University Of Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham, NG2 5FA

Henley Royal Regatta

Henley Royal Regatta

Last week crews from Nottingham headed south to Henley on Thames to train and race on the world-famous course. Greeted by excellent conditions throughout the time there, the coaches and athletes enjoyed a great week alongside some of the best crews in the world.

The quad, competing in the Prince of Wales Cup was a composite of two UoN athletes, Matt Thoumine and Luca Nicolaou, an athlete from Newcastle University, and the fourth member from Queens Belfast. The formation and training of the crew allowed athletes from each of these squads to represent and gain experience at the top regatta on the calendar, and to build a link between programs to develop them further. Coming together late in the season, and in a tough field, the crew needed to race through the qualifying event the week before the regatta to gain a place. With a strong performance they made it through and were drawn against one of four Reading University quads in the Prince of Wales. With a quick start the composite put in a fight against Reading, eventually knocked out by a respectable margin.

The second crew was a full UoN men’s eight entered in the Temple Challenge Cup. After missing out at the qualifying event last year,the club competed at the MET and Marlow Dorney regattas in a hope to prequalify. Two good performances saw the crew given the nod ahead of the qualifiers, and focus changed to training in Henley to familiarise with the course. This was the first time for most racing at Henley, and Wednesday saw them drawn against local boys, Shiplake College, with the crowd and commentary heavily in their favour, the UoN crew went out to demonstrate their ability and secure a place on the Thursday. After a decent challenge off the starting blocks from Shiplake, the Nottingham eight moved ahead comfortably for the rest of the track to make it the first time since 2006 that UoN had crews through to the Thursday. With a taste for racing down in front of the spectators, cameras, and umpires launch, the crew were next up against Nereus, once of the fastest student clubs in the world. The opposition demonstrated their class off the start taking a length early on and starting to move, ending under two lengths ahead by the enclosures and finish

Still to come this season is EUSA with a men’s lightweight pair looking to defend the university’s title, and a women’s lightweight double heading to Coimbra, Portugal this weekend. A week later the men’s eight travels to Xi’an, China to represent the university and compete at the International Universities Regatta, a culture exchange and forum with other top universities and rowing programs.