The head season finished in style, haircuts aside, with a boat-club record breaking top ten finish at the Men’s Head of the River for Newcastle’s First Eight. After gaining such a decisive win over the competition at BUCS fours and eights head, the first eight was looking to be the strongest Newcastle have had for some time. As such, expectations and excitement were high with the prospect of the clubs best ever performance.
As the crews started to boat, the rain began to pour. Luckily this was not to be prophetic of their performance as a first eight coxed by Ruaridh Macphee, of George Rossiter, Tim Clarke, Ed Ford, Sam Arnot, Alex Leigh, Tom Ford, Chris Morahan and James Reeder set off 45th. Overtaking as they made their way up the course the eight looked strong heading under Hammersmith Bridge. Their final result did not disappoint. Moving up an incredible 38 places from last year, they finished in an impressive seventh place, the best the boat club has ever placed, improving on our previous record by ten places.
The Second Eight, coxed by Charles Barry and stroked as smoothly as he treats the ladies by Nick Buckle, followed by Jasper Holst, Will Sadler, Sam Wilson, Andrew Ronaldson, Liam Rose, Freddie Stuart, and bringing up the rear Matt Smith, also proved their mettle. They improved by seven places on last year’s already impressive result. A third eight had a wonderful outing and managed to reach the finish line. Finally the Novice Men’s Eight dealt with the conditions very well considering it was their first race on the Tideway, finishing in a similar place to last year.
This leaves Newcastle with arguably the strongest Men’s squad in the country at present and with BUCS regatta just around the corner there looks set to be an NUBC domination of the medal podium.