Duncan Head reports on EUBC’s latest action: BUCS Head in Peterborough.
Exeter University Boat Club continued their upwards progression with a strong showing at BUCS Head in Peterborough, picking up in excess of 40 BUCS points – a achievement made even more remarkable considering the disruption to preparation caused by the freezing of the Exe canal.
Last year, the club picked up 30 BUCS points across the entire year and, with BUCS Regatta still to come, the event where EUBC traditionally acquire most of their points, the stage is set for the club to smash their previous record for BUCS points in a year.
The Women’s side of the club had a hugely successful day, with the Women’s Championship VIII picking up points in 7th place to add to two Silver medals in the Women’s Coxless Fours and Lightweight Women’s Coxless Fours.
Both the lightweight and open weight Quads finished with points, coming 4th and 7th respectively. Ex-Great Britain canoeist Jess Collins, now stroke of the University 1st VIII and IV, said: “It was a really exciting weekend, we are ecstatic that all the hours of hard work in the gym and on the water has paid off. Can’t wait for the rest of the season”.
The Men’s side of the club had another promising – if less fruitful – day, with the Championship Coxless Four and Lightweight Championship Four both finishing in the points, in 6th and 4th respectively.
The Championship VIII put in a strong performance, finishing just 0.1 seconds outside the top 10. Oliver Kolodseike, a post-grad who previously rowed at UCLA, had this to say: “It was good, I had a good time in the VIII. What’s exciting is that we still have so much speed to find, come regatta season, we’ll be flying.”
The Novice section of the club competed on the Saturday, their first big race of the year. Ben Rowbotham, from the Novice Men’s 1st VIII, commented that “Despite the conditions, everybody enjoyed the event. Not just for the excitement of racing, but also due to the atmosphere of the club. Everybody is together as one club, which makes for a good environment even in the worst conditions!”.
The conditions were eventually deemed poor enough for the 2nd division to be called off, leaving the Novice Women’s 1st VIII without a chance to race. A huge disappointment considering the 5th place finish at Bristol Head in November. The Novice Men’s 1st VIII came in 12th place, a good result in a 25 mph headwind and choppy conditions.
Overall, it was a successful weekend for both the Club and the University. The addition of full-time coach Richard Tinkler in September 2011 clearly breathing new life into a club that looks set to move from strength to strength over the coming months.
Alumni Secretary Sam Swadling said it was a ‘brilliant’ achievement for the club, and the future looks set to be a good one. The next big event for the club is the Head of the River, over the boat-race course, on the 17th of March.