This Sunday our senior squads were hosted by Newcastle to race across two divisions at the penultimate BUCS event of the year. With growing gusts the race committee adapted the race course for safety purposes, and division 1 was underway, UoNBC taking to the water with 6 boats. In the intermediate category our developing men's coxed four came away 12th, and quad containing entirely new members to the university pulled a strong 6th. The championship category saw our women's eight take 5th place, and in the worsening conditions the lightweight women's quad, again a crew of just first years took the silver medal, against crews much more experienced than themselves.
The men's squad saw the championship coxless four take 6th place with a rough row in the conditions, made up for by a fantastic display by the lightweight coxless four to do one better than last year and pick up a gold medal. Beating out the lightweight crews on the water, they also performed well enough to beat the heavyweight fours had they been in the same category, truly a great achievement.
The wind picked up for the second division as crews swapped around boats, and with the course unchanged but marshals weary of safety, 5 more boats from UoNBC took to the Tyne. After an unconventional build to the race, the women's intermediate coxed four set the marker with 13th in their category, and we built from there. The coxless for took fourth place, and the lightweight coxless four picked up a silver medal, the second for the crew who had all been in the quad in the morning division. The men's eight, with some last minute changes, put in a strong effort to end 7th in a competitive category, but they were shown again by the lightweights how to do it as the quad collected the last medal of the day for Nottingham with a third place finish in their category.
Unfortunately due to the weather in the week leading up the this event, the race committee cancelled the novice events on Saturday, in place of this they crews still had the opportunity to gain some race experience this year before we head into the summer events. Three eights were entered into the local Nottingham Head of the Trent, where the men came away with a second place finish, and the women's boats placed 7th and 10th in the same category. They have moved on considerably from their first semester and dealt well with the turbulent conditions that were in Nottingham over the weekend.
With our penultimate head race of the season done we move in to a busy time for the club. This month we have match racing with Oxford University Lightweight Boat Club in preparation for their Boat Race in March, the fundraising cycling Henley on the Horizon with the men's squad is running while our women compete at the Women's Head of the River Race in London, then our men head to the Thames two weeks later for their turn in the Head of the River Race against the rest of the clubs across the country. Soon after this we begin our Easter training camp for 3 weeks at the NWSC before BUCS regatta on the May bank holiday.