There were medals galore on the banks of Newburn after an extremely successful BUCS Head. The support from the home crowd aided Newcastle in winning 10 medals in total, finishing 1st in both men’s & women’s intermediate 8s and taking the men’s Victor Ludorum.
NUBC co-hosted the annual BUCS 4s and 8s Head race on the River Tyne, where over 40 universities raced across multiple different events. Unfortunately, after storm Doris’s best efforts the racing on Saturday was cancelled due to very high wind speeds and unsafe conditions, resulting in no novice racing. Conditions on Sunday were set to be a little more forgiving, and with racing from more experienced rowers in Intermediate and Championship events, the second day went ahead as planned. NUBC fielded 20 crews on Sunday making us one of the largest universities who raced as well as most successful, finishing off the day with 2 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze medals.
The day began with clear skies and flat water, perfect conditions for the men’s 4s and women’s 8s racing in Division 1. First down the course were the men’s champ quads, where Newcastle raced brilliantly against top crews such as Edinburgh and Imperial, and finished in third place above all-sculling university, Reading. The men’s champ coxed and coxless fours followed in which Newcastle brought home another two medals, this time a bronze and silver. Not to be left out, the men’s lightweight four stormed down the course to finish in third, which is very promising for a young crew. The last of the men’s racing saw the intermediate quad pick up a bronze medal and the intermediate 4+ finish fifth.
Next up were the women’s 8s in which Newcastle had three boats competing; 1 champ and 2 intermediate. In a tough field of competition, the Newcastle champ 8 finished third and only 9 seconds behind winners UL. This was a very promising result for the girls considering the inconsistency of their preparation due to various injuries within the crew. The intermediate 8s were down next with Newcastle A leading the pack after winning the event last year. The girls emulated this result by finishing 13 seconds ahead of second place, taking the gold in style and continuing the tradition of Newcastle BUCS inter 8 success.
As the day went on, the wind started to pick up and the water got a little rougher, however this was no trouble for the Newcastle crews who were very prepared for these sorts of conditions. In division 2 it was time for the men to jump into 8s & the women 4s, and with this morning’s success fresh in their minds the athletes were eager to get back out racing. First up was the men’s champ 8 who were competing in an extremely strong field against the likes of Edinburgh, UL and Imperial. Unfortunately, the 8 just missed out on third place by a few seconds and finished fourth behind the crews listed above. There were three intermediate 8s who followed, including one eight of lightweights, in which Newcastle A won the event beating a strong UL crew.
The women’s champ quad narrowly missed out on a medal in an extremely competitive field, finishing fourth, and the intermediate quad finished sixth. The lightweight women’s four, however, went on to win a bronze medal, a brilliant result considering the difficulties they encountered mid race. Of the three womens intermediate coxed fours, Newcastle A finished 2nd in a huge field of 42 boats, gaining the tenth and final medal of the day for NUBC.
The weekend exemplifies the huge strength and depth the club possesses, and provides an excellent base to step on from as we begin the final preparations for the eights heads on the tideway.
Written by Kelsey Stoddart
Photos by James Waller