Reading University Boat Club

Focused on sculling, focused on success, focused on you.

BUCS regatta 2017

After a ground breaking 2016, with Reading University Boat Club finishing 2nd overall on the BUCS league table, we knew 2017 would be a challenge. With a hard winter’s training behind us and a really successful training camp, we took to the water on Saturday morning full of anticipation for the next few days but also worried as the competition was higher than it had been in a long time.

Saturday #GibboIsOurKing

First up on Saturday morning were our lightweight singles. Jack Gibson and Ross Jones in the Intermediate Lightweight singles and Franklin Hamilton in the Champ category. All our skinny boys raced well, with the intermediate boys coming 5th and 11th (so both qualifying for the A/B semi’s) and Frank coming an impressive 4th so also qualifying for the semi-finals. Up next were the beginner girls who put in brave performances. Hettie Horler came 17th, seeing her progress directly to the C final and Sophie Bullock came 32nd, moving to the F final.

Next up Bryn Hassan and Chris O’Bryan contested the men’s intermediate singles, and event we achieved an impressive 1, 2 in last year so the boys definitely felt the pressure. Bryn came an impressive 8th in the time trial, progressing to the A/B semis but Chris came away with 16th, moving to the C final later. Olly Dix raced well in the tough champ category and following in Frank’s footsteps, also came an impressive fourth in the time trial.

For our lightweight girls Amy Fuller and Victoria Norton, a very tough field saw them coming 7th in the time trial so able to contest for a place in the A final later on in the day.

We then had some quads in action, the men’s beginner quad raced well, looking to continue their success from last year and Harry Hannan, Angus Abbott, Scott Somerville and Dan Gregory managed a solid 5th in the time trial. Then we had three women’s quads with the top Intermediate quad of Anna Smart, Amy Fuller, Katy Ratcliffe and Gina Tarpey also looking to defend a title against some very fast crews. They had a solid time trial, coming third but with only 2 seconds across the board from 1st to 5th it looked like it was anyone’s to play for later on in the day. The second intermediate women’s boat of Beatrice Roe, Kit Swales, Molly Regan and Helen Such missed out on the A/B semi’s by 0.9 of a second after a sterling race and the champ quad of Poppy Durkan, Lucy Ryan, Louretta Grove and Meg Park raced some very fast crews in their race for lanes, moving directly to the A final later on in the day.

The time trials of the morning had only just calmed down when our lightweight singles took to the water again, both Jack Gibson and Franklin Hamilton secured places in their respective A finals, with Ross Jones suffering from some technical difficulties and progressing to the B final. A similar fate met Bryn Hassan in the intermediate open weight single but Olly Dix raced very well, securing his place nicely in the A final of the championship singles. Amy Fuller and Victoria Norton put in a good race but unfortunately did not progress to their final after being led by some very competitive crews.

A positive result came from the boy’s beginner quad who came second in their semi-final, putting them in a really good place moving forwards into the A final later in the day. Reading’s intermediate girls’ quad also came second in their semi-final to a fast University of London crew.Gibbo

Sophie Bullock took to the water for our first final of the day. She raced well, coming fourth. Followed by Hettie in the C final who came second. No doubt the girls will use these results to power them through the rest of the season especially when making the step up into the senior squad.

Chris O’Bryan was next up, contesting the C final but came across the line in 6th, a tough race by him. The girl’s 3rd quad also had a go at the C final but turned Chris’ result around by winning it by over a second from Southampton.

Ross Jones then came a solid 5th in the B final of the lightweight intermediate sculls, warming up to our first medal race of the day. In the A final, Jack Gibson had a solid start but trailed a little going through the 100M marker, however, the field was still very close as he moved into third place with 500 metres to go before finding an incredible burst of speed and winning himself (and RUBC’S first) silver medal. A very well done to Jack.

Beginner 4x menThis was then followed by Franklin, looking very composed and posting a very competitive time in the lightweight championship event, he finished an impressive 5th and will definitely have his eyes on a medal this time next year.

Bryn Hassan then came 5th in the B final of the men’s inter singles before Olly Dix had a great race in the Championship category, missing out on a medal by 3 seconds but that 4th place at BUCS isn’t always as sour as it used to be!

While we were still celebrating Gibbo’s success from earlier, the novice boys put in a very well executed race, holding the bronze medal position all the way and pushing for silver. They will have been ecstatic with their first BUCS bronze medal, very well done boys.

The Girl’s intermediate quad knew it was going to be a ‘hospital race’ to try and grasp a highly sought after BUCS medal and put in a strong start, chasing down Edinburgh for bronze. They crossed the half way line in third but pushes from Oxford Brookes and Edinburgh in the second 1000m saw Reading pushed out of the battle and finishing 5th, a very disappointing result.

A similar race was anticipated for the girl’s championship quad with a slightly more literal ending. They were 3rd through the 500 marker and battled a strong Newcastle crew stroke for stroke down the course, finishing just over a second down on them and out of the medals and also calling for an ambulance.

It was a mixed first day with some very pleasant results but a lot of disappointment. With BUCS only a third complete though there was plenty to push us on.


For the girls, Sunday = singles day. We got to the lake abominably early to see tents and railings blown over by gale-force winds and wondering when was a good time to scratch our singles. Fortunately, the wind dropped throughout the day meaning, fast conditions but messy hair.

First up were the lightweight girls, Katy Ratcliffe and Anna Smart (Last year’s silver medallist) contested the intermediate event and Amy Fuller and Victoria Norton set out to race in the championship category. Anna and Katy put in solid time trial efforts, qualifying for the A/B semis in 5th and 6th respectively. Amy had a good race in a very hard field and looked forward to contest the semi-finals later. Vic struggled a lot in the wind so made the brave decision to pull out and concentrate on the quad event the following day.

Before the open-weight girls took to the water, we had two beginner girls’ quads in action. The top quad of Alicia Pears, Sophie Bullock, Hettie Horler and Ellen Smith put in a solid race, coming 7th in the time trial so will be pushing for an A final spot later on in the day and Claire Hesketh, Saira Syed, Katherine MacPherson and Freya Corey let the conditions get the better of them, qualifying in 17th for the C final.

Next up was fresher Lucy Ryan, racing well in the time trial of the intermediate singles and qualifying for the A/B semi’s in 8th, then Louretta Grove took her single to the water for the first time since final trials and also came 8th in the time trial. Both will be looking to step up later and secure their A final spots.

Enough of the girls because we had six boys doubles in action. Matt Rogers and Lawrence O’Connor and Ollie Irwin and Chris O’Bryan raced in the intermediate category and both qualified for the A/B semis. Olly Dix and Rob McPherson came a strong 3rd in the time trial of the championship double and we then had three strong lightweight doubles with last year’s bronze medallists Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton, Chris Dove and Jack Gibson and Ross Jones and Johannes De Jong all racing well and finishing in 2nd, 5th and 7th positions, ready to race for A final positions later.

Securing RUBC’s first A final place was Anna Smart who finished third in her semi-final in the intermediate lightweight singles. Katy Ratcliffe was just behind her, also qualifying in third. Amy fuller held onto third until just after half way before being forced into fourth position after some very strong racing. The same fate hit the women’s beginner quad who were edged out of the 3rd qualifying spot by a strong boat from De Montfort University. It was fourth place again for Lucy Ryan in her semi-final and then again for Louretta Grove, it was starting to feel like a curse. Both Lucy and the beginner’s quad will go on to race in B finals.

On the boys side, things were looking a little more positive, with the 2nd intermediate boys double struggling to cross the line in 5th, in the second semi-final Matt Rogers and Lawrence O’Connor qualified in 2nd for the A final, very well done to them.

But the curse of fourth place reared its head again with two out of three of our lightweight doubles, missing out on the A final by one place. In their semi-final Chris Dove and Jack Gibson held 2nd till the 1500 before strong crews from London and Oxford Brookes rowed through them. In the other semi-final, Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton help a comfortable second the whole way down, with Ross Jones and Johannes De Jong fighting for that third spot with a strong duo from Bath. They also finished in fourth.

Reading’s second girl’s beginner’s boat came fourth in the C final but that was the only minor final entry we had and as we moved on through the afternoon, trying to forget about those fourth place finishes, things were looking up.a and Katy found themselves behind off the start before Katy found some speed in the 3rd 500 and was able to move from 6th to 4th position, battling for bronze and clinching it on the line, Anna finishing a few seconds behind her having raced very well. With RUBC’s first medal of the day and a first medal for our women’s squad, we moved into the boys events, very excited.

Our beginner women took their fourth place semi-final result to heart and found some real speed, winning their B final by 15 seconds, proving to everyone what B finals are all about, very impressive girls. We then had Lucy Ryan coming 2nd in her B final, looking very composed and well-paced but unfortunately another fourth place in the B final of the intermediate doubles for Chris and Ollie followed by an almost as disappointing result by Matt and Lawrence in the A final who battled hard at the start before dropping off in the finishing stages of the race.

Another fourth came from Olly and Rob in the competitive champ double before a real battle for medals between our top lightweight double and Queen’s Belfast. Reading came away with the bronze after a very tight race, adding to our earlier medal, very well done.


We came to the lake on Monday morning to learn that our lightweight girls’ quad would only be allowed to race for time only due to some rule infringements. This also affected the boys, some of whom would have been racing in lightweight and intermediate events and meant that there would be some scratch crews in action later today.

Both lightweight boys quad could still race and Chris Dove, Simon Williamson, Rob McPherson and Franklin Hamilton and Ross Jones, Matt Rogers, Johannes De Jong and Jack Gibson both put in well paced efforts to qualify for the A/B semi-finals. It was then a quick turn-around for Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton who race alongside Olly Dix and Luke Reiser in the championship quad, later in the day.

Next up were Scott Somerville and Dan Gregory in the beginner singles. Both did well coming 7th and 9th in the time trial before the lightweight girls of Katy Ratcliffe, Amy Fuller, Anna Smart and Victoria Norton gave it their all in their time trial, not knowing if they would be racing again or not. In a very tough field they came 5th and were told they would be permitted to race in a semi-final.

Reading’s brand new combination of Ollie Irwin, Bryn Hassan, Harvey Jacklin and Lawrence O’Connor had a strong time trial, coming 3rd the championship quad also raced well, winning their time trial but in a small field, plenty of tactics would have been played. In the girls’ doubles, Poppy Durkan and Meg Park and Beatrice Roe and Kit Swales qualified in 4th and 5th place and in the championship double category, Louretta Grove and Lucy Ryan also qualified a competitive third. Many crews moved into the semi-finals excited to prove themselves and qualify for medal-finals.

In our first semi-final of the day Franklin and Simon were fresh from their champ quad time trial and ready to secure a place in the A final alongside Chris and Rob. They held of attacks from Reading’s second lightweight quad the whole way down the course and qualified as fastest boat going into the final later, with the second lightweight boat coming second.

Tragedy struck in the beginner singles, first with Scott Somerville having the curse of fourth place from the day before, but also with Dan Gregory, sculling his way to a place in the A final but toppling in just before the line! He was gutted and rightly so but bravely went on to race the B final with Scott later on.

Despite a solid race and a good qualification into the final, the lightweight girls were later informed they would not be permitted to race it and instead would progress to a rare championship B final with Newcastle and Oxford Brookes who were also responsible for some rule infringement.

For the boys quads and girls doubles however, there were still medal chances up for grabs. The intermediate boy’s quad finished second in their semi-final and the two intermediate reading doubles found themselves battling it out in the same semi-final but managing to take both qualifying spots after Edinburgh. A real surprise result came from Lucy and Lou, leading the field and taking the win in the semi-final of the championship women’s double ahead of Olympian Polly Swan who was racing for Edinburgh. A really impressive performance from the two young scullers, one they hoped to replicate later on in the day.

From the first A final of the day came our best result of the weekend: A win in the lightweight men’s quad. The boys did it in style and lead from start to finish, winning by clear water. The second boat battled for bronze the entire way but finished in fourth, still a very impressive result.

Next up was the B final of the beginner singles, with a real inter-club battle going on between Dan and Scott, with Scott taking third place and a win over Dan by 0.9 seconds in the end, no doubt the boys will use this race experience moving forwards into summer regattas.

It was only Reading and Newcastle who turned up to the start of their B final in the women’s light quads but despite some banter at the start, Reading put in a strong race, sticking to their plan and moving away from Newcastle to win by 16 seconds.

We then had another possible medal race with the intermediate boy’s quad. Unfortunately, strong middle K’s from UWE and Newcastle meant that Reading’s finishing sprint fell just 0.15 seconds short of a medal.

Reading landed the other side of the 3rd/4th line in the next race, with the boy’s champ quad winning bronze by a considerable margin, a very impressive result.

With our most successful day of the regatta drawing to a close, we had two more chances to win medals, in the intermediate doubles where Poppy Durkan managed to sneak a bronze last year, it was a tough battle but her and Meg Park lost out on the line to a strong combination from Durham.

In the Championship event it was a different story, a very exciting final saw Reading leading to the 1500 metre mark, with all six crews within 6 seconds of each other. A huge surge from Loughborough saw then take the gold and London pinched silver on the line, still leaving a very impressive championship bronze in the hands of Lucy and Lou, a fantastic end to the day.

We left Holme Pierrepont with a mixture of success and dissatisfaction, there were some exciting and unexpected medals but some clear disappointment within our ranks. The competition had definitely seen our success over the past few years and come at us with all guns blazing. It will be important now for us to use our successes and defeats to drive us onwards into the summer regattas with women’s Henley, Marlow and Henley royal our new focus before EUSA regatta where record numbers of RUBC members will be competing.

A special mention has to go to President Simon Williamson for winning three championship medals in his last BUCS regatta after four years at the club and to the intermediate boys quad of Ollie Irwin, Bryn Hassan, Harvey Jacklin and Lawrence O’Connor who only having rowed together for the first time in the time trial that morning, came only a second off a medal-winning time.


Lwt4x medals

KatyLou LucyChamp 4xSimon_Frank

Big day for Boat Club

4th March 2017 was a big day for Reading University Boat Club.

Preparation had started weeks ago for our annual head of the river race and annual dinner that took place in the evening but as members of RUBC arrived bright and early at our club, based in Caversham, things began to really take shape.

Trailers from all over the country had been arriving the evening before and more started to arrive as the morning pressed on and marshals set up position and laid buoys over the course which stretched over 4.6 kilometres downstream from the Roebuck hotel to just outside RUBC. Due to it’s timing, two weeks prior to eights head in London, our race attracted some of the country’s top crews such as Oxford Brookes and Leander as well as some competitive senior and junior quads such as Headington and Windsor Boy’s school. It was an exciting event to be part of and due to the calibre of those racing and proved a great opportunity for our seniors to prove themselves and our novices to enjoy their first racing experience.

Boating for the first division began at 9am and while most members of RUBC were on registration and setting up refreshments and cake stalls inside, we had seven crews boating for division one at 10.30 AM.  There were four boats entered into the IM24X which was a pretty loaded category. Current RUBC members Ross Jones, Jack Gibson, Chris Dove and Bryn Hassan raced well, coming fourth against some top competition and beating the ‘old boys’ or alumni quad of Vince DeLuca, Corey McDowell, Rob Johnston and James Robinson into 8th position and the 2nd quad of Johannes De Jong, Nikolas Gavrias, Chris O’Bryan and Ollie Irwin into 9th place and our top novice boys quad of Ben Nurse, Angus Abbott, Scott Somerville and Dan Gregory had a great first race with plenty of support from the rest of the club. Also racing in the first division was the IM1 alumni girls quad of Ally Brooks, Jenny Spencer, Rose Wiloughby and Midia Hadjixenofontos who boasted a decent time despite no opposition. It was the first race for our novice girls quad of Alicia Pears, Hettie Horler, Sophie Bullock and Ellen Smith who joined Amber Mayall, Helen Such, Molly Regan and Issy Heighton in a WIM34x event full of competition including a fast Oxford Brookes boat who took the win.

John Kerry and Christiana

John Kerry and Christiana

The first division cheered on by a special guest as we were joined on the river bank by the former US Secretary of State, John Kerry. He seemed impressed by the day and took time out to speak to the students and alumni.

After some good racing in the morning which saw Oxford Brookes take the Elite 8’s win over Leander and Radley College (Now coached by former RUBC athlete and coach Sam Townsend) took the win in the junior eights and Star and Arrow in the Junior quads.

Mad8 2017

The alumni crew “Mad8″ raised over £5,000 for RUBC – AMAZING!!

The afternoon division began boating at 1pm after some members of RUBC served the marshals lunch in the canoe club looking over the river and plenty of tea, coffee and cake was sold in the club house. We had six boats in this division as well as the ‘Mad 8’ a group of 9 ex-university rowers who. After 40 years abstinence from the sport, set up a JustGiving page to raise money for the University boat club and help get them down the course. They raced under Ortner Boat Club and came 2nd in the Masters F category. From the oldest to the very newest, it was the first race for more of our novice girls in the WIM24X category. Claire Hesketh, Katherine MacPherson, Maddie East and Freya Cory raced well against a quick Borlase crew and the senior girls Kit Swales, Beatrice Roe, Victoria Norton and Katy Ratcliffe who took the win in that category. Anna Smart, Amy Fuller, Lou Grove and Lucy Ryan had a really good row in the Elite quads category, holding off Reading Rowing Club’s top women’s quad for most of the course. On the boy’s side, two boats were entered into IM34x. Harvey Jacklin, Sam Palmer, Laurence O’ Connor and Rob Mcpherson took the win by nearly 30 seconds and for the novice boys of Harry Hannam, Daniel Adkin, Vincent Moulton and Liam Bates (also in the same category) it was a decent first race as well. Reading University’s top boys quad won the IM14X category against a strong Reading Rowing Club boat and took home our third win of the day, very well done to them.

As well as our crews that won there was some strong racing across the board from our elite women to our novice scullers who put the disappointment of last weekend’s cancellations behind them and really enjoyed their first racing experience.

All members of RUBC worked well in the lead up to and on the day of the event and it was great to see just how much everyone contributed to such a successful day, from collecting launches from Pangbourne, to baking cakes and handing out medals all before rushing off to quickly change out of our lycra in time for the annual dinner.

The RUBC formal takes place following on from our head race every year. It is held in Park House on the University Campus and this year was exceptionally special due to the numbers of alumni that returned. Social Secretary Anna Smart said ‘Thanks to everyone who came. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that it was great to have students and alumni from the past 50 years in one room together.’

As well as reconnecting with our previous captains and members from years back, there were several teary speeches and some awards given out too. Olly Dix, men’s captain, was awarded ‘Man of the year’ and ‘woman of the year’ went to Lucy Ryan. ‘Most improved’ went to Amber Mayall on the girls’ side and Sam Palmer for the boys. Scott Somerville won ‘Novice of the year’ and Bryn Hassan won ‘Most committed.’ ‘Team-mate of the year’ was awarded to Jack Gibson and The ‘Positivity’ award went to Chris O’Bryan with Meg Park winning the ‘Ambassador’ award. It was a very well organised night with special thanks going to Social Sec’s Amber Mayall and Anna Smart, President Simon Williamson and the organisers at the Meadow Suite.

Press – Katy Ratcliffe

BUCS Head 2017

Reading University Boat Club returned to the north after a spectacular BUCS head last year with plenty of titles to defend. Following the news that beginner events on the Saturday were to be cancelled due to high winds, it was only the senior squad that undertook the seven hour journey up to the Tyne to battle strong winds and attempt to steer the tidal river.

First off (first out of all crews in the entire event) was the Championship men’s quad of Simon Williamson, Franklin Hamilton, Olly Dix and Luke Reiser. They had tough competition but lead fearlessly down the course with an aim to defend their number one spot. In the end the boys came away with a creditable fourth, disappointing as always to be just outside of the medals, they will definitely be using this result as motivation in the coming races as we move into regatta season.

In the intermediate category, we had three men’s quads. The first boat of Chris Dove, Rob Mcpherson, Sam Palmer and Matt Rogers raced very well, taking our first gold of the day. The second boat of Jack Gibson, Harvey Jacklin Laurence O’Connor and Bryn Hassan struggled with the tricky course and ended in seventh place, a little disappointing for them. The third boat of Nikolas Gavrias, Ollie Irwin and Christopher O’Bryan and Johannes Pedro de Jong had a strong race, placing well in the top 10, an impressive result showing the strength and depth within the men’s squad.

The last race of the first division was the women’s lightweight quad of Amy Fuller, Katy Ratcliffe, Victoria Norton and Anna Smart who also lead the field, defending a two year winning streak. They faced tough competition and came away satisfied with bronze.

It was a quick turnaround for the lightweights as they would be racing again in the second division. Two lightweight men’s quads took to the water, looking to improve on their silver from last year the first boat of Simon Williamson, Franklin Hamilton, Matt Rogers and Christian Dove found a strong, aggressive rythmn, overtaking last years winners and taking the win. The second lightweight boat of Rob Mcpherson, Jack Gibson, Johannes Pedro de Jong and Ross Jones followed soon after, taking silver.

On the girls side, the championship boat of Louretta Grove, Lucy Ryan, Anna Smart and Victoria Norton were also set off first. They took on some very strong competition from University of London and Edinburgh but held their own and took a strong bronze medal, a very impressive feat in such a strong field. We next had two intermediate boats with Amy Fuller, Poppy Durkan, Meg Park and Kit Swales winning silver and the third boat of Amber Mayall, Helen Such, Molly Regan and Beatrice Roe coming an impressive 5th.

Going into this year it was clear that the competition had stepped up, and following the success of last year it was going to be very hard to beat. We returned from the north this year with 2 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes and are currently 6th on the medal table. We look forward to taking these results and using them in the coming months in our own head race this weekend and looking forward to BUCS regatta in the spring. Well done all, a successful weekend and plenty more medals to come.



Winter news from RUBC


Boat club article for student paper

Reading University Boat Club is consistently one of the highest achieving clubs at the University. Last year, RUBC placed 2nd on the BUCS medal table, raced at tne prestigious Henley Royal Regatta and achieved highly at the European University Games in Croatia in the summer.

Rowing is an intense sport for all members of the club, whether you are a seasoned rower or a novice who has just started this September. The attitude of the club is one that aims to achieve: early morning sessions and aching limbs are worth it when racing and winning medals.

On the 26th November, we have our BUCS indoors event. Reading University Sportspark opens its doors to other rowing clubs, including Essex, East London and Warwick. This event is a big one in the rowing calendar, with many of our athletes aiming to place highly on the table. Most of the club will race 2,000 meters on the rowing machine, which is tough both mentally and physically. Our novices will be racing 1,000 meters, an equal challenge to those who have only been rowing since the start of term. Although rowing is generally a team sport, when you compete on the rowing machine, you are very much challenging yourself, trying to beat your previous personal record, and being mentally tough enough to stick to the targets you set yourself.

Even though we do work hard at the boat club, we also have some crazy socials. After our BUCS indoors event, we are celebrating Christmas early with our annual ‘banterclause’ social. The whole rowing team will be out in force at Union, of course dressed in festive attire and doing the bidding of whatever Mr and Mrs clause (our beloved captains) desire. In October, you may have seen us staggering rou d reading town centre MNQ in another annual event in the Rowing social calendar: our three legged bar crawl.

Despite our intensive training regime and want for medals, the rowing team really do sport a ‘work hard play hard’ attitude. We are a friendly club who enjoy early nights, early mornings and naps but we live for a good union night and a snakebite every now and then!

BUCS indoors event at Reading Uni.

Reading is preparing to host a BUCS indoor rowing event for the 6th year.

This year’s event is on Saturday 26th November and details can be found here.

Britchamps 2016

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.

Coaching job at RUBC

Exciting news – We seek to appoint an experienced and talented rowing coach to join Reading University Boat Club’s existing coaching team. Full details on the University jobs pages:

Summer Newsletter

Here’s a round up of the final term in the 2015-16 season.


European University Games, Zagreb – 12th to 14th July

‘The First Croatian Historical Novel’

Reading University sent five crews to the European University Games. This year, the multi-sport event was held in two cities; Zagreb and Rijeka.

Nine athletes and two coaches flew out to Zagreb on the 10th of July to compete against University crews from across Europe as well as crews we had previously raced at BUCS head and BUCS regatta.

Two days of training on the beautiful lake, SRC Jarun was followed by the first day of competition. It wasn’t until early Tuesday morning that the official timings of the heats were released, despite this, all Reading’s crews were excited to get on the water and battle with the 36 degree heat.

Reading University’s first race was the lightweight men’s double sculls. Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton raced early in the second of two heats. Their performance in this race would determine whether they would progress straight to Thursday’s final or proceed to the Repechage. They took an early lead and controlled the race from the start, winning their heat in a solid time. A great start from the boys!

Next up was the very competitive men’s double sculls. Dominic Tope and Olly Dix raced very well in the first of three heats and despite coming in last, they raced well and managed a very fast time that would have brought them a completely different result in one of the slower heats. They progressed to the Repechage the following day.

The women’s quadruple sculls was a very exciting race. With three crews from the UK alongside a fast German crew from the University of Munster and two other international crews, Amy Fuller, Katy Ratcliffe, Francesca Bratt and Anna Smart raced well in their race for lanes. After not their best start, a strong middle thousand put them in front but a fight on the other side of the field between Munster and Oxford meant that they crossed the line in 2nd position by 0.8 seconds. An exciting final is in store!

Sam Twine contended the men’s single scull, arguably the most competitive event in the competition. He raced in the second of three heats in a stacked competition and sculled exceptionally well, taking an early lead and moving away steadily to win by over eight seconds. This enabled him to progress directly to the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The final race of the day was a race for lanes for the women’s lightweight double of Amy Fuller and Francesca Bratt who had previously raced in the lightweight quad. The girls managed their tricky afternoon weigh-in and after most of the race battling with a strong Edinburgh double, they pulled away and won by two seconds. A very impressive result!

The Wednesday was a mixed day for Reading. For the lightweights, it was a training day with a chance to relax and plan for the following day’s racing as well as buying the all-important post-race treats which the lightweight girls may have overdone slightly. For the men’s double, their Repechage was a chance to prove themselves and gain a spot in the final. The double sculls Repechage was early on and Olly and Dom put in one of the best performances so far to win convincingly and progress to their Semi-final in a few hours. Racing in lane 1, Olly and Dom fought hard to stay in the action. The times between 1st and 4th were incredibly close but the boys missed out by a fraction, meaning they will be racing in the B final on Thursday.

Sam Twine was also racing in his Semi in the afternoon section of races against some very tough opposition. He sculled very well, staying with the faster scullers off the start and pulling away from the rest of the field to progress easily into the A final on the following day.

Finals day dawned slightly cooler than the previous racing days with much prefferted conditions. With plenty of medals within our grasp, Reading University was very excited to race.

The first Reading crew up were Simon and Franklin in the lightweight men’s double. They battled for a while with a strong crew from Bern before pulling away and sculling a very well-paced race to come through in third. They won GB and Reading’s first medal of the day, a very impressive feat with more to follow!

Next up for Reading were Olly and Dom in the B final of the men’s double sculls. They had a huge start and lead a competitive field with another GB double following in second place the whole way. A strong middle thousand and well-paced sprint meant a very impressive B-final win for the boys.

The lightweight women’s quad was the next race. After another smooth weigh-in the girls were very excited to race. A strong start and they were up with Munster University and away from the rest of the pack. Once onto rhythm, Reading began to move away leaving Munster and Oxford to battle it out for the silver medal. A big finish meant the girls won GB and Reading’s first gold medal of the day by nearly six seconds. This started the ball rolling for GB and plenty more golds were won following this!

In the afternoon races, Sam Twine raced well off the start, holding a solid fourth place through the middle of the race. He put in a big push at the 500 but it wasn’t quite enough to catch the enormous Dutch sculler out in front. Sam put in a huge sprint and came through in fourth position, five seconds behind bronze medal position, a very impressive achievement.

The last crew from Reading was the lightweight women’s double who managed another stressful double weigh-in but were spot-on on the scales. They raced well, controlling the race right from the start and re-enacting that solid, long rhythm that worked so well in the morning races. They lead Edinburgh the whole way and both GB crews pulled away from the other opposition. Amy and Fran won their second gold of the day by four seconds, a very, very exciting result from the two young scullers.

With two gold and one bronze medal, this put Reading University Boat Club at the top of the medals table out of all GB Universities. This, in addition to GB winning the prestigious EUSA salver made it an very successful EUSA games and a fantastic way to end the season. A few restful weeks are needed now for all our athletes before the new season in September where we will try and better RUBC’s most successful year to date. Press Officer over and out.

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