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Varsity 2009

Having trashed Oxford at the BUCS whitewater race (by 14 places!) and BUCS slalom earlier in the year, we set off for the Marathon and Polo competitions with plenty of optimism. ## Marathon After the drive to Oxford on the Saturday morning, the race took place from Falcon Rowing and Canoeing Club. The Ladies were first to race over 4.5 miles. Oxford quickly assumed 1st and 3rd position, with Olivia Roberts putting in a great performance to come second. Despite Sarah McGarrity/Audry Lee (K2) and Fiona Breckenridge (K1) finishing 4th and 5th, Oxford narrowly won on overall points 23 to Cambridge’s 22. The Men’s race was considerably further at just over 8 miles with a large number of Cambridge competitors – including the entire Men’s canoe polo team – participating, outnumbering Oxford roughly 2:1. Richard Hendron of Cambridge stole the show, winning emphatically with several minutes over the nearest Oxford competitor Andy Spurr, in a time of 1 hour and 4 minutes. A third placed Oxford competitor, then a large number of Cambridge paddlers ensured a clear victory on points. ## Polo Both Men’s and Ladies matches were held in Oxford after the Marathon race. The ladies match took place first and the Cambridge team capped the end of the year with their best team performance, winning 1-0. The only goal came from Cambridge captain Charlotte Richardson after a tight first few minutes, and the girls responded by defending very well to deny the Oxford team a chance to equalise. Despite having no substitutes, all the girls gave a strong performance with very few errors. The team was: Charlotte Richardson (c), Maxine Von Eye, Sarah McGarrity, Audry Lee and Fiona Breckenridge. The Men’s match followed and Oxford caught Cambridge with a long shot by captain Andy Spurr early on and the team could not respond before half time. The Cambridge team were confident the deficit could be overturned and a well worked team move allowed captain Alex Hellawell to equalise. Goalkeeper Richard Page blocked several good shots from Oxford to avoid to team going behind for a second time, and then scored the winning goal after following up a break deep in the second half. The win chalked up the 7th victory in eight years, and along with success in both Regional and National League, and at the BUCS competition, ended a great year for the team. The team was: Alex Hellawell (c), Richard Page, Phil Connell, Ian Dumolo, Pete Hatfield, Tom Hedges, Hugh Bird and Rob Anderson.