The 2016 Cancer Research UK Women’s Boat Race

On the afternoon of Sunday 27 March a group of Trust scholars will be sitting in the middle of the River Thames, gearing up for the most gruelling 20 minutes (or so) of their lives.

When the gun fires at 15.10 for the start of the Cancer Research UK Women's Boat Race 2016, cox Rosemary Ostfeld will be using every ounce of her training to help guide, cajole, encourage and cudgel the crew in front of her.  All nine people in the boat have worked long and hard to be there, and they will want to get ahead of their competitors from Oxford as early as possible, and hold the lead right to the finish line 6.8k later.

Rosemary has coxed Cambridge crews in two previous Boat Races - the women's second crew (Blondie) in 2014, and the women's Boat Race crew last year.  A graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA, she is now carrying out research in Cambridge into the viability of biomass as an alternative fuel supply, and is a member of Hughes Hall.

Sitting in the bow seat will be Ashton Brown, a 27 year old Canadian research student who is working on the impact  that skills and education have on social mobility, and is a member of Fitzwilliam College.  She has plenty of race experience, having represented her country in three U23 World Championships, and rowed in last year's Boat Race crew (the first time that the women raced on the same course and at the same distance as the men).  A good bow person is normally expected to be technically excellent, keeping sharp and balanced right through the race - easy to do at the start, but very hard to stick to when tiredness kicks in.

In the number five seat will be Daphne Martschenko, who also rowed in the Boat Race last year.  She is a member of Magdalene College, and is studying for a doctorate in Education, focusing on how research into external and environmental influences on minority children is relayed to the public and used in policy decision-making.  Born to Nigerian and Austrian parents, she grew up in the USA and has competed for her country twice in the U23 World Championships, even though she is still only 23 years old.  The number five rower is normally expected to join with six to provide the engine room of the boat, keeping power and long strokes right through the race.

You can read an article about Daphne on the BBC website here.

Good luck, girls!

Rosemary Ostfeld: Cox, CUWBC

Rosemary Ostfeld: Cox, CUWBC
(courtesy Getty Images)