Two Pennant Wins – Fullers Fours Head of the River
On Sunday 12th of November, the UBBC trailer drew up to the familiar Putney embankment, ready to take on the Thames in our first Head Race of the season, Fours Head. Some silky bladework through the usual tideway swell resulted in a successful return to Bristol; clutching two pennant wins, and some encouraging results, including 2nd, 6th, 9th and 14th in Open & U23 categories.
W4+ – Pennant Winners
Alicia Hardy (C) Phoebe Beers (S) Alice Lovett, Charlotte Greenwood, Sally Elphick (B)
An optimistic crew fresh from GB trials the week before staged early overtake in the first 1500m. A solid effort from all the crew in the following 2k allowed them to settle into a “strong and chunky” rhythm. The latter half of the race proved just as dynamic, as the girls continued to gain on band 1 crews ahead over the last 1k, finishing with a win in band 2.
The W4x put in an impressive performance to come second out of a strong field in Band 2, beaten only by a quad from Imperial College. A new combination and a baptism of fire for Georgie Townley’s first event for UBBC, their result was one of the stand-outs of the day. Special mention goes to Jess Pope with the event more than doubling the sculling racing experience she had previously.
Carl Cox (S), Matt Jackson, Matt Grozier, Will Stoner (B)
Our young lightweight four went off the blocks hard, hitting a high rate of striking and putting early distance into Vesta RC. Setting into a strong rhythm the crew kept the rate high while keeping it “long and loose”. Losing some of their rhythm through Hammersmith, a push in the final 3rd saw them pass Cardiff RC into a blanket finish to beat UWE across the line to clinch a 8th place finish out of 28 crews in band 2 of coxless fours, being the fastest student crew in band 2.
M4+ (BRS A) – Pennant Winners
Essy Margetts (C), Barry Stroud (S), Joe Harper, James Foster, Elias Kassell Raymond (B)
The Bristol heavyweight men’s four enjoyed a feisty race. For many of the crew members it was a chance to step on from erg and water pieces at GB Trials the weekend before, and so an aggressive rhythm was set from the start. This aggressive mentality was held well, with the crew taking full advantage of the fast conditions. With a finish time of 20:04, they sealed victory in Band 3 coxed fours by over 15 seconds (enough to have placed in Band 2) thanks to a solid crew effort and some useful local knowledge from coxing extraordinaire, Essy Margets, on loan from the women’s squad for the day.
M4+ (BRS B)
Caroline Welsh (C), Charlie Baker (S), Alasdair Knight, Tom Branston, Harry Hetherington (B)
The Bristol B crew had a tumultuous day from the get-go. A scratch crew, combined with some self-inflected equipment and marshalling issues providing more than enough motivation to race hard. With some big ergs, and two ‘freniors’ joining the ranks for their first UBBC racing experience, the goal was to set up a steady tempo and hold a consistent form throughout. With some thrilling bow ball to stern action for approximately 1.5km with Exeter Uni, our crew were able to push on well into the final quarter. With a ferrocious sprint for the finish, the crew produced some results to be proud of, placing 14th of 22 in their band.
M4x (BRS A)
Arthur Smith (S) Arun Jackson, Marcus Smith, Callum Gathercole (B)
With a new crew combination, expectations weren’t too high. However the 4x settled onto a good rhythm off the start. When the headwind hit things became slightly more challenging for some forearm, more familiar with holding sweep oars than sculling blades, but the quad held form. During a trickier stretch after hammersmith it showed that this combination lacked the familiarity of the boat, losing some of their earlier finesse. Upon taking the boat off the water they found that hitting a submerged branch had dislodged the fin enough to block the rudders movement, they had had no steering! This cost them a bit of time spent off the racing line. Overall, an excellent effort with a 6th place in U23 4x to be proud of, an exciting start to the racing season.
Full Race Results available here