Wallingford 4s and 8s Head
A chilly weekend of training and racing for UoNBC, flurries of snow on Saturday reminded crews we’re heading right into the heart of the winter training phase of our season. Loaded up, 10 crews headed south to race at Wallingford Head, training grounds for the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, with the windy 4.5km course beckoning for our coxswains and steersmen.
The first division got underway with medals up for grabs from the off. Setting off early in the pack, the heavyweight men’s 8s lay down the mark in the U23 open eights category, chasing down Bristol University looking for the overlap, finishing up with a credible 3rd place behind two strong Oxford Brookes crews. Not far behind, two Nottingham lightweight 4s battled it out down the course around their competitors, with the challenge the whole way pushing them on, the crew of second and first years, Matt, James, Tom, and Luca took the title for band 2 open 4s. The standout of the division were the heavyweight women’s 4-, after a difficult week with boat trouble, they stormed to a win in the U23 group, giving the crews in the afternoon division something to push off when their turn came,
With a delayed boating, the remaining crews took to the water for division 2, combining into an 8 the lightweights now worked together to take on band 4 open 8s, with little time together they took every advantage they could, claiming a close second at the end of the day. Also on the water for the men, the recently assembled intermediate 8 had their first race of the year, showing huge leaps in their ability as they picked up invaluable experience at a good competition, picking up second place in their category too. The women’s 8 rounded it off with a solid finish against a selection of crews they will compete against multiple times over the remainder of the year.
Our Lead Coach John McKirdy commented “Once again the senior squad of UoNBC produced some great results, despite injuries and illness, causing many last minute changes to racing crews. This proves to the athletes and coaches that we can look forward to the coming Head season”
Our Lead Men’s Coach Tim Brearley added “Despite most of the crews having to make last minute changes, they all produced great results against strong competition, demonstrating the depth of men’s squad and resilience of the individuals”
Wallingford marks the end of the clubs racing calendar for 2017, now shifting into the bulk of winter training as we head to Christmas camp at the end of term, selecting and developing crews that will look to race at BUCS head hosted in Newcastle in February.