Last weekend, DUBC made our way to Aberdeen Boat Club for the very first head race of the season, “Aberdeen 4s and Small Boats HOR”. The River Dee provides for a fantastic course, just under 4km, with plenty of bridges for our crews to practice their steering through! Thanks to the uncooperative tide, it meant for a later start for the club heading up North which gave us all plenty of time to get knuckled down, fuelled up, rigged up and race ready before the first division.
First to take to the water was our Women’s Open 4X (Bow: Rosie Handley, Jenna Boyd, Sophie Hannigan and Rosie Bowick: Stroke). Our bow pair, both new members of DUBC this year came to us with previous experience and slotted very nicely into this crew. Having only recently purchased our first coxless 4-/x these girls were the first to “race christen” the boat. Looking sharp, strong and slick as they flew past their team mates on the bank, the girls secured 2nd place with a respectable time of 12.14.0, placing 16th in the division overall, a solid platform to build upon for the rest of the Head Race season.
After a couple of steak and macaroni pies, the second division saw our men’s Nov 4+- (Bow: Lachlan Dow, Ali Iredale, Karim Zwart, Alistair Bonsall :Stroke) and R2 4x (Bow: Nick Ambrose, Matthew Simpson, Harry Rogerson-Gleave, Alex Phillips :Stroke), and our women’s R2 4+ (Bow: Fiona Lapp, Katie Canniford, Hannah Campbell, Eleanor Brinkhoff :Stroke) take to the water. The novice boys sailed past maintain a strong and steady rhythm, looking very relaxed as they pushed past the other crews. Their cox (Steffan Jones) motivated them right through the line winning the event with a time of 11:02 (even with the steering still tied down!!), giving our boys a major confidence boost for the rest of the season. The men’s coxless quad, worked together, staying long and strong right to the end and finished with second place, coming away with plenty of focus points for the rest of the season. Last to take to the water for the day, was our top senior women in the R2 4+ coxed by our new and upcoming cox, Bella Ashcroft. These girls have gone strength to strength over the past year, securing plenty of water time to make their mark on the upcoming season, and they sure did by winning the category with a strong time of 12.04. Big congrats to Bella for having the confidence to stay with and motivate her crew to success!
A good night’s sleep back in Dundee and with an extra hour in bed, our rowers made their way back to A.B.C to compete for the second day. With the sun shining and beautifully flat water, our small boats stood eager to get out and smash the course! First to take to the glass, our women’s Open 2- (Fiona Lapp, Katie Canniford) who have been working in the miles for their first race in the pair. Starting of strong, the girls stood strong amongst the other competitors but steering difficulties occurred in the last 1km coming in with a time of 13.36. The girls came away with plenty of experience and have since analysed their race on where to improve for next time. Next up, our two scullers, Harry in his novice single and Eleanor in her R2 single. For his first race in his single, Harry was relaxed and strong, placing 3rd with a respectable time of 12.59. Harry is excited to get more miles in, improve on certain aspects of his stroke and come back fighting. Having lost her novice status last season, Eleanor was excited for a new challenge with a more equal level of competition. Making her mark in the R2 category, Eleanor came away with a time of 12.55, placing 3rd. Gaining more experience, Eleanor is already looking at more ways to improve her overall times.
Fuelling up and a quick turnaround, division 2 still blessed us with more ideal rowing conditions. First up, Lachlan Dow, Karim Zwart, made their debut racing the Open2-, coming away with their heads held high and a great race experience., and even managed to complete the course without having to swim home! Our two newbies, Nick Ambrose and Alex Phillips, raced the Open2x. Having both had previous experience from rowing at St Andrew and Reading Boat Club, the boys were excited to represent their new club and make their mark. Being the only boat in their category they bounced off the surrounding crews and came away with a solid time of 12.51. We’re excited to see how these boys progress throughout their time at DUBC. Also making her debut, Fiona Lapp, has taken like a duck to water with her single. Having an immense amount of determination, Fiona has been practicing day in and out, and has come on heaps of bounds which was visibly shown in her big win in the Novice category, beating her other rival by 3minutes!
Last but certainly not least, our Fresher boys. Racing in the beginner 4+ category the boys were full of nerves and excitement for their first ever race. Having had a mixture or turbulent and successful sessions, the boys did DUBC and themselves proud, staying controlled and strong throughout the entire race. A couple of technical slip ups didn’t put them off but only strengthened their ambition to work harder and improve for the next race!
A very successful start to the head race season, with strong platforms to build upon over the next coming weeks, DUBC are looking forward to their upcoming races at Inverness and Glasgow.