A MAINLY disappointing year of performances from York Boat club has been blamed on lack of “crew consistency” by club member Harriet Edmonds.
The club have suffered from several disappointing results since the start of the year, many caused by a lack of rowers and organisation. “The problem is often hanging on to rowers and trying to keep crew consistency,” Edmonds said. “Because rowing involves such a lot of time commitment, you often find people with demanding degrees who have more contact time having to give up or take time off when it comes to the summer term and exams.”
Overall, she admitted that performances from the women’s team have been more consistent than the men’s, who have found it difficult to live up to expectations.
“The men’s senior crew have suffered a lot of knocks and yet remained mentally very tough,” she said. “Lots of their rowers from last year gave up this year to ‘focus on degrees’, which left a senior men’s squad of five rowers.”
The best result of the season came in the South Yorkshire Head Race, in which the Senior Women were the fastest crew overall. The Senior Men were also successful, coming in second.
In May at the annual Roses tournament, a domineering performance from the women crews were victorious in all their races, while the men suffered defeats in all of theirs.
Edmonds explained the problems faced throughout the season, saying: “This year, our President Rob Rayner has been very much absent from the club.
“Although Rob is himself a great rower and extremely dedicated, he has been in the final year of a History degree and training with the Molsey Boat Club 1st VIII in London at weekends.
“This has meant running the club, organising fixtures and negotiating a tricky sponsorship deal with Deloitte has been left to Captains, the Treasurer and the Secretary.”
An example of the problems this has caused became apparent in May this year at the Met Regatta in Eton. A lack of organisation meant the men’s team had to pull out of their race due to not having a boat available. The women’s team had suffered from similar problems, but managed to borrow a boat in the final minutes before the race began.
Despite the problematic season, Edmonds remains upbeat about the general state of the club. “York Boat Club remains a massive club, with a great spirit and a very fun social side.
“By the end of this year, we will have competed in about a dozen major events – winter Head races and summer regattas – and all of them have been thoroughly enjoyable.”
“The club is quite a small with hardly any funding compared to many University boat houses, so we’re hoping to up intake next year and get some more equipment and funds for coaches.”