Rowing: Thames make waves

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The Independent Online
THE presence of 13 former internationals in the first two crews at the Women's Head of the River left the clubs and universities with a lot of catching up but was encouraging for senior and lightweight women's chief coaches.

The usual wholesale retirement after the Olympics has not happened and the key elements of a strong team are still present.

Thames won by five seconds on Saturday after leaving Tideway Scullers to race in a vacuum. Thames gained about eight seconds in the first seven minutes and were able to finish as they liked.

Cambridge moved up from fifth to third by overtaking Osiris, the Oxford University club, and finished 28 seconds faster.

They will race over eight, not 18, minutes in the Henley Boat Races in two weeks' time. With the Cambridge B crew nine seconds ahead, Oxford spirits must be turning a deeper shade of blue.

The North West Rowing Association just failed to make the top 10 on their debut. Founded by the coach Rosie Mayglothling at the Rother Valley Rowing Centre near Sheffield, the squad has come up to speed within a year, although the crew was boosted by having the international sculler Helen Mangan at stroke.