Reading University Boat Club

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

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Henley Women’s Regatta – 17th to 19th June

Reading University Boat Club entered four quads into the competitive senior quads category for the Chairman’s Trophy and a Senior Lightweight single in the even more competitive Fiona Dennis Trophy.

In the quadruple sculls, 16 crews were entered so a time-trial for seeding purposes took place on Friday morning. This meant that all four of Reading’s quads were able to qualify for the side-by-side racing.

In the single, 16 crews were selected from 28 entries, meaning the time trial was crucial in gaining a qualifying spot. A very high standard of entrants meant for a tough race. Katy Ratcliffe raced well but was very disappointed to come in 17th place, only 0.1 second off a qualifying spot. A very close margin.

The quads had their time trial afterwards and all raced well, with the times not being released until after the competition, no one was sure how they had performed. This meant putting in strong performances in every race. The first heats for the senior quads was on the Friday afternoon.

First up was Reading Uni’s ‘C’ quad of Emily Ambrose, Amber Mayall, Olivia Newton and, dragged out of retirement at the last minute, Courtney Edmonds. They raced a strong quad from Grosvenor RC and unfortunately missed out. A great performance considering the lack of time together.

The next race featured Reading’s ‘A’ quad of Louretta Grove, Isabelle Drinkwater, Anna Smart and Amy Fuller who had put in a strong and competitive time in the time trial. They drew a composite quad of DULBC and Lyla Marymount University, USA. It was a tough race for a heat which surprised Reading University but they sculled well and won by just over a length.

On the other side of the draw, Reading drew Reading. The ‘B’ quad of Poppy Durkan, Francesca Bratt, Sarah Newton and Rosie Snell was up off the start and held a good, solid lead over Reading ‘D’ which was made up of novice scullers Robyn Hughes, Helen Such, Molly Kay and Hannah Walters and looked very neat as they came in 2 lengths behind Reading ‘B’.

Some very impressive sculling meant that Reading’s top 2 quads would be progressing to the quarter finals on the Saturday.

First up was Reading University ‘A’ racing Grosvenor BC who they beat convincingly in over four lengths. This put them through to the semi-finals and the Sunday of Henley Women’s, a very impressive feat in a senior category.

Reading University ‘B’ had some tougher competition. They drew an Agecroft crew full of international athletes and despite putting in their strongest race of the season, they lost out. Very well raced girls. We now had three quads and a single supporting Reading’s ‘A’ quad on the Sunday.

A strong headwind on the Sunday favoured Reading’s opposition, four strong girls from Edinburgh University. Despite this, the girls raced well. They had a strong start and both crews were level for a while before Edinburgh started to edge away, using their height and weight advantage against Reading’s crew of 50% lightweights. Edinburgh pulled away gradually through the middle 1000 but Reading were able to put in a good final sprint, bringing it back to a 2 length verdict. Reaching the Semi-finals in Senior quads was an incredible achievement for these young athletes, considering the strong opposition in this competitive event.

Marlow Regatta – 18th June

Reading University sent three men’s quads to Marlow regatta. All were hoping to use the race to gain experience and pre-qualification for Henley Royal Regatta in two weeks’ time.

RUBC’s ‘A’ quad of Sam Twine, Olly Dix, Dom Tope and Simon Williamson was entered in the competitive Elite quads category for the Willott-Taylor Trophy.

Our ‘B’ and ‘C’ quads of Franklin Hamilton, James Mackins, Jacob Chapman and Corey Mcdowell and James Everett, Jack Gibson, Jack Radford and Tom Barak respectively were both racing in the senior quads category for the Hugh Maddock Trophy. The senior quads’ time trial was up first and the two quads put in solid races, coming 6th and 7th.

In the elite quads, the ‘A’ quad sculled well too, coming in 7th place and leading them straight through to the ‘B’ final later in the day.

All seven crews in the earlier time trial of the senior quads raced in a seven lane final later in the day. RUBC’s crews put in some solid performances against some very strong crews to come 6th and 7th. Some disappointing results but a lot could be taken away from the racing and put into Henley Qualifiers the following weekend.

There were two finals for the competitive elite quads category. Due to their slightly disappointing result in the time trial, the ‘A’ quad put in a strong performance to win the B final in a good time. They raced very well and were pleased with their performance although it was not quite enough to achieve pre-qualification for Henley Royal, they have put themselves in a strong position to achieve one of the few qualifying places.

All three crews will be chasing after 16 qualifying places for the Prince Of Wales Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta.

Reading Amateur Regatta – 12th June

With the events for quadruple sculls being few and far between, our Henley crews decided to train through Reading Amateur Regatta. Despite this, we had 2 entries in the novice sculls category and 6 in the women’s novice sculls category as well as Katy Ratcliffe in the WIM2 category, all racing over 1100 on the Sunday. Both were competitive events with lots of entries.

First up was Robyn Hughes in the first race of the day who unfortunately missed out. Molly Regan was also unlucky but Helen Such put in an impressive performance, winning her race easily and progressing to the next round. Hannah Walters put up a good fight but was knocked out in the first round but Amber Mayall sculled well and joined Helen in progressing to the next stage of the competition. In the novice sculls, Chris O Bryan won his race by just over a length, meaning 3 Reading scullers would be moving to the next round of racing.

In the quarter finals, Amber Mayall put in a good performance but missed out by three lengths. Helen Such won her quarter final easily against some tough competition, putting her in a good place for the semi-finals in a few hours.

For the boys, Chris O Bryan had a row-over, a nice little break before his next round and Michael Sudlow, who had had a By through the first round, unfortunately lost out by 2 and a half lengths.

In the competitive WIM2 1x category, Katy Ratcliffe had a good start but unfortunately lost by just over 2 lengths despite having a good row.

This was followed by the semi-final of the W NOV 1x, contested by Helen Such who also missed out despite putting in some really competitive sculling. Chris O Bryan also races well in his semi-final and lost by 2 lengths.

Some really good performances in the small boats today will provide our scullers with experiences they can take forward into the quads in upcoming races, or any other small-boat work in the following season.

Katy talks to……..Mathilda

In the first of a series of interviews RUBC press officer, Katy Ratcliffe, catches up with Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne about international rowing, Uni life and jam sandwichesKaty & Mathilda!

Racing at your first European championships must have been a very exciting experience. What were the highs and lows?

Highs are the result I got cos I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t even expecting to make the a/b semis! Lows must have been doing some silly things like attaching to the wrong stake boat and rowing up in the wrong lane!

Do you have a specific pre-race ritual that you always like to stick to?

Yeah so between my pre-paddle and my warm up I always have jam sandwiches, they’re hard to throw up!! And then I start getting ready 80 minutes before and boat 40 minutes before the race to get in a nice long warm up of about 4.5 k.

When did you start rowing and at what point did you realise this was something you wanted to pursue professionally and not just a hobby?

I started in 2011 and pretty much instantly wanted to trial so I spent my whole first year learning to row and trialling then took it from there and got funding in 2014. I’d always been naive, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get selected, with both juniors and under 23s. In my head I was always going to be selected.

How do you manage to balance your studies with the high demands of the sport?

This year I’ve managed to move a couple of exams around the Olympic qualification regatta. The Uni are absolutely brilliant in their communication with me and are really flexible too. I have no life!

Looking to the future what are your long term goals and aspirations?

This year I wanna win u23s in my single and long term I wanna be the senior single sculler.

Finally, what advice would you have to any aspiring young rowers?

Just don’t be scared or afraid to mess things up at the start. Challenge yourself. That’s what’s got me to where I am now.

BUCS regatta 2016

BUCS regatta, held over the May bank holiday is not only the first major regatta of the season but also the largest student regatta in Europe. It is held over three days at the National Water sports Centre, Holme Pierpont in Nottingham where over 2,600 students from 73 Universities compete over the 3 days. RUBC was out in force, filling beginner to championship categories and with strong entries in singles, doubles and quads.

DAY 1 – A great start:

Racing started bright and early on Saturday morning with Franklin Hamilton and Jack Gibson racing in the Men’s Intermediate Lightweight singles. Next up was Helen Such, racing the Beginner Women’s single followed by Dominic Tope, Olly Dix, James Mackins and Alex Wrath in the Intermediate single sculls and Sam Twine racing in the Championship category. Francesca Bratt and Amy Fuller raced in the Lightweight women’s double and we had two beginner men’s quads of Reeve Colaccio, Chris O’Bryan, Johannes de Pedro and Michael Sudlow and George Goucher, Nikolas Gavrias, Callum Mitchell and Elliot Reeks. The three women’s quads consisted of Poppy Durkan, Meg Park, Katy Ratcliffe and Anna Smart, Sarah Newton, Hannah Walters, Emily Ambrose and Olivia Naylor in the intermediate category and Lou Grove, Isabelle Drinkwater, Rosie Snell and Amber Mayall in the competitive Championship Category.

Results came back quickly from the time trials, with Franklin Hamilton and Jack Gibson both qualifying for the A/B semi’s in 3rd and 10th place respectively. Franklin raced well in the semi, securing his spot in the A final and Jack progressed to the B final, after coming 5th.

Helen also qualified her single for the A/B semi’s and just missed out on the A final, coming fourth in a very strong field.

In the men’s intermediate singles, both Dominic Tope and Olly Dix put in strong performances to win their semi-finals and James Mackins sculled well, putting all three into the A final. Alex Wrath raced well, qualified his scull in 31st position in the time trial, leading him to the F final which he later won.

Sam Twine came first in his time trial by a whisker and put it to good use, winning his semi by a big margin and progressing into the A final.

Francesca and Amy put in a strong performance in a competitive event, qualifying in 3rd place in the time trial and 2nd in the semi-final, putting them in good medal contention in the A final.

More success came in the men’s beginner quads, a new event added to the BUCS regatta timetable this year. RUBC continued their domination of this event since BUCS head, with the two quads qualifying for the A/B semi’s in 1st and 7th.

Our Women’s quads all raced well in the morning time trials, with the Intermediate boats qualifying for the A/B semi’s in 1st and 11th. The ‘A’ boat raced a hard semi-final, winning a spot in the A final and the ‘B’ boat qualified in 5th position, giving them a good shot at the B final. The Championship quad also sculled well in their races for lanes, coming 4th and 5th in the time-trial then semi-final respectively.

In the afternoon, the wind picked up, giving strong performances from earlier a benefit of a good lane. Our first medal of the day came from Franklin Hamilton in the Intermediate Lightweight Single Sculls, where he fought a good race and picked up a very impressive bronze. Jack Gibson also raced well in the B final, coming second.

Helen Such showed domination in the B final of the women’s beginner single sculls, winning by nearly 30 seconds.

Our first gold medal was won by Dominic Tope in the Men’s Intermediate Single sculls, silver went to Olly Dix and 5th place to James Mackins.

Sam Twine then won a very impressive gold medal in the heavily contested men’s championship single sculls.

The championship medals kept on coming, with Amy Fuller and Francesca Bratt achieving bronze in the Lightweight women double sculls.

This was followed by both Reading’s beginner men’s quads winning their respective finals, adding another gold medal to the hoard, won by Reeve Colaccio, Chris O’Bryan, Johannes de Pedro and Michael Sudlow in a very convincing time.

Sarah Newton, Hannah Walters, Emily Ambrose and Olivia Naylor fought well in the B final of the Intermediate women’s quad sculls, coming 3rd and then one of the closest races of the day saw the Intermediate quad of Poppy Durkan, Meg Park, Katy Ratcliffe and Anna Smart snatch another gold at the last minute.

The Women’s championship quad sculled incredibly well in a very tough field, achieving 5th.

Day 1 medallistsM Int 1x gold and silverM 1x gold

DAY 2 – Silver Sunday:

The Sunday dawned bright and early again for our Lightweight women. With Anna Smart, Francesca Bratt, Katy Ratcliffe and Hannah Walters racing early in the intermediate Lightweight single scull and Amy Fuller racing in the Championship category. Helen Such, Molly Kay, Molly Regan and Robyn Hughes contested the Women’s beginner quads, another brand new event to the BUCS timetable. Louretta Grove and Poppy Durkan raced the intermediate single sculls, with Isabelle Drinkwater doing the honours in the competitive Champ category. Dominic Tope and Vince DeLuca and Jack Radford and Alex Wrath raced the intermediate doubles and Sam Twine and Olly Dix raced in the Championship category. We also had three lightweight men’s doubles entered of Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton, Ross Porter and Corey McDowell and Jack Gibson and Tom Barak.

Results were close in the Intermediate Lightweight singles with Katy Ratcliffe, Anna Smart and Francesca Bratt all qualifying for the A/B Semis and Hannah Walters qualifying straight into the C final where she came an impressive 4th. With weather conditions deteriorating, despite some strong racing it was only Anna Smart who progressed into the A final, in a very impressive semi.

Amy Fuller raced in a very strong field, coming 8th in the time trial and missing out on the final despite some impressive racing against the countries best lightweight scullers.

The women’s beginner quads qualified from their time trial in 2nd position and with the weather conditions worsening by the second, the decision was made to cancel all intermediate and beginner semi-finals. This gave them a very good shot at the A final later in the day.

Poppy Durkan and Louretta Grove also raced well in the time trial for the intermediate singles, progressing directly to the D and C finals respectively. Poppy later went on to come a strong 2nd place in her final.

Isabelle Drinkwater qualified for the A final in the championship category, coming 6th in the time trial and 3rd in the semi-finals.

In the intermediate doubles, 1stand 15th places were achieved in the time trial, giving Dominic Tope and Vince Deluca a clear path into the A final and Alex Wrath and Jack Radford a good shot at the C final, in which they came 2nd.

Sam Twine and Olly Dix won both their time trial and their semi-final, giving them exciting chances in the A final of the Championship Doubles later and the lightweight doubles came an impressive 3rd, 5th and 11th in their time trial. Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton raced a solid semi-final, progressing to the A final. The other two crews missed out, both qualifying for the B final.

Our first medal of the day came from small but mighty, Anna Smart who achieved an amazing silver in the intermediate lightweight single sculls. She was later joined by Dominic Tope and Vince Deluca in the Intermediate double and Sam Twine and Olly Dix in the championship double, all winning silver medals in tough and exciting races.

The beginner women raced very well in a hard field, coming a strong fourth and Isabelle Drinkwater came a solid 6th in an A final stacked with some of the country’s top scullers.

Our last medals of the day went to Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton in the lightweight men’s double sculls where they won an amazing bronze.

W beg 4xDay 2 medallistsIssy 1x

Day 3 – Fantastic finale!:

On Monday, the weather forecast did not look promising. A decision to remove semi-finals for intermediate and beginner events was made prior to racing beginning. This meant performance in the time trial was critical.

Up today was Chris O’Bryan in the beginner men’s single, Francesca Bratt, Amy Fuller, Katy Ratcliffe and Anna Smart in the women’s lightweight quad, Corey Mcdowell, Ross Porter, Tom Barak and Jack Gibson in the men’s lightweight quad, Simon Williamson, Franklin Hamilton, Olly Dix and Dominic Tope in the men’s Championship quad and an intermediate quad of James Mackins, James Everett, Jacob Chapman and Jack Radford. Three women’s doubles of Rosie Snell and Poppy Durkan, Louretta Grove and Amber Mayall and Sarah Newton and Olivia Naylor were also racing, as well as Isabelle Drinkwater and Meg Park in the championship category.

The time trials ran normally, with both Chris O’bryan and the lightweight women racing well in the wind to both qualify for their finals in 2nd position. The lightweight men qualified in 5th, progressing to the A/B semi’s where they raced well, leading to the A final later in the day.

The men’s intermediate quad came a solid 8th in their time trial, unfortunately leading directly to the B final given the change in the regatta programme. They raced a very strong Bath crew and came second by a tiny margin after a very exciting race.

In the Championship category, the boys qualified in 2nd, then in 3rd in their semi-final for the A final.

The women’s doubles raced well, coming 2nd, 4th and 13th in the intermediate category and 5th in the competitive champ category. Isabelle and Meg then qualified in 3rd place for the A final.

With racing in the middle of the day suspended due to strong winds, Minor finals were cancelled and we all waited with baited breath for the wind to die down. It eventually did, giving us beautiful conditions for the afternoon.

Our first medal of the day was a silver medal to Chris O’bryan in the Beginners scull. He was joined by the lightweight women also winning silver.

The lightweight men raced well in their final coming a strong 5th along with the championship men’s quad also coming 5th in a heavily contested race.

In the intermediate doubles, Poppy and Rosie sculled very well to pick up our last medal of the weekend; a very well deserved bronze. Louretta and Amber came fourth.

Then Isabelle and Meg rowed a great race, coming 6th out of 7 in the hard championship doubles category.

Day 3 medallists13094173_10206733589918871_7587900748778180215_nW lwt 4x silver

Over the weekend, RUBC picked up 14 medals: 4 gold, 6 silver and 4 bronze, putting us 5th on the medals table, ahead of notable rowing greats such as Durham, Imperial as well as both Oxford and Cambridge! With this concluding the 2015-16 BUCS rowing season, we can now confirm that Reading has finished 2nd overall in the University league our best result ever!!!

We proved we had depth and strength throughout the quad in all categories and in small boats as well as quads. This is one of the best BUCS results we’ve seen in years and we look forward to the big summer regattas now we have the side-by-side racing bug!

Medals tableBUCS points

 

 

Spring newsletter

Newsletter-Spring-2016-RUBC

 

Newsletter-Spring-2016-RUBC

BUCS head of the River

 

BUCS Head

This year, BUCS head was held in Newcastle. This was an exciting opportunity for our beginners, many of whom would be competing in their first race, and our seniors, most of whom had never ventured let alone raced this far north.

Our two novice boy’s quads took the 7-hour journey up on the Friday to compete in the new Beginner quads category. They raced a slightly shortened course due to poor weather conditions, with strong winds causing large waves to build up across the Tyne making conditions very choppy and difficult. They raced very well despite this and the Seniors arrived on Saturday afternoon just in time to hear the results announced and celebrate Readings first gold and silver medals of the weekend. The two quads of Chris O’Bryan, David Canham, Johannes Pedro de Jong and George Goucher Nikolas Gavrias, Reeve Colaccio, Michael Sudlow and Elliot Palmer-Clark were within 20 seconds of each other respectively and over 2 minutes ahead of third place, a very impressive result!

Sunday was the day of the senior events, with ten boats entered across six categories, we fielded some very strong crews. The day dawned with little wind and calm conditions, making the paddle up to the start of the first division very enjoyable before the wind picked up and the racing began.

First up was the men’s champ quads with RUBC looking to improve on a bronze medal from last year. The boat of Olly Dix, Simon Williamson, Sam Twine and Dom Tope raced very well, winning a very impressive gold medal in one of the fastest times of the division and only a few seconds from second place. We had three men’s quads racing in the competitive intermediate category and all three put in solid races. RUBC’s ‘A’ quad of Franklin Hamilton, James Everett, Vince Deluca and Corey Mcdowell achieved a silver medal, with the ‘B’ and ‘C’ quads of Jacob Chapman, Ross Porter, James Mackins and Jack Gibson and Alex Wrath, Chris O’Bryan, Johannes Pedro de Jong and Tom Barak achieving 4th and 5th places respectively, only just outside the medals. A very strong result overall from the men. Last up in the division was the lightweight women’s quad of Amy Fuller, Anna Smart, Francesca Bratt and Katy Ratcliffe. Despite a pretty stressful start to the day the girls raced well with some impressive steering from token Geordie Amy Fuller, holding off a very fast Exeter boat and winning the second gold medal of the day!

The wind picked up and the tide turned for the second division, giving us some very challenging conditions. Despite this, we put in some more competitive performances. It was the second race of the day for our lightweight men. The crew of Simon Williamson, Franklin Hamilton, Ross Porter and Corey Mcdowell raced very well against the tide to win a silver medal, second only to a very fast Durham boat. The women’s champ boat found a fast solid rhythm and with some more great steering, the boat of Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Lou Grove, Isabelle Drinkwater and Amy Fuller won another impressive gold medal. Chasing them down were RUBC’s three intermediate women’s quads. It was a close race between the ‘A’ quad of Poppy Durkan, Francesca Bratt, Katy Ratcliffe and Amber Mayall and the ‘B’ quad of Rosie Snell, Sarah Newton, Olivia Naylor and Anna Smart and both crews raced well in the deteriorating conditions with the ‘B’ crew winning gold and the ‘A’ crew winning silver, some very strong performances. For the ‘C’ quad of Hannah Walters, Emily Ambrose, Helen Such and Molly Kay, this was two of the girls’ first ever race and they performed extremely well, with the boat coming in 6th in a very competitive field. Well done to them!

A special well done has to go to the two beginner boys who raced over two days and performed very well in the intermediate category despite only starting rowing in October and to the beginner girls, also racing in the intermediate category, taking on a very tricky course and steering it to perfection in the afternoon division. Also to Francesca Bratt who, despite the stress and struggles of making weight, managed it to perfection and stroked two crews to two medals.

Over the weekend, RUBC collected 5 gold and 4 silver medals. That’s at least a silver in every category entered, multiple medals in some events and a gold medal in every single women’s sculling event. Some very impressive results and our most successful BUCS head in a long time put us 3rd on the overall Victor Ludorum table and 2nd on the medals table to the hosts of the event.RUBC medals RUBC group

GB February trials – Boston

Last weekend our triallists took on some very challenging conditions in Boston for the third assessment for the GB senior and U23 trials. With the Olympic triallists absent from the mix, we were looking forward to some exciting results.

The day dawned calm but bitterly cold and after a bright and early start to get a pre-paddle in, the wind soon picked up. In the first division Sam Twine and Olly Dix were representing the open weight men and Isabelle Drinkwater and Maddie Archer, the women.

The men’s pairs were off first, followed by Sam who went off 37th following a very impressive start to the season. Sam and Olly battled through the strong headwinds of the first 2K and raced well in the second half to secure some strong results. Sam finished 6th overall and 5th in the U23 category. Olly produced some equally exciting results after a good race, coming 16th overall, 11th U23 and a very impressive 4th U20. Next up came Isabelle and Maddie, racing in a very competitive field with a lot of older, more experienced athletes. They both raced very well, with Isabelle coming 20th overall, 7th U23 and an amazing 2nd U20. This was Maddie’s first go at the Boston course, having had to take time off due to injury earlier on in the season and she raced well despite this, coming in 44th and 20th U23. A great first division with some great results.

As the day progressed, the wind picked up and so did the stream, giving our lightweights some fast conditions once they got round the bend. Representing the lightweight men were Simon Williamson and Franklin Hamilton and the lightweight women were out in a depleted force with only Katy Ratcliffe racing. Both boys raced very well despite the conditions and the competitive field. Simon Williamson stepped on from last trials, coming in 24th overall and 17th U23. Franklin came in just behind, at 29th overall, 21st U23 and 7th U20. Last up was Katy Ratcliffe, achieving 8th overall and 6th U23 in a small yet competitive group.

Racing in tough conditions taught us a lot and this weekend provided us with some promising results that we can definitely work on in the future. For now it’s back into the crew boats in preparation for BUCS head where no doubt our race experience from this weekend will come in handy.

Boston trials Feb16

Boat Club formal dinner

It’s nearly time for our much loved annual formal dinner!

Saturday 27th February 2016.

This year the event will again be held on Campus in the Meadow Suit. We have the venue booked from 7.30 until around midnight, and for those that wish to the continue the celebrations we will move onto the Union.

As well as a sit down dinner there will also be speeches and awards given out on the night, and we will hopefully have a photographer available throughout the evening

The menu is as follows:
Starter: Butternut Squash Soup – Coriander cress, toasted pumpkin seeds, cold press rapeseed oil.
Main: Corn-fed Chicken – Chestnut mushrooms, spaghetti vegetables, rosti potatoes, Cider jus.
Pudding: Rich Chocolate mousse – Vanilla crème brulee, popcorn ice cream.

A selection of wine, beers and soft drinks will be available to purchase at the bar.

Ticket details are:

  • £41 for dinner ticket without a Union ticket
  • £44 for dinner & Union ticket if you are a student
  • £46 for dinner & Union ticket for all non-students

There will be tables of 10 so if anyone has any seating requests please contact Poppy.

We can’t wait to make this a really special event and hope that everyone can make it.
Just speaking from experience, let’s put the focus on having a really nice meal and a night that we can all remember before we head off to the Union where we can really let our hair down!

Tickets are available to purchase from here: https://www.rusu.co.uk/sports/6107/
Students you will need your university log in details, and Alumni you will need to create a guest account to buy them.


Poppy (RUBC social sec, email: poppy.durks@yahoo.co.uk)

Group2015

Row-to-Rio.

On Friday the 5th of February, RUBC took over the students union in our bid to raise money for Sport Relief. With us we took two ergos on which we aimed to row one Kilometre for every day until the Olympics in Rio. We also brought a few of our shiny new boats along to be named and spark some interest in any passers-by.

The challenge was set and we knew it would take hard work by the whole squad to meet the target before our 5pm deadline.

The day started well, with two ergos on the stage racking up the kilometres. We started at 10am and by midday had already completed over 40km. Throughout the day we were joined by various members of the GB squad including ex Reading University student Stewart Innes and current Reading University student Mathilda Hodgkins-Bryne who are both currently in training, looking to represent Great Britain at the Olympics this summer.

As the day went on, students came down in shifts and worked well in teams of three to complete the distance together. There was a great atmosphere which was helped greatly by Dominic Tope and his interesting mix of music to keep us entertained. The men’s, women’s and novice squads all worked well together to keep the erg’s ticking over until the last few hours when they were moved from the stage and all efforts were focused on just one machine for the final hour.

For the last few KM there was plenty of support from university officials.  The University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Van de Noort, a keen oarsman himself, cheered on the rowers and chatted to Stewart and Mathilda about their Olympic dreams. We were also joined by the Director of Sport, Iain Akhurst, who motivated the rowers through the last few strokes of the 180km marathon!

Our Row to Rio event managed to raise an impressive £222 for sports relief which is no doubt a worthy cause. A great day was had by all, and the teamwork shown throughout the day speaks well for other competitions and challenges to come for RUBC over the next few weeks and months.

Director of Rowing, Will Rand, said “it was great to see the team spirit that an event like this brings out in the club” he added “the Olympics are only 6 months away and with the success that the University students and alumni have enjoyed in the past, we’re confident that Rio will be amazing, and can’t wait to cheer on all the Team GB Olympians”.

Group

 

row-to-rio

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