up or give Osiris the chance to get back in to the contest. The Cambridge Women’s president, Abigail Parker, sitting at four in Blondie will be very happy with this result.

Goldie versus Isis

The next race was the Men’s reserve race between Isis and Goldie. The Isis boat had a late substitution with Ben Aldous (who was a late swap in the opposite direction last year) dropping down from the Blue Boat and Charlie Buchanan moving up in his place. Off the start Cambridge rated very high and whilst Oxford led for a canvas right off the start it did not last long. Cambridge came back at them and both crews were neck and neck going past Craven Cottage. The crews remained very close going past the mile post with Goldie, (who took a tighter line) moving out to around a one length lead over Isis, who were rating just under Goldie, and neither crew was giving the other any room for error.

From there the crews remained the same distance away and the racing stayed very close. Past Harrods, Goldie maintained their lead of a length and under Hammersmith there was no change in the gap, despite Isis rating higher than Goldie. Approaching Barnes bridge, Goldie were able to inch away from Isis to a lead of one and a quarter lengths. Goldie continued to hold that lead with both crews pushing hard under Barnes and through the line.

In the end Goldie crossed the line first in a time of 17:17, only 20 seconds behind Cambridge’s winning blue boat time, with the final margin being given as one length. However, the Isis cox, Devon Brameier, raised her hand as she went under Chiswick bridge, appealing against Goldie for their steering. The umpire, Sir Matthew Pinsent, decided that the steering did not impact the overall result of the race. With the result Goldie made it back to back wins against Isis, having not won in seven years before last year. Goldie now have twenty four wins overall to Isis’s thirty one.