On the River Ouse today, York’s senior men triumphed by a canvas while the novices were ousted by a more experienced York St John novice four.
The whole event was called into question in the early stages as the teams, apart from York University’s novice squad were nowhere to be seen as the scheduled start time for the race approached. The novice women’s race was called off minutes before the start as the crew had to turn around and return to the boat house after one of the crew encountered problems which stopped her rowing. This left only the senior and novice men to race, as neither universities had opted to enter a senior women’s four.
In a tense moment at the start of the novice race, York University were taken off course in the first few strokes and ended up on the bank. On the restart, both crews got away cleanly, although York St John achieved the better start – giving them an advantage of two boat lengths in the early going.
York University’s novice men fought hard to make up the distance through the 1,000m course and were within a length coming around the final corner. However, the early lead gained by York St John’s more experienced side proved unassailable as St John held out to win the race by just under a second. After the race, novice men’s captain Simon Reed said: “We had a pretty good race, but they got us on the start. It’s something we haven’t had too much time to work on because of the recent flooding of the river.”
In the senior men’s encounter, York won out in a scrappy contest with the York St John squad. Both boats were level through most of the early going, but a strong push from the York squad gave them a precarious lead. As the boats came around the final corner, a tactical decision by cox Theresa Dolan to take a different line proved successful and York survived a late push by the York St John seniors to take the three points.
The teams will now look forward to Sunday when they row at Trent in what will be the novice men’s first opportunity this season to race in a full crew of eight.