The weekend began on Saturday with Rutherford Head, at which NUBC had an absolute stormer, winning SEN 8+, IM2 8+, W E4-, W E4+, E4-, E4+, IM2 4-, WE8+ and NOV4+. These are an incredible set of results, proving once again that we have one of the most successful programmes in the country.
The interlude between divisions was filled most fittingly, with a boat naming ceremony for the two brand new Hudsons, the 1st VIII and IV for the men. The 1st VIII was named after Rob Whitaker, an alumni who has given an unequalled amount of time and support to the club. The IV was named after Hannah Palmer, also an alumni, who in her time at Newcastle vastly exceeded the expected commitment and dedicated a lot of her time to coaching the novices, never an easy job.
After the last boat had been put away, and Brad’s new bacon fryer had been packed up, the squad piled back into their cars and raced off home to shower and shave, ready for the Jim London Memorial Dinner.
Jim London was an enthusiastic and much-loved member of the boat club, and this annual dinner is a celebration of his life which was tragically lost whilst he was at University. So it was most fitting that our guest speaker was Rob Whitaker, who rowed with Jim in his time at NUBC. He made a wonderful speech, detailing the best and worst times he has had in the Boat Club, and also outed a few ‘secret’ intra-NUBC relationships, much to their disbelief.
There was also the Jim London award, given to a member of the Boat Club who has really gone above and beyond their necessary duties, for no other reason than love of the club. This year it was awarded to Mike Hughes, an alumni who learnt to row at the club, and then spent some time coaching after he graduated. He then returned in 2010, and since then has not only coached the Senior and Novice Women (whom he took to new highs such as winning a pennant at the Women’s Head of The River in 2011), he has worked tirelessly to organise, support and promote the club, and we would not be where we are today without him. Sadly for us, he is leaving NUBC this month to take up his new position as Head of Performance Rowing for Aberdeen and Robert Gordon Universities. Huge congratulations for this incredible opportunity, and thank-you once again for all your help!
The night continued with plenty of jaegerbombs, dad-dancing and general bad behaviour, although the participants of the latter should be congratulated on the fact that for the first time ever, the damage deposit has been returned. Much of the current NUBC student body took full advantage of the fact that Sunday was the first day off any of them could remember, and were last seen making their way through Bigg Market at 4am.
So a huge thank-you to the Social Secretaries, Harriet Broad and Izzy Vyvyan, who did an incredible job of organising the entire night which went without a hitch, and also to Tim Clarke, Andy Hatzis, George Rossiter and Mike Hughes, who made a huge contribution to the success of the evening. Another thank-you to all alumni who came to Rutherford to support our victorious crews, and also who made the dinner so much more enjoyable with their tales of their time at NUBC. We only hope that in a few years our stories can equal yours!