Friday, 11 November 2011

Oh tideway, how we've missed you!

The first big race has finally hit LUBC. The men's four took to London on 5th November 2011 to row the 6.4km horror that is Fours Head 2011. After only four weeks of intensive training, this was to be a challenge to all rowers and their cox. The tideway consists of tough water, huge amounts of competition and a very fast stream.

We rocked up to our boats and started rigging bright and early at 7.30 in preparation for an outing. This was to practise catching the fastest part of the stream for the cox and to relax the rowers. We ploughed up and down the gap between Barnes and Chiswick bridge and came into our tent to keep warm and maintain energy levels for the slog ahead.

At 11.11 the boat took to the water to find their marshalling position and endure the hour long wait until it was their turns to start their race. The race was tough and the boys powered through to the end and the horrendous row back and after derigging we took to the road for some well deserved KFC and an impromptu night in sugar... However, we waited anxiously, checking online every ten minutes to see the results. When they eventually got put up, we found that the heavies had stormed in at a fantastic 186th.

It was a good result and set a good precedent for the rest of the season. Our final race of the term will be Rutherford Head on 2nd December and there will be an indoor event next weekend at Chester, so keep checking for more info and results!

Over and out

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Nothing like a cheeky medal!

Another year has dawned upon us and the first race was Dee Head in Chester on 29th October. LUBC has only been in full training for 2 weeks and went to get experience in their new crews for the year and for fours' head next week.

We left Lancaster at a rather painful 6.30am to be ready in Chester for the first race at 9am. After a quick nap in the mini bus, the men's VIII was raring to go in the 4k IM2 race. They donned the much loved red and black lycra, grabbed water and got in the boat. Conditions were fairly good as they proceeded down to the start line, while the girls waited with cameras and cheering voices at Sandy Lane. The lads faced tough competition from Pengwern, Trafford and Athnole, Ireland. However, they stormed in ahead of every other crew in their category, with the first win of the season by 58 seconds.

As the afternoon began, there was a three hour delay in proceedings as the tide changed and there were huge trunks of tree going down the river as our worried coxes looked on. In the afternoon there were three LUBC races: the IM2 4+, IM3 4+ and the all new women's coxless quad. This was a tougher race, particularly as we had spent so long standing in the cold waiting for the tide to go out. However LUBC still managed a respectable result in all three races. The two men's fours, which will be attending Head of the River next weekend, came third in their respective categories. Finally, the women's quad rowed a very respectable time (as there was nobody else in their category, we shall say they won), despite a small incident involving their boat and the bank, making their time even more impressive.

Therefore, we concluded that the results of the day were pretty great, as the men went off home with their medals, particularly after so little time training. So bring on the head season LUBC!!

Over and out.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Onwards Boat Club into 2011/12

Once again, greetings boat clubbers!

Freshers week is looming ahead of us and preparations must be made for another year of success! The olympic flame of blogging has been passed onto me, Natasha, and I will be publishing the tales of our beloved boat club this year!

Summer has been quiet without you all, though credit must be given to the mixed VIII who raced and won at Peterborough Regatta on 14th August. Congratulations to Owen Dyson, Daniel Morgan, Alex King and Natasha Iddin along with our soon to be coach, Neil Cobb, who joined forces with UWE and City of Bristol Rowing Club to annihilate their opposition on the Sunday and to waltz away with a shiny shiny tankard!

So as we brace ourselves for the new year, I am putting out a call to all freshers: if you want to get fit, get out and about and participate in the university’s most prestigious and elite sports club, JOIN NOW! Meet us at Fresher’s fair and sign up, whether you are a newbie, a postgrad or if you just fancy giving something new a try :D


Some news from the end of summer term

Hello to LUBC!

Before the new academic year commences, it seems appropriate to round off the last year efficiently. Therefore,I present you these reports were by Owen Dyson, a recent graduate of Lancaster University Boat Club. These were written during his final days as a member of our excellent club. He reports on BUCS Regatta, the annual Roses tournament and Nottingham City Regatta. Brace yourselves, for the longest blog yet! Take to the stage, Owen!

Battling the Storm!

Held at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, BUCS Regatta is one of only two BUCS events for rowing each year, making it one of the highlights of LUBC’s regatta season.
Saturday morning showed signs that this year’s event may once again be blighted the strong winds that cause the rowing lake to resemble an ocean, not ideal conditions for fine racing boats.
The morning also saw the Beginner Men’s 4+ and Intermediate Men’s 8+ time trial over 1500m (3/4 of the racing distance). With the 4+ racing against 71 other crews for just 12 spaces in semi-finals and the VIII racing against 32 crews for 19 places in the semi-finals, the competition for qualification was high.
Both crews performed admirably, the Beginner 4+ ranking 34th out of the 71, not enough to qualify for the semi-finals but put them into the new style of sub-finals. This is BUCS’s new way of giving beginner crews that do not qualify for the main rounds essential experience of multi-lane, side-by-side racing. The Intermediate VIII came in 16th of the 32 crews putting them firmly into the semi-finals.
Unfortunately by the time racing was due to start wind conditions had deteriorated beyond acceptability resulting in 3ft waves and a tail wind that was almost impossible to walk into. Many events were cancelled, including LUBC’s Beginner 4’s sub-final, and the whole day was greatly delayed. Events that were still run were done so over just 1000m, half of the intended distance. The 8 struggled in the conditions and put in a performance that was below the standard required to make the final.
Sunday was the busiest day with four crews racing; Women’s Beginner 4+, Men’s Beginner 8, Women’s Intermediate 8 and Men’s Intermediate 4+. All crews except the WVIII were required to time trial after they pre-qualified for their event at BUCS Head Race which was held in February. Unfortunately none of the crews qualified for the main rounds though some positives were taken from the day for these crews with the Men’s Int. 4+ placing 22 out of 54 crews, Women’s Beg. 4+ coming in at 30th out of 53. The Men’s Beg. 8+ came in 27th out of 38 after a crab*-strewn 1500m courtesy of Mark ‘McCrabben’ McCracken.
The Women’s Int. 8+ faired considerably better. Coming a respectable 3rd in their heat, upping their game to come second in the semi final and eventually coming home 6th overall out of a field of 28 crews.
The final day of the regatta saw conditions return to the almost un-raceable winds and waves of Saturday afternoon. Only the Women’s Championship 4+ (that had also prequalified at BUCS Head) had to suffer these conditions and against an exceptionally strong field in the category that was above the crew’s level of competitiveness the boat unfortunately progressed no further than the first round.
All in all a typical weekend for LUBC with highs and lows for all members but one that will certainly be remembered for years as the weekend that LUBC virtually went coastal rowing!
A rowing error where the rower is unable to timely remove or release the oar from the water, the oar acting as a brake on the boat until it is removed from the water.

The war of the ROSES

As many are aware, rowing was the founding event of Roses way back in 1964 during the university’s year of inception. To honour this position within Roses, York made rowing their headline event inviting the chancellor and vice-chancellor of the University of York to attend as well as having ample media coverage of all the races. Needless to say, the pressure was on LUBC to put on a good show.
The afternoon started with the Fresher Men’s 4+, an event that is not raced for Roses points but as an opening exhibition race. The crew consisted of M.McCracken, S.Spavound, R.Quelch, J.Osbourne and E.Davidson (cox). They began the day well for Lancaster winning very comfortably indeed to boost confidence in the LUBC camp after York’s coxswain failed to steer a good course resulting in the crew making contact with the river bank.
Quickly followed was the Senior Women’s 4+ made up of A.Lees, B.Hoose, J.Tonkins, L.Allen and T.Iddin (cox). This was much more closely contested. The stretch of river rowed on for Roses is intended to be fair however there is a clear benefit to being on the eastern station, which gets the inside of a significant bend in the river. Due to this Lancaster’s women were half a length down (roughly 6m) coming out of the bend, having started on the western side. The grit and determination that has characterised LUBC’s women over recent years yet again showed through and on the final 400m straight they powered through York to take the victory by ¾ of a length (around 8m). Two wins from two so far Lancaster and a 4-0 lead in the overall standings.
A small break was followed by the commencing of racing with the Novice Women’s 4+, Novice Men’s 8+ and the Senior Men’s 4+.
The women’s 4+ made up of K.Ross, A.Fairer, J.Brough, D.Oakley and N.Iddin (cox) were newly formed and with limited experience rowing their 4+ were beaten by a York crew that exhibited a great deal more power.
Racing for the Novice Men’s 8+ (A.Hunton, M.Depping, J.Campbell, S.Miller, G.Frazier, M.Whitehead, S.Spavound, M.McCracken, E.Davidson (cox) began ignominiously with a capsizing while pushing off from the landing steps, a practice LUBC is not adept with as boating is done from a slip way on the Lune rather than the awkward steps of the Ouse. After gathering themselves and drying off as best they could the 8+ raced admirably, losing by only half a length (c.8m) which was disappointing for the crew but given the circumstances was a good showing.
The third race of the second division was the Senior Men’s 4+, containing O.Dyson, D.Morgan, S.Lyons, A.King and R.Sugden (cox). Having been firmly beaten by York’s 4+ at BUCS Regatta the weekend previously the trend continued and despite a gutsy row by Lancaster’s men the York crew dominated from start to finish, winning comfortably by 2 or more lengths (25m). With York aiming to qualify this 4+ for Henley Royal Regatta this year the result was no surprise. LUBC wishes the best of luck to this crew in their Henley preparations.
With senior races being worth four points and novice races worth two points this put York into a lead of 8-4 after shrugging off their slow start and dictating the second division.
The third division was made up of the two most prestigious races, Senior Women’s 8+ and Senior Men’s 8+ topping the bill. With 8 points available the overall victory was still up for grabs!
The Women’s 8+ (made up of the Senior 4+ in the stern section and Novice 4+ in the bow section) was another closely contested battle. Being caught off guard by an over-zealous starting marshal Lancaster’s women were down off the line and despite a huge effort from every member of the crew never managed to claw back the distance lost and were eventually beaten by York’s women who by the end of the kilometre had stretched their legs and won by just over a length (18m). This gave York the points they needed to win Roses rowing overall. So with the points at 12-4, Lancaster’s Senior Men’s 8+ (A.Hunton, O.Dyson, D.Morgan, S.Miller, J.Campbell, S.Lysons, A.King, A.Bainbridge and R.Sugden (cox)) were racing for pride and to hopefully prevent a 16-4 thrashing.
This last race finally began after a wind-complicated line up of both crews. York went off hard, knowing Lancaster had the advantage of the bend. By the start of the bend York had 1/3 of a length advantage over Lancaster but this was quickly reeled back in. As the course began to straighten Lancaster were still moving on York when the second collision of the day occurred; York’s coxswain attempting to cut the corner too tightly meaning when a member of York’s crew crabbed* the two boats were brought together with a great deal of clashing of oars. Lancaster quickly recovered and sprinted the final 400m to the finish line to leave York veering wildly across the course. It was later found out that the fin on York’s boat had fallen out, a very rare occurrence indeed.
The overall result was 12-8 to York. Despite being beaten LUBC were still proud of the performances put in as well as being able to contribute 8 points to Lancaster’s Roses total.
* A rowing error where the rower is unable to timely remove or release the oar from the water, the oar acting as a brake on the boat until it is removed from the water.

From Swimming to Winning: Nottingham City Regatta.

Having not attended this regatta in a number of years, LUBC was unsure as to what the level of competition would be like. However excited to be racing for the third consecutive weekend the club set off on Friday for a night of camping with high hopes for the racing on Saturday!

The highlight of the weekend was the Novice Men’s 8+ which was racing in the afternoon division. Having been embarrassed by a just-off-the-landing-stage capsizing at Roses just 7 days before hand the crew was eager to show their ability with a good result over the 2km course.

Their racing started with a semi-final against St. Peter’s College and Reading Blue. Lancaster cruised to a victory by 5.5seconds over St. P’s and RB after taking an unassailable lead at the 1000m mark and easing it in over the latter half of the race in order to preserve their energy for the final. LUBC’s men were pitted against Bedford School and Reading Blue. Yet again Lancaster took a strong lead after just 500m despite having being dropped off the start due to a signalling error. By 1000m the advantage was still firmly with Lancaster’s Novice men who took no chances and powered it home to take the victory in Novice 8+’s by 7.4seconds. The entire club was very happy to see the novice men win so emphatically and each earn themselves a British Rowing point (making them no longer ‘Novice’ but ‘Intermediate 3’ rowers) as well as a beautiful tankard each, the standard award for winning an event in rowing.

Also competing for LUBC’s men’s squad was an Intermediate 2 4+ and an Intermediate 3 4+. The IM2 4+ was outclassed in their heat by clubs such as Goldie (the name given Cambridge University’s 2nd crews, usually made up of people who were competing to be in the Blue Boats for the Boat Race) Rob Roy (based in Cambridge) and Warwick University.

The Intermediate 3 4+ fared better, coming second to Derby University in their semi-final and comfortably making it through to the final, beating Royal Chester Boat Club and City of Sheffield Rowing Club. The performance they put in, in the final however was poor, only improving by improving by only 10 seconds from semi-final to final when other crews managed to go up to 35 seconds faster in the improving conditions.

The women’s squad was also present in their 4’s, a Senior 4+ and a Novice 4+.

The Novice 4+, in their first side-by-side 2 kilometre race held their own against much larger and experience crews. To this end they came in a respectable third in a straight final of four.

To gain extra race experience the Senior 4+ was entered in their correct racing category (Intermediate 2) in the morning division as well as Intermediate 1 in the afternoon.

The IM2 semi-final saw the women pitted against Agecroft, Marlow, Tyne and Durham Amateur; a very tough field for the women to compete in. The result was a win for Agecroft followed by Tyne and Marlow with Lancaster in 4th, 14 seconds behind Agecroft who were the eventual winners of the WIM2 4+.

It was also a similar story for the IM1 race which was a straight final. Against crews from Agecroft, Marlow, Nottingham, York City and Tyne the women managed a respectable 4th beating York City and Tyne into 5th and 6th respectively and coming in around 30 seconds to the Agecroft crew who had also won the IM2 earlier in the day.
Despite the results from the senior crews over the day LUBC returned to Lancaster proud to boats a men’s squad made up of almost entirely Intermediate 3 rowers.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

LUBC vs. LUBC - Boat Club fundraising intra-club relay race.

Lancaster University Boat Club held a sponsored event in Market Sq., Lancaster, on 30th March. It was a intra-club relay race. The black team won (probably due to the Herculean strength of yours truly) with 128,223 metres, although red were close behind with 127,490m.

Thanks to our sponsors for the event;
Matthew Paul Hair and Beauty
The Runners Centre
Azizi Lingerie

The club raised just over £50 in a collection for Cancer Research, and around £300 for the club. Thanks to all who have donated so far. If you would still like to donate to the club, then the link is

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Article - Lent Term 2011 Week 8

Boat Club enjoy rare BUCS success
by Becky Hoose

Lancaster University Boat Club earned it’s most BUCS points in recent years, after a successful weekend in Peterborough at BUCS Head of River in week 5. The club did well at the BUCS endorsed indoor competitions towards the end of last term, but failed to gain any points. It was a different story at this outdoor event.

The women’s IV came third in the championship category, racing above their official intermediate status, winning 10 points for the university. The crew were only bested by boats from Southampton and Cardiff, beating off competition from the likes of Durham, Edinburgh and Manchester. It was a surprisingly successful race for the girls, who were competing above their category in what was only their second outdoor event of the academic year. Women’s Captain-elect Alice Lees commented “I’m really pleased with the result. It shows that Lancaster women are competitive. I was surprised with how well we did, although the race had gone well.” This shock victory earned the university it’s first official BUCS points of the year, with points for many sports yet to be added to the overall championship table.

The crew of the IV made up four of the competitors in Lancaster’s women’s intermediate VIII, who raced earlier on the same day. With no real benchmark to predict the outcome for the crew’s first race, the women placed 4th out of 14, finishing 3 seconds shy of 3rd placed Reading and therefore more BUCS points. Lancaster beat off close rivals York, who placed 4th in the category, boding well for the women in the fast-approaching Roses competition.

Also racing on the Sunday were the intermediate men. Racing in a competitive division, with more than double the entries of any of the women’s races, the men came 27th and 34th in the IV’s. They also competed in the VIII, but encountered some difficulties during the race. After a strong start, the men were managing to hold off the Warwick boat, until they encountered the narrow bridge which lies at the half way point of the race. This led to a blade clash, which lost them valuable seconds. The Lancaster men had to row in the wake of Warwick’s boat for the remainder of the race. They finished 24th, only 3 seconds behind the crew above them.

Conditions had not been as favourable on the previous day. Fortunately, the weather was not a repeat of that of the year before, with the BUCS Head race of 2010 plagued by snow and frost. However, it was heavy rain and wind which opened the competition this year, testing the will-power of those competing in the beginner races on Saturday. Division one saw the debut race for Lancaster’s men’s beginner VIII, who placed 38th in their competitive category. The women’s beginner IV came 22nd, with the men’s beginner IV’s coming 30th and 36th. Conditions were not ideal for the novice rowers, but all seemed to enjoy their racing experience.

LUBC has always suffered from a novice intake which is inferior to that of other universities, something which was highlighted at the indoor events at the end of last year, when universities such as Manchester boasted more that double the competitors that Lancaster brought. Despite this, they remain in contention at a competitive level, and the BUCS weekend saw some promising results, which perhaps foreshadows a successful season.

Lancaster have several races coming up in the final weeks of Lent term. Week 8 sees the club attending Runcorn Eights Head for the first time, before the women compete at Women’s Head of River Race in London the following weekend. After that comes the North of England Head, for both the men’s and women’s crews, with the term coming to an end with the men’s Head of River Race in week 11.

Team Spotlight

SCAN editor Nick O'Malley did a team spotlight of the boat club, which you can read here -

Monday, 17 January 2011

Article - Lent Term 2011 Week 1

Lancaster Student Breaks World Record
by Becky Hoose

It was an exciting end to Michaelmas term for Lancaster University Boat Club, as they enjoyed huge success at the Chester Indoor Championships, followed by one member of the club breaking a world record.

After the success at the BUCS Indoor Rowing Championship in Yorkshire, the club travelled to Chester for the North West University Indoor Rowing Championships with high hopes, and they did not disappoint. This competition was attended by 7 of the universities which totalled more than 200 athletes, competing over 6 different categories. This was the last event of the BUCS Indoor Rowing series 2010, and consequently the last chance for LUBC athletes to show their worth at indoor rowing.

First to race were the beginners. Those representing Lancaster posted promising times in their heats, including both John Campbell and Sven Lehnie who won their separate Beginner Men’s heats. Campbell, who took the bronze in Leeds the weekend before, went on to win gold in Beginner Men’s and was Lancaster’s first medallist of the day. This success was followed by Lydia Allen, who echoed her achievement of the previous weekend by winning gold in the Lightweight Women’s race, posting a time of 7.55 minutes over the 2,000m course. Alice Lees was next to medal for the club, taking silver in the Senior Women’s race. In the Senior Men’s race, it was John O’leary who claimed victory in the final, winning yet another gold for Lancaster. The individual races over, it was time for the relay races. Teams of four had to race over a 3,000m course, splitting the distance between all of team members. The Senior Women’s relay team took the silver, as did the Beginner Women’s composite team, who collaborated with two members of Salford University in order to have the required team of four needed to compete. The final race of the day, and of the BUCS series 2010, was the Senior Men’s relay, so it was fitting for Lancaster to see one final victory. The Lancaster Men’s A team won their relay, with an impressive time of 8.36 minutes.

It was undoubtedly a triumphant weekend for Lancaster. They doubled their own success of the weekend before by coming away with an astounding 7 medals, comprising of 4 gold and 3 silver. LUBC were proud to come away having been named the second best university club in the North West.

More success and excitement rounded off Michaelmas term, with a world record attempt by one of the club’s members. On 19th December 2010, LUBC’s Dan Morgan broke the world record for the most metres rowed in 24 hours on a rowing machine in the men’s under 20 open weight category. The event took place in the heart of Lancaster in Market Square, outdoors and in the middle of one of the coldest winters since records began. As well as having to contend with the subzero temperatures, Dan also had to overcome other issues that accompany such a sustained period of rowing, such as dehydration and fatigue. However, the Lancastrian public were out in force and were quick to show their admiration for Dan’s attempt. Locals were generous with both their donations and their support for the entirety of the challenge. During the race, Dan burned around 14,000 calories and lost a staggering 3kg in weight. He took on this challenge in order to raise money for the Antony Nolan Trust, a charity which does vital research into Leukaemia, and Lancaster University Boat Club. The proceeds will be split equally between the two causes. The total amount raised is yet to be confirmed, but the street collection alone raised more than £300. “It was as mentally difficult as it was physically, but I’m glad that I did it” said Dan, when asked about the experience. “I’m very pleased to have got the record, and it’s great we’ve raised so much money. I felt absolutely shattered for the next two days, but quickly recovered after that. I’d need serious tempting to even consider doing it again anytime soon!” And who could blame him?