Cambridge Victorious In 100th Varsity Match – July 2017

Not unexpectedly, Cambridge were victorious 4-0 in the 100th Varsity Match sailed in Swallows at Itchenor 6/7 July 2017. Cambridge Ladies sailed strongly to take their match 4-1. People who appear in photographs are listed below.
Leon Lopez-Brennan, Louis Manners, Matthew Haji-Michael, Kathryn Cole, Remi Pfister, Alexandra Bibby, Melisandé Besse, Lucy Mellers, Clare Kendall Bohoslawec, Anthony Lunch (OUYC President), Anne-Laure Ines Villa, Lazar Liebenberg, Imogen Prickett, Rowena Conway, Joseph Gough, Penny Wiesner, George Hopes, Henry Morley, James Pinder, Dave Robertson, Jamie Webb, Tim Gratton, Thomas Mather, Josh Adams, Duncan Hampshire, Cat Wallace, Anna Prescott, Florence Gilks, Helmi Burton-Papp, Chloe Macaulay, Jemima Lawson, Rachel Tilley, Fiona Tait, Karen Thomas, Mark Struckett, Pippa Sloper, Liz Fox, Bruce Hebbert, Nick Rusbridge, Pam Gratton, Mike Wigmore.

Not unexpectedly, Cambridge (2nd, 3rd, and 4th at BUSA to Oxford’s 9th), were victorious 4-0 in the 100th Varsity Match 2017 sailed in Swallows at Itchenor 6/7 July. Cambridge Ladies (2nd to Oxford’s 1st at Ladies BUSA), sailed strongly to take their match 4-1 after some closely-fought battles with Oxford.


So the Light Blues made a very effective riposte to the Dark Blue’s 4-1 sweep of both matches in the 2012 centenary event, also at Itchenor in Swallows. The first Varsity Match took place in 1912 on the Ouse at Ely. The two days of the competition were greatly enjoyed by all – a thoroughly vintage Itchenor event.


Conditions were ideal for the match, though PRO Roger Yeoman had to chase the wind no less than three times during Thursday. Cambridge Men were 3-0 and Cambridge Ladies 2-1 at the end of the day’s racing.

The following day (Friday) Cambridge Ladies won two races in succession to run out victors 4-1 and Cambridge Men won a fourth race to finish worthy winners 4-0 overall.

The trial of the ‘three-boats-a-side’ format for the Ladies Match proved most successful. The score for the mixed match now stands at 56 victories for Cambridge, 40 for Oxford, with 4 ties.


A big thank-you to Itchenor SC for mounting such an excellent event, with a first class race team and many helpers. Also to the umpires, who had unexpectedly little business, and to the lending boat owners. The dinner on the Friday evening was superb, with excellent support from Itchenor club staff.


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Saturday Activities

On Saturday members of the Society sailed with the Swallow fleet in the most glorious of conditions. Two races were held in the light winds of the morning These were followed by an epic 1.5 hour race in the afternoon with the wind up and the Swallows surfing down the waves. Simply magnificent and many thanks to the Swallow fleet and owners for their generous loan of boats. The first 5 visiting Society sailors were all OUYC alumni – retrieving some honour from the outcome of the Varsity Match. The winning Society visitor was none other than the CEO of the RYA, Sarah Treseder – with perhaps a little help from Mike Wigmore (Nottingham)!

Team Details

Cambridge: (1st helm, 2nd helm, crew)
James Pinder (Robinson-Capt), Thomas Mather (St Catharines), Dave Robertson (Jesus)
Tim Gratton (St Catharines), Duncan Hampshire (St Catharines), George Hopes (Corpus Christi)
Henry Morley (St Johns), Josh Adams (Christs), Jamie Webb (Caius)

Oxford: (1st helm, 2nd helm, crew)
Joe Gough (Corpus Christi-Capt), Matthew Haji-Michael (St Benets), Rowena Conway (St Edmunds)
Ali Bibby (Merton), Leon Lopez-Brennan (Christ Church), Remi Pfister (Keble)
Lucy Mellers (Worcester), Louis Manners (St Peters), Lazar Liebenberg (New)

Cambridge Ladies: (helm, crew, crew)
Anna Prescott (Magdalene), Chloe Macaulay (Clare), Fiona Tait (St Catharines)
Rachel Tilley (Christs-Capt), Cat Wallace (Emmanuel), Karen Thomas (Lucy Cavendish)
Jemima Lawson (St Catharines), Helmi Burton-Papp (Emmanuel), Florence Gilks (St Johns)

Oxford Ladies: (helm, crew, crew)
Lucy Mellers (Worcester), Kate Cole (Regent’s Park), Rowena Conway (St Edmund Hall)
Ali Bibby (Merton), Clare Kendall-Bohoslawec (Worcester), Meli Besse (Worcester-Capt)
Penny Wiesner (Worcester), Ann-Laure Ines-Villa (Trinity), Imogen Prickett (Trinity)

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