Race Reports

South Yorkshire Head 2022

After a relaxing festive break and following an arduous January training camp, it was finally time for MUBC to commence a new rowing year at the first selected race for 2022: South Yorkshire Head. With BUCS Head, WEHoRR, and HoRR impending immenantly, SYH22 provided an important opportunity for both squads, novice and senior, to cement the training focuses from the previous year, whilst calibrating new specific aims for the remainder of the head season. The foundations of a very exciting 2022 would consequently be laid on the stormy setting of the river Don.

Division 1: The Morning

Red skies in the morning certainly provided the warning of the wet and windy conditions which would be faced throughout the day of racing. In the initially (relatively) calmer weather, the first set of scheduled races saw the senior men’s eight, the two novice men’s eights, the senior women’s coxed four and quadruple scull, and Felix Rummel’s single scull takle the 4 km upstream course up the river Don.

For the senior men, the combination of the length of the course with its challenging gusts of wind provided a perfect opportunity to evaluate technical and physical race disciplines refined during the winter camp. Whilst lessons were certainly learned, the placing of the Op 8+ A being the second fastest boat of the whole day is a testament to the boys’ determination to adapt and perform. Onto the next one!

As for the novice men’s eights, having gained confidence after their last race at Novice Race Day, this extended course was an opportunity to set a fitness benchmark for the season forwards. Gaining respectable placings of 2nd and 3rd in their corresponding open band categories, despite being novice crews, undeniably set exciting prospects for future events. Big one there boys!

The senior women’s quadruple scull and coxed four, which would later combine to form the senior women’s eight, were first to venture out for the squad. With similar aims to that of the senior men, both boats asserted the focuses from winter camp in the blustery gales to come away with important understanding for specific objectives going forward, and for their afternoon race. Massive well done to the girls in the quad for winning their category!

Finally Felix took to the water. Having been denied any competition in the top band, Rummel’s focus was clearer than ever in providing an impressive sprint for himself only. A strong piece saw his scull overtaking a number of larger boat classes and again asserting confidence in tackling challenging water conditions. Great effort!

Division 2: The Afternoon

Spotting blue skies in the horizon before boating provided severe false hope for the conditions faced in the afternoon. On the start, as the sky darkened, and the rain starting pouring, and the wind continued to pickup, every competing crew sensed a more challenging set of races to conclude the day.

The senior women’s eight set off first ahead of the novice women’s eight. Having not raced in this boat class since Agecroft Head last year, the senior women were keen to implement their racing experience from smaller boat classes into a larger crew boat. Demanding conditions on the water provided further challenge; however, the experience gained provided the girls with conviction for future training.

A very strong start for the novice women’s eight saw great advancement on the crew ahead. Unfortunately due to a mechanical fault on one of the boat’s riggers, the girls had to retire from the race at the 2 km marker. Yet despite this, similar to the novice men, the girls proved their physical capability to compete at a high level over a sustained distance. Confidence and increased determination provides exciting potential for the girls at their next race!

The novice women’s coxed four fortunately had more luck for their piece, putting in an incredibly rhythmic sprint to the finish. Great sends all around girls!

To conclude racing, the senior men made a return in the smaller boat categories with two coxed fours and a double scull featuring Felix and Conner Becotte.

It is fair to say the boys in the coxed fours treated their final race with vengeance in response to the very rough conditions faced. The A boat overtook multiple boat classes to provide spectators with numerous instances of regatta style racing on the Don (RIP to stroke man, Rob Mercer’s, lunch at the finish line). The fours finished within 30 seconds of eachother, winning and placing 2nd in the category. Absolutely glorious racing boys!

And finally, Felix and Conner absolutely dominated their category to pick up the win in their double. Incredible effort, well deserved!

Overall, the club achieved some very impressive results across its competing squads, with confidence gained and appropriate lessons learned which will provide a strong platform to propell training and race preparation over the coming months.

A huge thank you to Doncaster Rowing Club who hosted us during the day and provided such kind hospitality to all of our athletes in response to the weather. We certainly cannot wait to be back next year!

  • Op 8+ Band 1: 2nd
  • Op 8+ Band 2: 2nd
  • Op 8+ Band 3: 3rd
  • W 4x-: 1st
  • W 4+ Band 2: 1st
  • W 4+ (NW) Band 2: 3rd
  • Op 1x: 1st
  • W 8+ Band 2: 2nd
  • Op 4+ A: 1st
  • Op 4+ B: 2nd
  • Op 2x Band 1: 1st

As always, here are some behind the scenes snaps and videos taken throughout the day:

Photos by Matthew Layton, Matthew Baker, & Hope Groizard. Behind the Scenes Reel courtesy of Hope Groizard.