The University of Birmingham Rowing club were busy last weekend, with squads competing at two different regattas.
The Senior Women’s squad were representing at Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR), with crews entered into a number of events all hoping to qualify for the weekend of racing. First up was the intermediate academic 8+, who had a great race but unfortunately just missed out on qualification by a few seconds. This was a great experience for a development crew, with many positives to take into next year. The intermediate academic 4- performed well in the time trial to qualify for the next round but were very unlucky with the draw and came up against a very strong St Andrews crew. Their opoosition dominated the race but the Birmingham girls had a gutsy row and gave it their all. In the intermediate academic 2x, there was Birmingham representation in a composite crew with Worcester University. This crew showed promise in the time trial and qualified with ease but unfortunately drew a Dutch crew in the first round who went on to win the event. The composite crew put in a great performance and enjoyed the experience of some top quality racing. This is one of the most successful performances at HWR for Birmingham in recent years, with two crews qualifying, a testament to the hard work the girls have been putting into training over the year and to their student coach Sam Dickens.
These were not the only crews with Birmingham representation at HWR 2018. Autumn Mackay (pictured) was in action coxing a GB U23 championship 8+. This crew were dominant throughout the competition, winning all of their races easily up until the final against Yale. Yale put in a gritty performance, but the GB crew were just too strong, winning convincingly with the fastest time of the day on the 1500m course. This is an incredible achievement for Autumn and the whole club are so proud to have seen her represent Birmingham on the podium of Championship 8s at HWR.
Whilst the Women’s squad were competing in Henley, the Men’s squad were at Marlow Regatta on the Olympic Venue, Dorney Lake. Birmingham had multiple crews representing on the day. First up was the academic 8+, who put in a great performance despite a last-minute crew change and a broken footplate to come second in the C final. This race was encouraging for the crew, who are currently training hard in preparation for Henley Royal qualifiers on Friday under the watchful eye of student coach Ben Hyde.
Edward White was also representing Birmingham in the Men’s championship 1x. Edward put in a strong performance at this top level of racing and eventually came 2nd in the C final. Coach Tania Griffin was in good company on the tow path for Edward’s final as he was racing alongside multiple athletes on the GB Start programme. William White was also representing Birmingham in a composite championship 4x. This crew put in a good performance to come 6th in the A final.
All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend of racing for the club. The women’s season is now complete and their results are very encouraging looking ahead to September and beyond. The Men’s squad will be competing at Henley Royal qualifiers this Friday, aiming to qualify for the famous regatta on the Henley stretch, and in July brothers William and Edward White will be heading out to Portugal for the European University Regatta.
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