British University rowing regatta gets bigger

10/05/2013 - 15:00:00

Europe’s biggest university rowing regatta just got even bigger.

The number of entries for the BUCS Rowing Regatta has nearly hit the 1,000 mark. The British Universities & College Sports rowing regatta, held in Nottingham, Great Britain has been growing every year and this year the entries came from 70 universities.
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Perhaps boosted by the British results at the London Olympic Games, the biggest increase in entries was amongst the beginner and intermediate women’s crews.

“We certainly saw huge increases in numbers of (first year) students wanting to register with University Boat Clubs in October 2012 and perhaps it is those new members who are now coming through and taking part in events such as the regatta,” says BUCS rowing group chair Fiona Rennie.

The number of beginner crew entries was 237 which Rennie estimates at about 1000 rowers – nearly half of the number of rowers competing at the regatta. This equates to “about 1000 students who hadn’t been in a boat to row before last September”, Rennie explains.

There is a maximum number of entries that the regatta can handle and Rennie says they are not far off that number under the current regatta model. “It would be relatively easy to keep extending the event and adding more numbers - but we don't want to see crews just doing time trials and not getting a side by side racing experience. We want to give crews who do enter a quality experience.”
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This year, for the first time, racing began with a time trial. The reason for this was threefold; to improve the experience for the rowers, act as a precaution in case the weather made the water unrowable for the finals and help in the seeding process for the finals.    

Wind and rain faced competitors for time trials on day the first day of racing. It then improved over the next two days with sunny, fresh conditions on the final day.

One of the highlight races was the women’s championships eights race with the two boats that raced in the Henley Boat Races in March, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, meeting again. Two months ago Oxford won and at Nottingham they did it again, but with a much smaller margin – just half a second ahead of Cambridge. Newcastle University was third.  
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Newcastle then got their turn by winning the men’s championship eights for a third year running.

This regatta counts as a selection regatta for the EUSA Rowing Championships in Poland in September. Newcastle’s win in the men’s eight earned them their ticket to the Championships.

London Olympian (from the British women’s quad), Melanie Wilson won the women’s single sculls. Wilson was also part of the Imperial College crew that took gold in the championships quadruple sculls.  

The overall winner was Durham University buoyed by them winning five out of the seven men’s championship events.  This earned Durham the Victor Ludorum Trophy for the tenth time at this event.  Imperial was second overall.

For full results click here.