November 8th 2015
The Oxford University Society of Western Australia (OUSWA) continued its dominance in the Swan Blues Cup, beating the Cambridge Society in both the headline Swan Blues Cup and the Isis/Goldie Challenge. Since the inaugural race in 2009, Oxford has built a healthy lead of 5-2 and 5-1 in the Swan Blues Cup and Isis/Goldie Challenge, respectively…not that anyone is keeping score.
OUSWA began the short rowing season in late September. Initial plans for a two-month intensive high-altitude training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona were quickly shelved in favour of tried and tested (and not too early) Sunday mornings on the Swan River. The first two weeks of training saw the OUSWA crews row in combined eights with Alumni from the other place. This fostered a jovial and collegiate relationship that carried through to race day. Equipment and race day facilities were generously provided by Guildford Grammar School, with kind support by Tony Lovrich, the school’s Director of Rowing.
In the Swan Blues Cup, Oxford lined up on the Woodbridge side of the river. With a strong tail current, competent oarsmanship (and plenty of splashing), Oxford took the lead and crossed the finish line two lengths ahead.
In the Isis/Goldie Challenge, Oxford fielded two sweep crews: an Isis crew in a four (Isis 1 – with a qualifying all-Alumni crew); and a friends, family, and miscellaneous Alumni crew (Isis 2), also in a four. Isis 1 won the toss and chose the Woodbridge side, the Goldie (Cambridge) scullers chose the middle lane (seeking the swifter water?), leaving the invitational Isis 2 on the Caversham side. After speculation of the two Isis crews catching Goldie in a pincer movement, a fair and straight forward race ensued. Isis 2 showed that there’s more to racing than an Oxford degree, finishing 2½ lengths ahead of Isis 1 which, in turn, retained the Isis/Goldie Goblet by finishing well ahead of the Goldie quad.
The OUSWA looks forward to Cambridge’s challenge for 2016.
The OUSWA is also keen to welcome new rowers to the squad. Oxford University Alumni wishing to be a part of the 2016 season (between 6 and 9 pre-race outings, at polite hours, followed by race day) should join the OUSWA and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Finally, the OUSWA would like to reaffirm thanks to the Cambridge crews, Guildford Grammar school and the many supporters who joined us for a lovely day – picnicking, with excellent company, in a spectacular part of the world, whilst drinking Pimms.