Over the May bank holiday weekend, Swansea University Rowing Club made the venture to Nottingham for BUCS Regatta with 36 athletes in attendance. The lake is usually a very difficult course due to susceptibility to strong winds however we were fortunate with blue skies every day and barely a breeze. Some of our rowers found themselves asking for the wind back which we never thought we’d hear! The competition this year was particularly fierce but SURC had some great performances.
The weekend of racing opened with the Senior Women’s Pair. Despite making a last-minute tactical change of sides they put up a strong fight and came 5th in their D final. They were shortly followed by the Novice Men’s Quad who displayed their athletic potential coming 3rd in the C final with only 3 training sessions as a crew. We are excited to see their performance at future races. To round off the day, the Senior Men’s Eight raced narrowly missing out on the AB semi-finals. They didn’t let this dishearten them and raced strong placing 4th in their final.
Sunday saw an exciting day of racing, particularly for our novice crews. The Novice Men’s Eight had a strong clean build in the time trials holding their pace resulting in a well-deserved place in the AB semi-finals. Unfortunately, there was a last-minute injury unrelated to rowing. Impressively the crew took the attitude of “the race must go on” and placed a respectable 6th in the B final. The Novice Women’s Quad also raced narrowly missing out on the AB semi-finals by a second. However, they took the opportunity to show that they deserved to have a seat amongst the top clubs by ranking 1st in their C final. They finished the race with 17 seconds of clear water and are excited to see future successes in their sculling careers. Hope Henry made her debut in the Senior Women’s Single where she PB’d in both her time trial and her final where she placed first. The Senior Men’s Four raced after only 2 sessions training as a crew. They started their E final at 5th off the block. However, with 1km left to go, they increased their power and sailed through the other crews and crossing the finish line 1st. They were pleased with their performance and successful execution of their race plan provided by coach Steven House. The Senior Women’s Captain, Alexis Perkins, commented on their Eight: “We set out to lay down a solid performance in the time trials which was a success, narrowly missing out on the C finals by one position. After leading the race out of the starting blocks of the final, unfortunately, we were unable to hold our position to the finish coming 6th.”
Monday saw another busy day of racing for Swansea University on the hottest day of the weekend. Charlie Kirk made his debut in the beginner’s singles and hopes to have further racing experience in the discipline at Monmouth Regatta. Next up, two pairs from the Senior Men’s squad. Our top pair comprising of current and former Senior Men’s Captain, Ewan Mortlock and Charlie Punter, showed they were the best in their final with an impressive win with a time of 7 minutes 35 seconds. The Senior Women raced a last-minute scratch 4 and went into the E final knowing it was going to be a tough race, especially with long-term rival Cardiff’s A boat in the lane next to them. However, the girls staged an impressive feat coming 1st.
The weekend of racing concluded with an exciting performance from the Senior Men’s Quad with a crew including two previous BUCS medallists. Last year SURC ranked 8th in this category so there were high expectations on the boys racing. The boat was only formed in the week leading up to the regatta, yet they still demonstrated a consistent rhythm across all stages of racing. This clearly had a positive impact in the B final where they came third, beating Cambridge by 5 seconds with a time of 6 minutes 40.3 seconds. It was great to see this section of the squad holding a firm foothold amongst the top performers year on year.
All in all, BUCS Regatta was an enjoyable weekend with racing, revision and fun in the sun. The Friday saw many of our Senior Women seek refuge from the sun in the quiet study rooms whilst on Monday our squads merged for a large game of cricket on the banks of the lake. The Seniors now have their sights set confidently on the Henley races to conclude a successful season and our novices are excited for their graduation into the senior squads.