Saturday the 26th of January saw 6 UCL boats compete at Quintin Head, a race which ran from Hammersmith Bridge to 400m past Chiswick Bridge; a total of 4.6km.
In the first head race of the season – and the longest race our 4 novice boats had ever completed – nervous excitement filled the air as all 54 athletes readied themselves to race from our familiar boat house. We were fortunate enough to see the appearance of the sun for the first time in a week; the bitter cold had lessened and the rain stayed away. Armed with purple onesies, visors and nerves a-plenty, one after another we boated, joining the other 181 eights competing that day.
First to race, at number 32, were the Senior Men. After a strong race which promised an excellent result, the news that the boat had been disqualified was met with disappointment and frustration. Yet, knowing that they had raced well and would have placed highly in their category will only push the boys to train harder for their next race. In the Novice Men’s category UCLBC entered two boats, achieving an excellent 3rd place out of 25 other boats for the first boat and 15th for the second boat. Also placing third in their category of IM3 were the Senior Women, who were more than surprised by the outcome and determined now to close that 1.2-second gap between them and the winners of their category. The Novice Women achieved two impressive results, both in the top 10 of their category of 28 boats. After a difficult race, Crew 1 achieved a 5th place finish which they can only improve upon next time. Crew 2 raced excellently, overtaking 4 crews and finishing in 9th place.
It was a day of ups and downs, but as a starting point for the remainder of the season, these already impressive results can only be improved. Next up we have BUCS Head, a chance for UCL to weigh itself up against other universities and hopefully come away with the next round of impressive results.
Athena Mellor, Fundraising & Publicity