WHAT A CRACKING START TO THE YEAR!
Last weekend saw the Senior crews racing down the Gloucester Sharpness Canal for the Gloucester Autumn Head Race. With no wind and the sun shining it was the perfect setting for the Senior squads to kickstart the head racing season.
The first Swansea boat down in the morning
division was the Senior Women's 4+ entered into the short course (1750). Stroked by Georgia Halliday who put down a strong rhythm, the crew claimed a convincing win by 34 seconds. Victoria Smith the cox steered the course fantastically for the girls as they chased down the other crews. Katie Hopkins said "everything we have been working towards in training seemed to all come together for the race, it was great to get a medal and has really got us excited for the year." A strong performance which the other Swansea crews looked to repeat. Once the short course was completed the crews in the mornings long course division were sent down the canal. First came the Senior Women's 8+. They stormed down the course, taking every meter of the 5000 in their stride. The 8+ attacked early on, holding a rate of 32 spm throughout the race. The first 3km saw them close in on the Cardiff University 8+ before alumni cox Emily Hilliar called the crew to breeze past the Cardiff 8+. The girls brought it home with a win in 19 minutes and 21 seconds, a huge 1 minutes 11 seconds over the second place Cardiff University. Looks like all those early morning ergs are paying off! Shortly after the first of the Senior Men's crews flew down the canal. A 4+ containing all new members to the Senior Men's squad who were getting their first taste of senior university rowing. The boys put in a big shift down the now very congested canal and managed to come home with a 3rd place finish in a time of 21 minutes and 3 seconds. A great stepping stone for the boys to hopefully propel them into the top 8+.
The last of the crews to race was the Senior Men's 8+. After the cancellation of Cardiff Head the men didn't want to let this opportunity to put in a big piece slip away. With a very short build to the start the boys fell into a comfortable rhythm and looked to chase down the two 8+'s ahead of them. It wasn't long before the men slipped past Bristol Ariel and Alys Williams the cox had her eyes on the Cardiff University Women's 8+ who'd started first. With Cardiff unwilling to move over the Swansea boys had to fight their way past, and a successful blade clash was won. Now with clear water ahead of them the 8+ pushed on through the glassy water. Cheered on by the rest of the club and some alumni on the bank, they took the win and the fastest time of the day completing the course in 17:59.8!
It was awesome day in Gloucester for the club, taking home wins in 3 of the 4 boat classes we entered. Both squads have really been pushing themselves in training recently and it's great to see such amazing performances. Hopefully both squads can push on from this and get some big results at the Welsh Indoor Rowing Championships and the famous UBBC Head.