The home stretch of the season for our athletes is highlighted by two of the biggest events of the year, Marlow Regatta and the world-famous Henley Royal Regatta, for which a year of hard training is undertaken. This year was no exception, after months of hard training it was time to see where we stood.
While our women’s squad were in Henley for Henley Women’s Regatta, our men headed to Dorney lake for Marlow. Our 4+ competed in the University/College fours, placing 15th in the time trial, coming off the water happy with the performance but believing there was more that could be done. They next raced in the C Final as the top seed for the final. After a strong start from the rest of the field they came out of the start lingering in 4th place, trusting in their race pace they slowly chipped away putting all but Goldie behind them by the 1k mark. Despite continuing to move through their sprint the finish line came to soon, leaving them in 2nd across the line, 16th overall. Coming off the water with a positive outlook with a very competitive time across the category and the knowledge that there was more speed to be gained. Our men’s eight also raced in the university/college 8’s made up of predominantly athletes who had learnt to row at the club, 3 of which, this year. Despite not performing at their best on the day, they showed great potential for the start of the next season with only one athlete not returning.
Following a week back on the river weaver, our 4+ then headed back down south to race the qualifying races for the Prince Albert challenge cup on the Henley course. They went down with the odds stacked against them needing to beat at least 33 crews to clinch one of the remaining 4 spots, against very tough opposition. Despite this, James Thorne (S), Nicolas Cerulus (3), Timmy Davidson (2), Jacob Norman (B) & Catherine Oliver (Cox) went into the day with a positive outlook on their situation, with a solid paddle down the turbulent water of Henley in the morning already in the bag. A strong pace was set from the get-go and an unrelenting drive kept this going down the entire course, taking the lessons learnt throughout the season optimize their pace all the way down the track. Coming off the water with the belief they could not have done anymore. Despite this the competition was just too strong in an unbelievably competitive draw putting them 16thoverall in the qualification race, and adding those pre-qualified, 28than impressive result considering the opponents. For three of these athletes this would be their last race in Liverpool University colours, James Thorne, Catherine Oliver & Nicolas Cerulus. We would like to say a huge thank you for everything they have contributed to the club and good luck with all your future endeavors both on and of the water. We would also like to say thank you to Andrew Tudor who, despite not racing came down to Henley to drive the trailer and the athletes themselves down, and to our Coach Patrick Stephens for all his hard work throughout the year.
Despite no current LUBC athlete racing at HRR this year it was still a huge year with some massive results for our alumni. Firstly in the Thames Challenge Cup, we had 3 Sphinx members, Abigail Sanders, James Brown & Jack Hayes racing for Royal Chester RC and unfortunately being knocked out on the Wednesday by Green Lake crew. In the Ladies’ challenge plate there were to previous LUBC athletes racing. Pete Robinson raced for East India & Gent, first racing & beating Oxford Brookes B before finally succumbing to the might of Leander Club in the quarter finals. Finally our very own Oli Wilkes, after 5 years racing at Henley and 2 previous defeats in the semifinals, made it all the way in the Ladies challenge plate with Oxford Brookes A beating Hollandia Roeiclub in the final, making it three in a row for Brookes. An unbelievable achievement for someone who learnt to row at Liverpool only 5 years ago, Congratulations Oli and we look forward to seeing you continuing to Achieve Amazing results in the coming years.