Former OU oars woman gets taste of Boat Race glory

Caiomhe Dempsey. Photo: ODT files.
Caiomhe Dempsey. Photo: ODT files.
A former University of Otago rower has helped Cambridge University to boat race glory.

Caiomhe Dempsey rowed in seat four of the Cambridge women’s eight as it toppled Oxford University in their annual rowing race.

Dempsey (25), a former Ireland under-23 representative, rowed for the University of Otago in the 2018-19 summer.

She had come to Dunedin after completing her degree at Trinity College in Dublin.

Notably she won a bronze medal alongside Sydney Telfer, Josie Cook and Gabby Hunter for the University club in the senior coxless four at the New Zealand Championships.

She left not long after that and is now studying for a PhD in developmental psychology.

Dempsey had been selected for last year’s boat race as well, but it was cancelled as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

This year’s race was moved away from its historic course on the River Thames for the first time, due to the pandemic and closure of Hammersmith Bridge.

Instead it was held at Great Ouse in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and the 4.89km course was slightly shorter than normal.

The race, the 75th women’s race between the universities, was a tightly fought affair.

The lead changed hands three times before Cambridge emerged victorious.

Meanwhile, in the men’s race, which has been held every year — except last year — since 1845, Cambridge also claimed victory.

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