Last Sunday saw two Somervillians take to the Thames for the Osiris Blondie Race. Isobel Dodds (2015, Biological Sciences) rowed with the Oxford University Boat Club’s second crew, known as Osiris, on Bow three. Also present at the race was alumna Caroline Smith (1999, Physics) who acted as reserve umpire.
“It was with a massive sense of pride that I followed Isobel Dodds’ gutsy Osiris crew down a very blustery Tideway as reserve umpire,” said Caroline, “it made me realise more than ever that rowing gives back as much as you put in, and that never has there been a more appropriate motto than ‘Smash and Dominate’! It’s a sport that’s got me hooked for life, and that’s all thanks to Somerville.”
Caroline was a rower and a coxer when she was at Somerville. After graduating, she continued to cox at Thames Rowing Club in Putney and later qualified as an umpire. She was selected to join the Boat Race’s umpiring panel this year.
Friday’s conditions were reportedly some of the worst that the Tideway had to offer. The Dark Blues endured strong wind and rain but were fortunately not affected quite as much as the Cambridge women’s team earlier in the day – who came very close to sinking.
Cambridge won the coin toss and chose to start from the Surrey station. After a rocky start, Oxford quickly pulled through Blondie to a third of a length’s lead. At the mile post, they were in the lead by a length but conditions worsened around St Paul’s. Osiris began to lose their rhythm as water crashed into their hull and by the end of the Chiswick Eyot The Light Blues were ahead by two lengths.
By the bend approaching the Barnes Bandstand, a crab in the Blondie boat momentarily stalled them and Osiris won back a few seats however it was not enough to win the race. Blondie crossed the finish line some three and a half lengths ahead of Osiris. It was reported by Cancer Research UK that both teams “faced up to the challenge of the course and the conditions with courage and aggression.”
To read more about the race, please go to: theboatraces.org
If you’re interested in rowing for Somerville please visit: scbcrowing.com