With the weather finally getting a little warmer, it is with excitement and a certain amount of confidence that the University of York Boat Club headed to Stockton-on-tees to take part in the 850m course that made up Tees Regatta. The club sent as many crews and boat combinations as trailering would allow, with three novice men’s crews, one novice women’s and three senior women’s.
There were three divisions and the UYBC can boast success in all of them. First off at 9am were the men’s novice fours. Due to a crew injury they were a man down, so senior Sarah Powell bravely stepped in to master her fear of smaller boats in the largest possible way – with three other boys, each weighing 30kgs more than her! The top four came second in their heat to Hull, leading them onto the semi-final where they breezed through, once again in second place. They finished a very promising second in the final, behind Hull again but by a much smaller distance than before. These boys are looking to take an eight to Henley this year and results like this only make this seem a better idea. The second four came third in their heat due to technical issues and, unfortunately, did not qualify for the final after the repercharge, although I suspect one smaller crew member was not too disappointed at not racing in the four again!
With the bar set high, the senior women’s IM3 crew, with captain Sophie Mottram making her coxing debut for the club, felt a pressure to keep up. They needn’t have worried – the crew stormed to victory, beating Yarm School and York St John by three and four lengths respectively. This race boasted the first wins for crew members Charlotte Bentley and Laura Macfarlane, meaning they have lost their novice status. At some point this term they will take part in the tradition of being thrown in the river for this achievement!
Following this success, the novice women had tough competition from Yarm School to earn a Pot (our trophy). It is important not to underestimate schoolgirl rowers – they may not have the raw power that we have but they have been so gruellingly coached for years that they are technically brilliant. To this end they beat our girls by just over a length, although this may not have happened as the girls were almost neck and neck coming through the half-way point until technical difficulties involving someone coming off their seat led to our girls being a rower down coming through the finish line. They hope to re-group and ready themselves for Doncaster regatta in two weeks time where they could, again, get themselves a Pot.
To show it’s not just rowing that the UYBC can succeed at, but sculling also as the senior women entered a composite quad with two Hull girls in division Two. In the final, they narrowly lost to Tees however, given these girls had never been in a boat together before this is an incredible achievement.
The senior women’s IM2 four give us the most exciting race of the day. The girls were racing in a higher category than normal to see how they would fare. They had a straight final against Tyne Rowing Club, Leeds University and Yarm School which ended in a dead heat between our girls and Tyne. This means that they crossed the finish line at exactly the same time and, unfortunately, had to go back to the start and race all over again. This time, however, Tyne’s experience shone through, causing them to win by just under a length. Being beaten by rowers much more senior than themselves by such a small amount is a massive achievement and the girls most definitely did the UYBC proud.
Division Three boasted the novice men and senior women eights. It had been a long day up to this point, with crews being awake almost 12 hours by the time they came to race. The novice men were up first and stormed through their first heat to make the repercharge again. Unfortunately they just missed out on a place in the final here, but they most definitely did UYBC proud and, as mentioned above, these successes provide a good platform to begin Henley training.
Finally, the senior women’s eight was the last boat of the day to race. They had a straight final with a composite Tees and Durham collage John Snow crew and Yarm school. The crew were determined to make up for the fours’ losses earlier in the day and so it was with grit and determination that the crew stormed to victory, beating Yarm by ¾ of a length. Captain Sophie Mottram stated ‘she couldn’t be more proud of her girls’. In this boat, too, Sarah Powell also lost her novice status, adding to the list awaiting an Ouse soaking.
1st novice men’s four: Freddy Dawes, Richard Nixon, Ed Talbot, Karl Slater and cox Ellie Donaldson
2nd novice men’s four: Tim Lowdon, Ollie Oates, Luke Langley, Sarah Powell and cox Ellie Cooper
Senior women’s IM3 four: Alex Mahan, Charlotte Bentley, Laura Macfarlane, Becca Robinson and cox Sophie Mottram
Novice women: Becca Kay, Sarah Rider, Marie Mills, Leanne Good, Naomi Harte, Zoe Garnett, Tasha Behan, Emma Bartlett and cox Ngaio Simpson
Composite Quad York members: Catherine Oliver and Molly O’Neill
Senior women’s IM2 four: Hannah Kirton, Charlotte Bentley, Rosy Temple, Lara Wainwright and cox Ngaio Simpson
Novice men’s eight: Freddy Dawes, Richard Nixon, Tim Lowdon, Karl Slater, Ollie Oates, Luke Langley, Neil Cattell, Ed Talbot and cox Ellie Donaldson
Senior Women’s four: Alex Mahan, Charlotte Bentley, Hannah Kirton, Becca Robinson, Rosy Temple, Sarah Powell, Laura Macfarlane, Lara Wainwright and cox Ngaio Simpson