Two weeks ago, the Newcastle Academic eight stormed to victory beating Oxford University Women’s crew by 1 ¼ lengths in the final at Henley Women’s Regatta 2016. It was a stunning end to an extremely successful weekend for NUBC, with all racing crews progressing to the latter stages of the regatta.
There were 3 boats entered in the regatta: a senior eight, a senior coxed four and an Academic eight. All racing began on Friday, so the crews had a tough three days racing ahead of them before the real finish line was in sight. After some great results at Metropolitan Regatta two weeks’ prior – all boats coming away with wins – the girls went into the regatta in a very strong position.
The senior eight proved this strength straight away by defeating both Norwegian rivals Christiania Roklub and University College Dublin to reach the semi-finals. In the semi on Sunday morning they came up against a fast Imperial crew. Despite a good fight towards the beginning of the race, Imperial’s started to edge away through halfway, and Newcastle lost by 2 lengths.
The senior coxed four also had a good start to their campaign, convincingly beating Tideway Scullers in their first round. In the quarter final they came up against a strong Molesey crew. The girls went out hard and held off Molesey for the first half of the race, but Molesey kicked into another gear and beat Newcastle by 1 ½ lengths.
The Academic eight were the favourites going into the event on Friday after having an incredible season of back to back wins. They stormed the time trial early on Friday morning, and went on to beat Cardiff, Kings College London and Nottingham over the next few days. This earnt them a place in the final, where they met Oxford University Women’s crew, a boat they hadn’t raced all year. With NUBC support all the way down the river bank, the girls raced a fantastic race, getting out ahead off the start and holding their nerve to cross the finish line 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Oxford.
The success over the weekend showcased the strength and depth of the women’s squad this year, and leaves them in a hugely exciting position moving forward into next season.
Written by: Kelsey Stoddart
Photos by: Tony Clarke