Clubs Involved: Manchester University Boat Club (MUBC), Liverpool University, Salford University, Bangor University, Keele University, Lancaster University (The event is open to the universities in the North West. The following weekend the same event takes place in the south for Universities there. It is organised by British Rowing)
What we won: Men’s open weight, Men’s lightweight, Women’s lightweight, Men’s open relay, Women’s open relay.
Were you expecting to come out on top this weekend? Did you achieve what you wanted to?
This is the first year that MUBC has held the event and so this really pushed our rowers to try their best to win on home turf. The competition brought by other Universities is always strong however and so a lot of training was put in to achieve the results that we did. Similarly this is the first event that sees our novices take part (complete beginners who have only been rowing for a few months!) We saw a lot of potential in our novices and many of our seniors got Personal bests in their 2k so overall we were very happy as it has enabled us to foresee a strong season ahead of us.
You guys are known for being an incredibly fit team – who’s to thank for that training? How do you get ready for a big event like that?
Matthew Hackett is our head coach who puts in a lot of time coaching us on the water as well as on the erg (indoor rowing machine) to make sure both the technique and power is there for every single member. Moreover, our performance Captain, Jake Brown oversees everyone is completing their weekly training schedule and where they should be in terms of their training.
Committee members run circuits twice a week and weight sessions twice a week. However, a lot of it is down to the determination and hard work of the individual. We have been fortunate to have our very own erg room this year where members can go and train whenever suits them. For events like Bucs Indoors it means that they can train alongside other members which will force them to push themselves harder while also picking technique tips off each other. In terms of specific training for Bucs Indoors people were encouraged to complete a practice 1k/2k (the distance they had to complete in the race if they were a senior 2k, 1k for novices) and daily exercises on the erg to keep up their fitness.
What was the atmosphere at the competition this weekend?
It can be a very intense competition with rowers pushing themselves to their limit and there being high expectations for all those competing. Moreover, many ar aiming for a PB which can be taunting and very nerve racking. However, every single person there was supportive of those competing; with lots of words of encouragement being shouted while the race took place. The atmosphere between the Universities is always friendly and supportive.
Who were some Key/Star members in the victory?
Jack Brown and Sam Thornton have been top performers in the club for the past year or so. They both took part in the Team GB trials a few weeks ago where Jake achieved a PB on his 2k and they are both awaiting their results. Both performed extremely well this weekend with Jake winning 1st in the Men’s open weight 2k and Sam 2nd place. Similarly, their relay team, including John Campbell and Benedict Adey-Johnson won 1st in the men’s open weight relay category. For Women, Becky Hartwell took home 1st place in the Women’s lightweight category having taken a year out for placement, Becky has returned better than ever.
Did any freshers really surprise you with their talent?
International rower Peter Zelinka, from Slovakia joined MUBC in September and has not failed to disappoint. Peter took home 1st in the men’s lightweight category. This year we took on a large number of novice rowers who also did extremely well at Bucs Indoors. We saw a lot of potential and are excited for their first on the water race at White Rose Head in York in December.
How were the other University teams looking? Anyone to really look out for this season?
The competition brought by the other Universities is always strong. This year Liverpool took 2nd place overall and Bangor 3rd place. The women’s open weight category in particular was very close between the Universities. It’s obvious everyone has been training hard for the upcoming season.
What’s the next big competition for you all? And what are your hopes for that?
White Rose head in York on the 6th of December is the first race which will see our novices compete on the water. We are sending a large number of boats to compete and we want our newest members to take this as an opportunity to see how they are doing up against other Universities while being able to experience the thrill of competing. Moreover they will get to train in their crews in the lead up to the race which helps them bond as a crew. For our seniors White Rose head is a familiar race and we are expecting good results as they have all been training hard.
Find the full results from the event here.
As Published in the Mancunion from an interview with Emily Cornish.