This past weekend we took two senior eights to WEHORR and HORR. Being such massive races it was a great opportunity to get a good gauge of where we ranked compared to the rest of the country.
It was the girls that kicked it off the weekend, boating out of Thames onto a somewhat 'calm' and sunny Tideway, with a gentle 7 km warm up to follow. Once the race had begun the crew quickly settled into a good rhythm sticking tightly to Jesus College BC ahead of them. Having not been training in the combination long the boat was moving nicely, coping well with the increasingly tough conditions post Hammersmith Bridge. Senior Women's Captain Alexis Perkins told us that 'it was a hard race, especially after Hammersmith (bridge), but you could feel the determination in the boat, and along with the encouragement from (cox) Emily, we just kept pushing harder', and the evidence clearly backed this up with stroke Lucy Swithenbank visibly exhausted on the finish line. Overall, the girls climbed an impressive 35 places, getting them excited about the potential for the next couple of months and also giving them a good marker to push on from to Varsity.
On Sunday it was the boys' turn, having been drawn in division 2 they knew the competition would be fierce but they set out to really prove themselves. The first half of the race went to plan, with the crew nailing the training focuses they'd been working on and putting some hard pressure on the boats around them. The conditions yet again proved tough after Hammersmith Bridge, but the boys felt they dealt with the swirling water well and no time was lost in the volatile conditions. The long, gruelling piece finally paid off when the results arrived, with the boys climbing 10 places to finish an incredible 85th out of nearly 300 crews. This seats them amongst some very established university rowing programs and helps to affirm Swansea as a club to definitely look out for. This experience has filled the boys with confidence for the upcoming regatta season, and I think we're all interested to see what they can do.
Overall, a very promising weekend for SURC indeed, with some great results earned and a couple light beverages also well earned. Our attention now turns to training camp, likely to happen over the Easter break, this will be the last chance for squads to do the final bit of refining before Varsity and BUCS.