A crisp Saturday, 10th October, united WCBC and its supporters with a fitting celebration of the exceptional achievements of the Women’s 1st VIII, who ended 2014/15 holding both the Torpids and Summer Eights Headships.
We gathered at the Isis to collect the wooden 4+, named ‘B’, which was sadly so rotten that it was never going to grace the river again! In traditional fashion, we loaded Jess, our cox, onto the top and set off carrying the very heavy boat (sorry Jess!) on its final journey to Wadham. Becoming quite a spectacle as we navigated the buses up St. Aldates, we were relieved to reach the pedestrianised Cornmarket, and finally College, where we were welcomed by even more spectators as we carried the boat across the Front Quad.
In the Fellows’ Garden, we filled the boat with cardboard and firelighters in anticipation of its reluctance to light. However, following a champagne reception, which gave rowers, supporters, and new members of WCBC a chance to share their stories from the river, it was lit! Much to our delight, it burned well, looking spectacular as the dusk drew in, before being extinguished as the breeze threatened to fill College with smoke. From there, many of us headed out of the cold into the King’s Arms for drinks, dinner and good conversation.
Despite our disappointment at not being able to reunite the whole crew for such a special occasion, with members already dispersed across the globe, I think we succeeded in throwing WCBC into the limelight and attracting new blood into both WCBC and WCBCS. Hopefully we have inspired determination in a new generation to seek to achieve what at first seemed impossible to us all! It is testament to the truly level playing field of rowing at Wadham that all, except one, of the winning crew only began rowing under Rod’s watchful eye.
It was wonderful to see so many people join us in celebration – if you were one of them, then thank you for coming. And, if you couldn’t, I hope you enjoy the pictures! The huge attendance conveys what incredible momentum we have built, something that has only been possible because of the hard work of the generations before us, and that will only be maintained by the hard work, determination and commitment of those to come.
Women's 1st VIII 2015