It sometimes is hard to pinpoint when exactly Autumn begins. Some say it is marked by the technicoloured changing of the vast array of leaves, whilst others may argue the autumnal equinox is the true scientific date of seasonal change. For rowers, it is the start of head racing season which marks the true transition from summer and its regatta filled races to Autumn and its longer river winding races. And in this sense, Autumn has promptly begun in the MUBC calender, marked by the club’s first race of the season: Agecroft Head 2021.
With Winter pre-season training at the club still focused on small boat sculling technique development for the senior squads, Agecroft was the perfect event to put to practise all that had been learned.
First up in Division 1 were the men’s single sculls, headed up by Fintan Hardy, and the women’s double sculls, featuring 2 MUBC boats of Frankie Austin and Kitty Johnson, and Evie Innes-Lewis and Lydia Tridgett. Some fantastic racing saw Fin place 3rd in Band 3, and the women’s boats place 2nd and 4th respectively in Band 1.
Division 2 saw some incredible racing from the men’s double sculls, Tom Bobrowski and Patrick Brogan, and MMU’s finest rower Anastasia Macy in the women’s single sculls. Both categories were won by MUBC, taking home 2 GOLD medals. An absolutely outstanding performance from these athletes and a very promising indication of things to come.
Even with the sculling focused recent training, 2 MUBC sweep boats were entered into Division 3 with focus being to translate skills into larger crew boats. This featured the return of the senior men into the sweep eight, featuring Rob Mercer, Matthew Baker, Sam Collinson, Charlie Jones, Antonin Rat, Dan Watson, Darioush Jalili, and UCSB’s finest export Conner Becotte, coxed by Tijana Stephenson. A scratch crew of just 2 days, the boys put in a huge show coming 2nd in the Op 8+ Band 2.
The second sweep boat of Division 3 saw the return of the famed BUCS Gold medal crew of Frankie Austin, Georgia Allison, Lauren Auchterlonie, and Kitty Johnson, now coxed by Nicole Leslie, in the W 4+ Band 3. A great effort saw the girls place 2nd.
Some fantastic racing all round in Division 3, with very minimal whole crew boat training!
The final event of the day saw the women’s eight, featuring Elvire Perkins, Tegan Pooley, Jesse Devaney, Alice Watts, Zara Rahim, Anastazja Nowacka, Mia Hainsworth, and Lottie Bell, coxed by Mike Walmsey, race in Division 4. A respectable 3rd place was earned, with important race experience gained.
Overall, a very fun-filled, important, and successful race for the club. Much experience was gained for some athletes having never had competed in longer races, whilst vital focuses for the next block of training were highlighted for all. Bring on the rest of Autumn head season!
- Op 1x Band 3: 3rd
- W 2x Band 1: 2nd & 4th
- Op 2x: GOLD
- W 1x: GOLD
- Op 8+ Band 2: 2nd
- W 4+ Band 3: 3rd
- W 8+: 3rd
Here are some behind the scenes snaps:
Photo credits to Matthew Layton, Colm McDaniel, and Chris Revell.