UStABC Rowing their way to Victory and Medals!

Thursday 2 May 2024

The University of St Andrews Boat Club has had plenty of successes with their rowing team recently, including medals in the BUCS Head, Inverness Winter Head and Women’s Head of the River competitions.

Starting with the BUCS Head, this event stands as a crucial one, traditionally setting the tone for the upcoming season in University Rowing. With over 350 crews navigating the Tyne on the last weekend of February, the team gleaned their initial glimpse in the form of University Crews for 2024. Saints Boat Club sent 40 athletes to represent St Andrews at the first BUCS rowing event this school year. The Men’s team placed 4th in the O Int 4x, 10th in the O Int 8t, 10th in the O Beg 8t, and 7th in the O Beg 4+, and the Women placed 10th in the W Int 8+ and took a close 11th in the W Beg 8+.

The club are so proud of our athletes who made the most of the lovely weather on the Tyne. With a truly impressive showing from every squad at BUCS Head in Newcastle upon Tyne, these successes marked the beginning of many more to come!

After racing in Newcastle, 35 athletes travelled up north to the Caledonian Canal in Inverness to earn a bit of tin on March 2nd and 3rd. Inverness Winter Head is a race run by Inverness Rowing Club, which attracts upwards of 500 boats. Saints Boat Club’s senior crews completed the 4.5 km head course on the Caledonian Canal and novices raced the short course (3750 m). The Senior Men took home gold across divisions in the 4X, 2x, and 1x, and the senior women’s 8+ and 4+’s took a gold and a silver respectively. Additionally, the Novice men earned a gold in the 8+ and a bronze and silver in the 4+’s and, the novice Women took home a bronze in the 8+.

To add the icing of the cake, the women’s team participated in Women’s Head of the River on March 9th, which has evolved into the world’s largest women’s rowing competition, boasting approximately 2,880 female participants and up to 320 competing crews. It stands as the sole event in the UK where novice rowers can row the same course as Olympic champions, drawing a diverse array of participants from clubs and universities alike. UStABC Club sent three crews who travelled down to London. The team’s first Challenge Academic 8+ placed 2nd in the Challenge Academic 8+, and 64th overall. The women truly made the most of last-minute reductions in the draw as a result of unsafe racing conditions. Unfortunately, the club’s second Challenge Academic 8+ and Beginners 8+ were unable to race this year but were still able to gain some experience on the tideway.

Not just this! In the last weekend of April, the club had outstanding performances across the board in Strathclyde!! Our athletes took home golds in the O Beg 4x SSS, W R2 4+, W Int 2x SSS and W Beg 4+ SSS categories. In addition to silvers in the O Champ 1x SSS, O Inter 4+ SSS, W 4x and O Nov 4+. As a result of their successes, the club placed 3rd overall in the Scottish Spring Regatta Ludorum, following Edinburgh and Glasgow.

These are all noteworthy achievements that the Boat Club and its members should certainly be very proud of! It is a great way to end the BUCS Season and we are already looking forward to next season!

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