Reading Town Regatta is the last event for SUBC of the 2014/2015 academic year, after a long season of races stretching back to the Upper Thames Head. A short, furious 800m sprint, along a narrow stretch of the Thames, side by side with 2 other boats. None of our ladies entered into this event, as the university had all but finished and members were already starting to scatter across the globe. The men who did compete were fresh from Henley qualifiers the day before, and were keen to deliver some results after the disappointment of not qualifying for the Prince Albert Challenge Cup.
SUBC were first represented by the double scull of Julian Neidermaier and Hidde Ottens, who progressed to the final with an easily verdict in the heat against Sir William Borlase’s grammar schools and Staines BC. Despite this strong start, the excitement of the occasion must have got to the boys as there was some interesting steering on their way down the course, and they couldn’t quite keep in contention for the win.
A coxed novice 4 consisting of Peter Kille (stroke), James Tepper, Robert Briggs and Josh Cullen, and coxed by the determined Rachael Ball, had a very interesting journey to the final: Taking the Berkshire station for the heat, there was some questionable steering at the start (not on SUBC’s part) and very nearly a clash of blades. After all that, the race resulted in a dead heat between SUBC and Bryanston School BC, which meant an immediate re-row. SUBC went on to win the re-row by one and a quarter lengths, and after a short break ashore, returned to the start for the final between against Warwick University and Abingdon School. Taking the Oxfordshire station, there was yet again a kerfuffle at the start and after five or six strokes and a clash of blades between SUBC and Abingdon, the umpire called for the racing to stop and the crews were instructed to return to the start. With everyone warned to steer straight, the race was restarted: After leaving Abingdon behind after the start, the crew settled down into thee quick slog up the river. Despite valiant efforts from the boys (and Rachael), Warwick managed to pull ahead by a length and stay there until the finish. Due to an administrative error, this same crew was entered into the IM2 category against 2 crack crews from the United States. Putting on a heroic display of British grit, the boys (and Rachael) took the central station at the start, battled through some turbulent water and showed the Americans how to lose by 4 lengths gracefully.
The senior coxed 4, with Angus Prosser at stroke, followed by James Phillips (sporting brand new Oakleys) Dan Regan, Nick Adams and coxed by the consummate Hannah Watson. Up against Reading Blue Coat and Cantabrigian Rowing Club for the first round, the race had to be restarted as Cantabrigian continually clashed blades with our boat off of the start, and as a result were disqualified. Reading Blue Coat were quick of the mark on the restart, but the boys successfully rowed through them to win by 2 lengths.
The second round against another Cantabrigian crew and Lady Margaret started without a hitch. Leaving Cantabrigian off of the start there was only Lady Margaret to hold off. Our boys pushed away, and despite frantic attempts from the other crew to regain ground on them they won! Ending the season with a tankard in hand the boys are looking forward to plenty more wins next year.
(Angus Prosser, Nick Adams, Hannah Watson, Dan Regan, and James Phillips)
Nick Adams and Angus Prosser also entered the IM3 2- category. Reading Blue Coat scratched on the day so the boys had a Row Over for their first round. Up against Eton Excelsior Rowing Club in the second round the boys were defeated by just 1 ft in a close fought race.
Meanwhile, the singles of Dan Regan and Yaroslav Shkanov had been quietly beavering away in the background at the novice single sculls. This culminated in both being in the final alongside Reading RC. Regan and Shkanov raced away from their Reading opponent, and remained exactly side by side for the entire course. With the remainder of SUBC running down the bank cheering them on, the chaps put on a terrific show, with the result being too close to call at the finish. After the photo finish had been evaluated, Dan Regan was declared the winner by one foot, and was proudly able to collect his pot and first sculling point.
All competitors were very pleased with the day’s racing, and are looking forward to starting the head season in September with a strong set of results behind them.