Race Reports

BUCS Head 2018

Bright and early on Saturday (24/02/18) the men and women novice squads set off to Newcastle to compete in the BUCS 4s and 8s Head Race (2800m).

Novice women’s 4+ pushing off

After arriving and promptly rigging the boats it wasn’t long before it was time for the BW4+ crew to row to the start line, competing for the first time as a four! Upon arriving back to the boathouse, the novice women had time to make a quick recovery and then set off alongside the rest of the squad to compete in the BW8+ race. They were followed shortly after by the BM4+ boat, and the results are as follows:

– Women’s 4+ crew: 15th 14:26.5
– Women’s 8+ crew: 25th 12:34:7
– Men’s 4+ crew: 20th 13:10.2

Guided by their coxes, all crews remained unphased by the freezing and blustery conditions and choppy waters, taking it in their stride (or stroke). The novice crews have improved vastly since their last competition, White Rose Head, impressively shaving minutes off their previous 3000m times. 

BM4+ crew with Danny Crofton, Karolis Ven, Evan Wong and Josh Knight Steward from left to right.
BW8+ crew Bottom l-r: Elena Pavan-Macias, Electra O’Riodan, Top l-r: Felicitas Buck, Vicki Roberts, Fionnuala Lane, Chloe Townsend-Williams, Emma Leverton, Tilly Meighen and Claire Baxter

This was the largest race all crew members had so far taken part in and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We now look ahead with excitement to the coming races on the Thames, HORR and WeHORR.

The novice crews having competed would like to thanks their coxes and especially our captains Celine Vine and Sebastian Baylis, as well as all those who coached them leading up to this race (Alice Peachey, John Impey, Emily Harding & Lizzie Davidson). And “thanks again to our Sebastian Baylis (6 hours of driving in one day is no mean feat when competing the following day!).”

Bertie Gregory, Oliver Collinson, Francis Heylen and stroke Peter Zelinka in the men’s IntM4x made 5th out of 22 crews.

After the Saturday had been successfully completed, it was time for the seniors to head to Newcastle. With our alarms set for 3:30am it was bound to be a long day full of exiting events; the senior women taking it upon themselves to provide us with just that.

Two minibuses set off, one with the senior men and the other with the women. Only 30 miles outside of Manchester disaster struck and the senior women’s minibus got a flat tire whilst on the motorway. After waiting in a service station for 5 hours, rescue finally arrived and they were able to set off again.

Sadly, BUCS Head could not postpone the races for one boat, so they continued as scheduled without the senior women’s 8. This was especially disappointing for the two novices who made it into the senior women’s BUCS boat: Lucy Loughlan and Katy Billington. Despite not being able to race that day they kept their spirits high and cheered us on from the side-line. Their story does not finish here as they will be joining the senior women at Women’s Head of the River Race in London on the 10th March.

Luckily, the boy’s minibus arrived on time and their morning races went through as planned. Division 1 saw the men’s quad and two 4’s braving the conditions on the Tyne. All men’s crews made Manchester proud especially considering the harsh weather conditions and the tough competition. The final results saw the quad race to an amazing 5th place (out of 22) and the 4’s sitting in a solid 22nd and 29th place.

Following division 1, the women arrived ready to their IntW4+ and IntW4x. Uncertainty made an appearance again as the weather conditions reduced the likelihood of the second half of division 2 taking place, disappointment yet again striking the women’s squad. However, luck (and sun!) shined upon us and the women were eventually allowed to race after the men’s 8 completed their race.

The men’s 8 put down a solid performance in their race along the 2800m course, shortened due to weather conditions. Now it was time for the women to finally hit the water and put down their best performance. The quad set off first to complete the 2.8k course in 17th place. Later, the four put down a great performance in the Women’s Intermediate category with all the girls gritting their teeth and persevering  through the wavy course. Cox Emma Leverton raced the crew into 12th place (out of 33) with a victory over Newcastle ‘B’ boat. Showing that their hard work and dedication paid off.

From bow, invisible cox Emma Leverton, Michaela Sommerová, Celine Vine, Rowena Bailey and Klara Paro

After (almost) all races had been successfully completed it was time to head back to Manchester, ready to continue our training for Wehorr and Horr. Newcastle gave us a beautiful send-off in the form of a fiery sunset over the Tyne, definitely making the 3-hour trip up north worthwhile.

MUBC would like to thank Tyne United RC, Tyne Amateur RC and Newcastle University BC for hosting this race. A special thanks goes to accompanying club members for their support – Lizzie Davidson, Alice Peachey, Tom Davies.

Results can be found online here

Saterday report by Lionnuala Fane, Sunday report by Celine Vine