Reading University took 5 quads up to Nottingham last weekend to battle against the best of the British and hopefully take home the new ‘Non High Performance University’ shield.

Three boys quads were up first. The ‘A’ quad of Olly Dix, Simon Williamson, Franklin Hamilton and James Mackins performed well in the time trial, coming 9th and progressing to the A/B semis. The ‘B’ quad of Rob Mcpherson, Jack Gibson, Bryn Hassan and Chris Dove did very well, 6 seconds behind the A quad they came 16th and progressed to the C/D semi finals. Our third quad put in a solid effort with Chris O’Bryan, Ross Jones, Matt Rogers and Harvey Jacklin coming 27th out of 31. They went on to race next, coming 2nd in the E final after an amazing race, right to the line.

While the top two boys quads were resting for their semi-finals, the girls quads took centre stage with the A quad of Amy Fuller, Lucy Ryan, Lou Grove and Meg Park coming 12th to scrape into the A/B semi’s and the B quad tantalisingly close behind, took 14th with Poppy Durkan, Kit Swales, Vic Norton and Anna Smart racing very well to qualify for the C/D semis.

The next race of the day was the Boys C/D semi with our B quad taking second place in their semi, with four boats battling over three spaces it was the most exciting last 100m of the day! This meant progressing to the C final. For our A quad in the A/B semis it was a quick start, seeing them settle into 3rd place early on in the race. A fast Windsor boys crew took advantage in the dying stages of the race and battled them into 4th place. The boys took defeat well, heading into the B final with a competitive spirit. For the girls B quad, a hard C/D semi had them battling for C final qualification with a strong Nottingham lightweight quad. They crossed the line in second place after a strong row. The A quad had a very competitive line up in their semi-final and crossed the line in 6th position, not as strong qualification as they’d have liked for the B final but plenty to improve on later this afternoon.

The next final of the day was the C final for men’s open quads with Rob Mcpherson, Jack Gibson, Bryn Hassan and Chris Dove racing a strong Newcastle boat right to the line to come 3rd. A very impressive result from our fresher scullers. Our top boys quad were next up in a competitive B final. They had a rapid start, being the first to 500 and just slipping behind at the halfway mark before finding themselves crossing the line in 4th position, taking the university shied. A very creditable race, well done boys.

The girls’ C final was equally tight to the boys’ one with Poppy Durkan, Kit Swales, Vic Norton and Anna Smart battling against Lady Eleanor Holles after a slow start. They stayed strong and crossed the line in second place. The last race of the day was the B final, with Amy Fuller, Lucy Ryan, Lou Grove and Meg Park also off to a slow start but holding their all against the strong opposition. They crossed the line in 4th, winning the University shield and setting a new record in that category, very well done.

Britchamps was the first real taste of racing for our triallists and key members of the squad. It was a great opportunity to test ourselves against the best in Britain and we did ourselves proud with some tight, competitive racing and two university shields to take back home to Reading.