University Of Nottingham Boat Club, Nottingham, NG2 5FA

Head of The River Race

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Head of The River Race

Temperatures rising, clocks moving forward, spring has sprung, and the head season has now come to a close.

After the late cancellation of women’s head of the river, eyes were on this weekend’s weather to see if the men’s event would go ahead. The weather delivered, with the club arriving in London to warm sunshine and an incredibly still Thames compared to the normal conditions for the March head races. 

Running the reverse of The Boat Race course, Nottingham had five crews racing over the divisions, and left with a positive set of results under the belt before the regatta season kicks off.

In their third race since taking up the sport in September, the novice men’s eight demonstrated the improvements they’re making. Being set off near the back of the crews at 288, the boys pieced together the longest race they’ve faced, more than twice as long as the novice BUCS head course, and put in a time that saw them climb up to 217. This substantial jump put a good number of crews behind them and should give them confidence for the rest of their novice season.

The lightweights again faced stiff competition from the Newcastle crew whose sharpness netted them 24th place overall. Coming together from their work in smaller boats, the men found some rhythm down the course and placed a neat 60th, close to last years finish, showing some potential to work on for later this year.

The heavyweights split into two boats with it’s continued growth in depth. The intermediate boat dealt with last minute illness in the crew and responded positively to go out hard, and throw in an impressive build at the end for an 85th place finish. The senior boat came into the race looking to get more experience together as a crew on the water. Chasing local rivals Nottingham RC right from the start, there was a message to send. After a short battle for the racing line and cleaner water, they overtook NRC reasonably early on, and gave themselves room to settle into a good rhythm down the rest of the course, benefiting from the space and sight of rival’s behind them, the crew came away with a solid 31st place. This is the highest finish for the club in over 15 years, and another marker laid to move on from next year.

In response to the cancellation of the women’s event earlier this month, the HoRR organisers invited a division of women’s crews to race. Our senior women’s eight put on a display with this late change in training plans, and came away with a fourth place finish to wrap up the day. Commendable for their time together and promising for the next events.

The results together this year sees the club place three crews in the top 100, another step on and a respectable performance from a club of this size. Four years ago our senior boat started 196th. This year our senior boat finished 31st.

I’d also like to note how great it is to see so many strong performances coming from a growing list of alumni continuing their rowing since leaving UoNBC. Racing out of clubs such as Molesey, TSS, and Imperial, they’ve shown how students can continue in the sport after university and achieve results at the national level.

UoNBC A (Senior)31
UoNBC B (Lwt)60
UoNBC C (Inter)85
UoNBC D (Novice)217
UoNBC A-w (Women)4