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An air of Lancastrian dominance descended over Teesside on Saturday 18th May as Lancaster University Boat Club travelled to Stockton-on-Tees and to Tees Rowing Club to compete in the annual Tees Regatta.
The day ended with Lancaster entering seven events; winning four, placing second in two, with another one deserved spot in the final.
Despite being greeted by a torrential downpour and based in a field-come-lake which began to readily resemble the final day of a music festival, spirits remained high and optimism spread through the ranks of the LUBC party who were keen to put the months of training to the test against some strong opposition.
The morning started well with the Men’s Novice 4+ (David Thorpe, Alex Cowell, Tom Millington, Humphrey Peterson-Jones, Cox. Alex Jones) winning their heat and qualifying for the final. A brave row in the final was not enough to see the crew emerge with silverware but their promising showing proved a springboard for the rest of the day.
A victory for Tim Mitchell in the Men’s IM1 1x saw LUBC bring home their first win of the day, swiftly followed by a win for the Men’s IM3 8+ (Jamie West, Phil Rawcliffe, Joe Wood, Thorge Hiebner, Joe Carthy, Adam Elliot, Adam Jackson, Mark Wiselka, Cox. Jane Hammond). The boys in the Eight were until Saturday still Novice rowers having only joined the Club in Fresher’s Week this year. Despite their inexperience, they rowed admirably, overcoming a far more experienced crew from Durham University’s Stephenson College and picking up the Club’s second win of the day.
The final race of the morning saw the Senior Men, (Alex King, Maks Kaniuka, Alan Hunton, Zak Varty) represent in the IM2 4- category, however they were edged out on the line and pushed back into a hard fought second place.
The afternoon saw the appearance of some LUBC Women into the fold. The Women’s Novice 4+ (Loren Webb, Victoria Robinson, Megan Brown, Sophie Buckingham, Cox. Annabel Isherwood) showed class and skill to lead their event to the halfway stage but were unfortunately pushed back into 2nd in the closing stages. Despite missing out on the win, the girls’ performance was to be applauded, beating two other crews and showing real signs of progress. The Senior Men reappeared in the afternoon, this time in the Men’s IM3 4+ category. Coxed by Emma Wilkins, the boys went on to dominate the field and cross the line in 1st place, showing the Novices that the Seniors were also capable of winning.
The final division of the day saw the victorious IM3 8+ take to the water again and yet again, the boys crossed the line in 1st place after an exceptional row.
On the whole the day proved to be a huge success for the Club, representing the fruition of weeks and months of hard work in the gym and on the water. It is hoped that Saturday’s results are just the beginning for an expanding and resurgent Lancaster University Boat Club.