2021-2022 Full Season Report
With summer drawing to an end, we are given the opportunity to reflect upon the various successes of Liverpool University Boat Club this year.
2021-22 saw the end of major covid-19 restrictions for the senior rowers, and some brand new novices joining the club. This would turn out to be an incredibly successful 'Learn to Row Programme' for LUBC.
Head Coach Patrick Home said, “considering the first year of the new programme was all about laying down foundations, I was surprised by how quickly we turned out quality performances, particularly at the three Head of the River races.”
Head racing season
September was kick-started by a strong contingent of senior crews at Chester Long Distance Sculls.
In Division 1, the M1xs of Scott Marshall, Callum Kemp and William Jackson achieved competitive times in Bands 2 and 3, with Head Coach Patrick Home winning Band 2.
Division 2 saw the Open 2x of Luke Mellors and Scott Marshall achieve second place, closely followed home by Lucy Fraser, who finished a strong third in a competitive W1x Band 2 race. Bekah Hagan took the win in Band 3 with Grace Newport-Tucker close behind. It was a very successful day for the club and a great way to begin the season.
October saw more racing success for the seniors of LUBC.
At Agecroft Head, LUBC President Callum Kemp was back in the 1x for Division 1 with a tight victory in Band 3, giving the Men’s Squad their first medal of the 2021/22 season! In Division 3, the W4+ of Finli O’Donoghue, Grace Newport-Tucker, Anna Loughlin, Lucy Fraser and Georgia Silver (cox) were the class of the field, taking the victory over Agecroft and Northwich by nearly 40 seconds in Band 1.
At the end of October, the LUBC seniors took on Dee Autumn Head.
In Division 1, the Band 1 W8+ of the Agecroft 4+ Charlie Widdowson, Jess Franklin, Tara Johnson and Bekah Hagan came second to a very strong Grosvenor crew by a mere 8 seconds. Alumni Sarah McKay took the win for Grosvenor in the W1x to round off her preparation for GB trials that month.
As for the men, Oliver Wisbey’s first-ever race in the single was a success, finishing 2nd in Band 3 with a time that would’ve also seen him 2nd in Band 2, the 5th quickest out of the 10 entries in the Op1x boat class. The 2x of Ben Fleming and Joe Aldridge was given a tough race by three Grosvenor crews, placing 3rd in what was for both of them, their first race for the club.
November would be the first racing month of the year for the novice rowers, who had joined in late September but had been training hard to reach racing standard.
On the 28th the Beginner Men's 8+ of William Barker, Harvey Long, Tima Malikov, Roddy Carter, Matt Paver, Will Edwards, Leo Cowie and Hector Glover were coxed by Elizabeth Lee to victory at the annual Novice Race Day in Runcorn.
November was also a great month for the seniors at Fours Head on the 17th.
The Women's Academic 4x- of Charlie Widdowson, Finli O’Donoghue, Bekah Hagan and Lucy Fraser beat the club’s previous best finish of 261st in 2016 by placing an impressive 224th overall, coming second in their race.
The Men’s boat of Will Jackson, Jack Lockett, Andy Tudor, Luke Mellors, and cox Georgia Silver, came first in the Open Academic 4+ category. This was the highest Liverpool had ever placed!
December 4th would be the first race LUBC seniors and novices would enter together as a club.
This saw the first big win for the Novice Women's squad, coming first in the Beginner 8+ of Alice Simms, Niamh Peakman, Alice Taylor, Ellis Tubb, Rosie Boden, Amelia Roddy, Hannah Green and Alice Hillary. The Beginner Mens 8+ would continue to uphold their victory at Novice Race Day, achieving gold once more for LUBC!
After a month off from racing over the Christmas holidays, LUBC came back raring to go.
February saw history breaking results at BUCS Head.
On Saturday, the Women's Senior 8+ of Lucy Fraser, Charlie Widdowson, Bekah Hagan, Anna Loughlin, Jess Franklin, Ellie Cater, Grace Newport-Tucker, Johanna Thielemann and Georgia Silver (cox) achieved an incredible 3rd place, the highest result yet for the club!
Sunday saw the Beginner 4+ of Roddy Carter, Will Edwards, Tima Malikov and Hector Glover and the Beginner 8+ of Roddy Carter, Robert Harris, Tima Malikov, Hector Glover, Matthew Paver, Will Edwards, Leo Cowie and Harvey Long, both win silver for LUBC in their categories, coxed each time by Callum Kemp. This would allow LUBC to achieve the high ranking of 12th overall at the event, in a great demonstration of how hard work, commitment and determination can pay off for the club, after a tough few months of training.
March was a busy month of successful head racing for the club.
Beginning at WeHoRR, the Women's Senior 8+ of Anna Loughlin, Charlie Widdowson, Bekah Hagan, Jess Franklin, Grace Newport Tucker, Ellie Cater, Lucy Fraser, Johanna Thielemann and Georgia Silver (cox) took 1st place in the challenge academic cup, and 31st overall, in a history-breaking and highest ranking result for LUBC.
North of England Head saw the Women's Beginner 8+ of Alice Taylor, Niamh Peakman, Rosie Boden, Ellis Tubb, Amelia Smith, Jennifer Overend, Emma Warhurst, Hannah Green and Katie Byrne (cox) achieve 2nd place for the club, in a tough race against Manchester University A and B.
On the 26th, LUBC achieved yet another fantastic result at HoRR.
The Beginner Mens 8+ of Roddy Carter, Robert Harris, Tima Makilov, Hector Glover, Matthew Paver, Will Edwards, Leo Cowie and Harvey Long, was coxed by Amelia Roddy to 1st place in the Men's Beginner Academic category. This was a huge achievement for the novice men, who had only been rowing for a few months at that point, yet had been consistently strong as a crew.
The same day, the Senior Men's top 8+ of Sam Pepper, Jack Lockett, Piers Hunt, Luke Mellors, Will Jackson, Oliver Wisbey, Scott Marshall and Joe Aldridge, achieved the best result in 29 years for the club, coxed by Georgia Silver, placing 72nd overall!
April was the first month of the Regatta season for LUBC, who were keen to continue to show what they were capable of as a club.
BUCS Regatta on the 30th would be the first Regatta race the Novices would take part in.
On the Saturday, the Beginner Womens 8+ of Niamh Peakman, Hannah Green, Ellis Tubb, Alice Simms, Lucy Brett, Rosie Boden, Jenifer Overend and Alice Taylor achieved an impressive 1st place in the B final, coxed by Katie Byrne.
One the same day, the Men's squad also had some huge achievements.
Winners of the C final, the Senior Men's 8+ showed great teamwork, in a boat made up of Sam Pepper, Luke Mellors, Piers Hunt, Jack Lockett, Will Jackson, Oliver Wisbey, Scott Marshall, Joe Aldridge, and cox Georgia Silver.
The Mens Beginner 4+ of cox Amelia Roddy, Hector Glover, Leo Cowie, Tima Makilov and Will Edwards achieved 4th place in the a final, in what would be one of the highest results of the weekend.
Sunday saw big wins for the Women's squad once more.
The Women's Beginner 4x of Niamh Peakman, Alice Simms, Jennifer Overend and Ellis Tubb, were winners of the C final. This was the first coxless race the Novice Women would take part in.
The Senior Women's 8+ of Anna Loughlin, Johanna Thielemann, Grace Newport-Tucker, Charlie Widdowson, Bekah Hagan, Jess Franklin and Lucy Fraser, achieved 2nd in the B final, rounding off a brilliant weekend of results for the women.
On the Sunday, the Beginner Men's 8+ of Leo Cowie, Robert Harris, Hector Glover, Matthew Paver, Will Edwards, Roddy Carter, Harvey Long and cox Katie Byrne, achieved an incredible 2nd place in the A final, making the Men's Learn to Row Programme one of the most successful in the country!!
June was the final month of racing for the 2021-22 squad. For many, this would be the last set of Regatta's with LUBC.
In the build up to Henley Royal, the club took on Met Regatta.
Here, the Women's Beginner 4+ of Alice Simms, Ellis Tubb, Alice Taylor and Georgia Silver, punched above their weight for the first time, entering into an open category and winning the B final.
The Senior squads also proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with.
The Women's 8+ of Anna Loughlin, Johanna Thieleman, Grace Newport-Tucker, Charlie Widdowson, Bekah Hagan, Jess Franklin, Lucy Fraser, Ellie Cater, and cox Georgia Silver, came 2nd in the C final, and the Men's 8+ of Georgia Silver, Will Jackson, Jack Lockett, Piers Hunt, Luke Mellors, Scott Marshall, Oliver Wisbey, Sam Pepper and Joe Aldridge, beat a UL crew in the E final, which had two Tokyo Olympians in.
On the 11th, some of the beginner crews partook in Chester Regatta, to round off their first year of racing.
The Men's 4x of Nick Sunderland, Will Edwards, Alfie Champion and Rob Harris took home gold for LUBC, whilst the Women's 4x of Catie Biddle, Lydia Willis, Jennifer Overend and Niamh Peakman achieved 2nd and were best race pennant winners. The Women's 2x of Jennifer Overend and Niamh Peakman also achieved 3rd place in their Band.
One week later the women took on Henley Womens' in the 4’s. The top Women's intermediate 4- of Charlie Widdowson, Bekah Hagan, Anna Loughlin and Jess Franklin, smashed qualifiers, but were beaten by Dutch crew on Friday evening, after a tough race against a strong crew.
Henley Royal qualifiers would be the last race of the year for the club, who prepared to leave it all on the water. This race concluded a year of hard work and training, and to do well in qualifiers would make it all worth it.
Incredibly, the Senior Women's 8+ of Anna Loughlin, Johanna, Thieleman, Grace Newport-Tucker, Charlie Widdowson, Ellis Tubb, Jess Franklin, Bekah Hagan and Ellie Cater, were the 3rd fastest non-qualifiers of the Island Challenge Cup.
The Senior Mens 8+ of Sam Pepper, Jack Lockett, Piers Hunt, Luke Mellors, Will Jackson, Oliver Wisbey, Scott Marshall, Joe Aldridge, did equally as well, missing out on Temple qualification by just 6 seconds.
Both crews exceeded expectations through to the finish line.
Women's captain Jess Franklin said, “this year has been my favourite at LUBC! We made history on multiple occasions, such as the first women’s squad BUCS Head medal and placing 31st at WeHoRR, the highest a Liverpool crew has ever placed. I have loved being part of the squad, and seeing our hard work and dedication pay off!”
As a conclusive note, Head Coach Patrick Home said, “for Year 1, it went even better than I expected and I learned a lot about the current landscape of University rowing. These lessons will propel us towards greater results in Year 2.”