Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Article - Michaelmas Term 2010 - Week 8

By Becky Hoose

Lancaster University Boat Club have enjoyed a fairly successful start to the year. Despite being plagued by the bad weather, members have been training solidly in an attempt to mirror the success of last year.

The only race of this term was York Small Boats Head. This was to be the first race for many of the novices, and as the opening competition of the year, a good opportunity for all to gauge what level they are at. The men’s intermediate crews enjoyed successful races, with the IM3 coxed 4 and the IM2 coxless 4 coming 3rd and 2nd respectively in their categories. The women’s IM2 coxed four, comprising of four of last years Henley quarter finalists, beat off competition from York University to come second. It was the first race for all in both the men’s and women’s novice crews, who each claimed an impressive 4th position. With the next race for the club not coming until mid way through next term, there is ample time to build on these results.

This weekend the club travelled to Leeds to attend the BUCS Indoor Rowing Championship 2010 in Yorkshire. The race takes place on rowing machines, where athletes compete to post the best time over 2000 metres. The star athlete of the weekend for LUBC was Lydia Allen, who won two gold medals in her races, which were the women's relay event, and the women's lightweight events. Making up the rest of the winning relay team were Alice Lees, Jenny Tonkins and Helina Meos, who in addition all competed in the women's heavyweight category. Also in medal position was John 'Big John' Campbell, who won bronze in the men's race, despite his beginner status. Between the rest of the LUBC competitors, some impressive times were posted, which bodes well for the Chester Indoors, taking place on Sunday 12th December.

On the weekend of week 10, the club have organised an exciting fundraising event. Dan Morgan will be attempting to break the world record for the most metres rowed on a rowing machine in 24 hours. The record currently stands at 213,061m in the under 20 men’s heavyweight category. This will take place at Market Square in the town centre, from 8am on Saturday 18th December until 8am on the following day. Dan will be doing this to raise money for two worthy causes; the total proceeds from the event will be split equally between the Antony Nolan trust and the boat club. The Antony Nolan trust is a charity which carries out life saving research into Leukaemia and other blood related diseases, as well as finding bone marrow donors for suffers. The club has often worked in conjunction with this charity in past fundraising events. Please come down to Market Square to show your support, or join the Facebook group: 'Dan's doing a 24 hour rowing record for charity and LUBC – please sponsor!'

Friday, 11 June 2010

Article - Summer Term 2010 Week 6

Olympics home the venue for victory
By Becky Hoose

Dorney Lake, set in stunning Buckinghamshire parkland, is the world-class rowing centre which will be the venue for the Olympics come 2012. It was also the location for the Metropolitan Regatta, LUBCs latest race, which they attended last weekend. And there was a definite feeling of pride amongst Lancaster’s team, knowing what will be taking place there in just two years time, on the same stretch of water which the club raced on themselves. This added to the sense of determination to achieve something great over the two day event.

Saturday was a scorcher, and in true British fashion complaints were made about the weather despite it being a glorious day, the heat serving as an extra obstacle of the already testing 2000 metre course. The first race for LUBC was the Men’s intermediate VIII’s, where both the first and second VIII’s from Lancaster met each other in their first heat. The A boat impressively finished first in the heat, therefore automatically earning themselves a spot in the final. The B boat posted a time which was only two seconds slower, but unfortunately not enough to gain a place in the next round. The final was a tough one, even for the cream of LUBC, who came up against tough crews such Nottingham and Bath, and in the end Lancaster’s A boat finished 6th out of the 7 boats. Lancaster’s Women’s intermediate IV also raced that day and did the club proud, coming second in their heat and achieving a fantastic second place in the final, boosting the success of the day.

The men’s VIII competed again on day two, with the A boat repeating the success of the first days racing by qualifying first out of their heat once more, and again making it straight to the final. It was a better day for the B boat, who put in a dogged performance in order to make it through to the next heat, unfortunately finishing 4th in this round, short of qualification for the final. The A boat had a brilliant final, finishing in 4th place, just 2 seconds slower than the winning crew, a diminutive amount of time which could be gained back by Lancaster through just a few careful adjustments. The women’s intermediate VIII raced later that day, the crew seeing the return of legendary LUBC cox Bel Green for one race. Unfortunately the girls did not achieve the result that they were perhaps hoping for, finishing 5th out of the 7 boats in their heat. However, it was still a positive outcome, considering the difficult conditions which the girls had to contend with, such as having to race a category above their ability. Racing over, trailer loaded, and one five hour motorway breakdown endured, the weekend was over for the club.

All in all, despite attending another larger and well respected event, instead of opting for what would perhaps be seen as easier regattas, it was another strong set of results for LUBC, which bodes well for the final races of the term. Next up is Durham, followed by Marlow for the men and Women’s Henley for the women, before this years racing is concluded with Men’s Henley in week 10. It has been another brilliant year for the club, which is constantly growing and improving, living up to the university’s own expanding reputation. Ever relentless, LUBC will doubtlessly carry this success and determination through to the end of the year.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Article - Summer Term 2010 Week 1

Regatta Success for Rowing Club
By Becky Hoose
[published in SCAN]

If the recent rowing success of Lent term is anything to go by, then Lancaster University Boat Club are set to cause a stir during regatta season. After the clubs excellent results at BUCS head, the success continued throughout the rest of the term.

Week nine saw the women’s squad travel down to London, to battle it out on the mighty Thames at the Women’s Eights Head of River Race. Beginning the race at the relatively high position of 145th, the crew not only broke into the top 100 crews but managed an outstanding 86th out of almost 300 boats, proving that the tireless efforts of LUBC pay off.

Next up was the North of England Head in Chester, a 5 kilometre course of the River Dee. The first division saw further success for the women’s crew, who came 2nd in their category, less than 5 seconds shy of claiming victory. In the second division, the men’s 1st VIII claimed an impressive 4th place in their category, and an even more impressive 16th out of the entire division, which was almost 80 boats strong. The men’s 2nd VIII continued the success by taking 3rd place in their category, with the 3rd VIII coming 15th; a promising result considering they had done just one other race as a crew.

It was then the men’s turn to prove themselves on the Thames. The Head of River Race attracts crews worldwide, this years race seeing just under 400 boats. However, LUBC stepped up to the mark and proved themselves more than worthy of this prestigious race. The 2nd VIII came a well deserved 300th in the race. The 1st VIII undoubtedly had the odds stacked against them, having to overcome illness within the crew and technical problems towards the end of the race. However, their fantastic effort saw them finish in 160th place.
During the Easter holiday, the club attended an intensive training camp in Henley, working tirelessly everyday in order to give themselves the best chance at races. It was also an opportunity to prepare for the annual Roses tournament. However, LUBC were unfortunately disappointed when their competition dropped out just a few weeks before the race. York reeled off a series of weak excuses for their withdrawal, and LUBC were further disappointed by York’s unsportsmanlike slander of LUBC. Club Captain Sam Nahk commented, saying “The club are disappointed to have been let down, but will use this opportunity to show them who’s boss at BUCS regatta”. And LUBC did just that.

The club shone at the first regatta of the season. Both the men’s 1st and 2nd VIII qualified on day one, with the 1st VIII reaching the semi-final. York offered no competition here, failing to even enter a boat. The women’s VIII raced on day two, meeting York in their second heat. The qualifying times suggested a close race, both crews having made it to this point with the exact same time of 7.29. However, Lancaster held off York for the entire race, finishing a comfortable 2nd and sailing through to the final. York failed to qualify. The LUBC women came 5th in the final. The men’s double also raced that day, putting in a great effort and finishing their heat in a time of 7.10. The women’s IV’s raced on the final day. The A boat reached the semi’s, just one second short of the final. The B crew, this being their first outing in a boat together, reached the quarter final, only one second slower than the A boat.

An impressive end to Lent term led to a strong start to the summer term, with all round excellent results at BUCS regatta, signalling a successful season. These are exciting times for the club, who are once again teaching a valuable lesson to the competition; never underestimate Lancaster University Boat Club.