Having looked at the men’s reserve crews, now it’s time to have a look at the women’s boats.
Osiris v Blondie
Blondie have won this race for the last 3 years and took the 2018 win by an impressive 9 lengths, and like last year’s crew this year’s reserve crew could give many Blue Boats a run for their money.
The crew includes former Blue Fanny Belais. The Swiss woman rowed bow in the losing 2015 crew and has also represented her country at U23 level winning a bronze medal in 2014. She also has a Lightweight Boat Race win to her credit having been a member of the victorious 2017 crew. Last year’s Blondie crew included Cambridge President Daphne Martschenko (who will be part of this year’s commentary team for the BBC), this year’s President, Abigail Parker, follows that tradition of being a President who doesn’t row in the Blue Boat. The Harvard graduate, daughter of the legendary Harvard coach Harry Parker, sits at 4. She forms part of a formidable engine room with Anouschka Fenley at 5 and Rebecca Dell at 6. Fenley, a former pupil of Headington School studied as an undergraduate at the University of Washington where she was a member of the 2ndVarsity 8 that won the PAC-12 Championships in her sophomore year. Dell, a Glaciologist at Scott Polar research Institute, is a former Durham University student and was a member of the Cambridge W4+ that won gold at the BUCS championships last year. Joining Dell in that BUCS winning crew was Irishwoman Sally O’Brien. She sits at 7 in this year’s Blondie boat.
There is one member of the 2018 Blondie crew back in 2019, Emma Andrews. The former Putney High school student will know the course better than anyone and this year sits in the 2 seat. Sitting one place behind Andrews in the bow seat is Charlotte Jackson, she’s a product of the Cambridge development programme having only picked up an oar on going up to Cambridge. Another rower who learnt to row at Cambridge is Spain’s Adriana Perez Rotondo. She rowed for Cambridge at the BUCS regatta last year winning gold in the Beginner W4+ category. The crew is coxed byCatriona Bournewho was a last minute replacement for the CULRC Granta reserves crew last year.
The Osiris boat has three of last year’s crew back for another go, Sanja Brolih from Germany, Linda Van Bijsterveldt from the Netherlands and GB’s Matilda Edwards. Stroking the crew is the youngest athlete in the race, 19 year-old Katie Anderson. The former Yarm School pupil is another athlete who earned her first representative honours as a member of the Great Britain Coupe De La Jeunesse squad and won a bronze medal in the JW2-. Joining them in the crew are a number of athletes who have come through the ranks of the Oxford Development squad and the Oxford Collegiate rowing system, GB’s Elizabeth Keechand Juliette Allenalong with Dutchwoman Elsebine Bolierand Italian Bea Faleri. The crew are coxed by Michael Hobley,coxswain of the Keble College men’s 1st8.
As with last year, Blondie look to be the far more experienced crew, with Blues and Blondie athletes on board as well as athletes with US collegiate racing experience. My money is on Blondie to repeat their victory of 2018.