Last weekend, the NUBC women’s squad travelled down to London for a weekend of racing on the Tideway for Women’s Eights Head of the River and a fixture against Oxford University Women’s Boat Club. The women were treated to excellent racing conditions on the Saturday for WEHORR, in which the Novice 8 topped the table and finished in first position by a large margin, winning the pennant for the second year in a row. The following day the first and second 8s took to the water again, this time with less favourable conditions, to battle it out with Oxford up the Championship Boat Race course.
NUBC had 4 eights racing WEHORR – 1st eight racing in Senior University, 2nd and 3rd eights in Intermediate, and the Novice eight in Novice Academic. Three boats finished in the top 55, with the 3rd eight finishing further behind after struggling with some boat issues throughout the race. The Novice eight not only won the Novice Academic pennant but were the fastest novice crew (Club and Academic) by a large margin. The same pennant was won by NUBC last year as well showing the continual strength and depth of the club, year upon year. Despite disappointing finishes on Saturday from the 1st and 2nd eights, they stepped up to the mark the next day and produced some excellent results against OUWBC.
The Oxford fixture included two pieces up the Boat Race course, the first from the Start to the Dove Marina (3km) and the second from Chiswick Pier to the Finish (1.8km), with the 1st 8 racing the Blue Boat and the 2nd 8 racing the Reserve Boat. The Blue Boat races were first and NUBC began strong, holding OUWBC for the start of the first piece. OUWBC then started to move through, finishing at Dove Marina a few lengths up on NUBC. For the second piece, NUBC went out the blocks hard and fast, gaining the early advantage over OUWBC and moved into the lead by 1-2 lengths. OUWBC then slowly began to reel them in, ending the piece with a very close finish and OUWBC just taking the win by a canvas. Now it was the Reserve Boat’s turn, in which NUBC flew out of the start and immediately took control of the piece. The girls remained calm and composed, continuing to lead OUWBC and finished the piece ahead by just over a length. In the second piece NUBC attacked the start again, however OUWBC found a stronger rhythm and gained and early advantage. The girls put up a strong fight until the end of the piece but OUWBC maintained their lead of ¾ of a length across the line.
Overall the weekend was a success, with an excellent result on Saturday from the Novice 8, a valiant row from the 3rd 8 despite a technical issue and then a huge step up from the 1st and 2nd eights on Sunday, producing some incredible racing and promising results. Now the girls turn their attention to BUCS regatta in just over a month and GB trials, with all crews hitting training hard and keen to build on their Tideway performances this weekend.
Newcastle University A (Senior University) 15th
Newcastle University B (Intermediate) 26th
Newcastle University D (Novice Academic) 51st
Newcastle University C (Intermediate) 101st
Written by Kelsey Stoddart