BUCs Regatta 2023

Brookes Rowing take on BUCs Regatta

Over the weekend, the first multi-lane racing of the year took place for the whole of the Brookes squad. Some fantastic performances were seen throughout the weekend by the team.

Six men’s VIIIs took to the water at Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham, for the first day of racing. In benign conditions, the Brookes 1st VIII, coxed by fresher Tom Bryce, took first place in the time trial and one of two spots straight into the A-Final. The 2nd VIII, won their Repechage to line up in the Final against some tough competition.
In the Final, Brookes I took an early lead out of the start and immediately started to dictate the racing. Brookes II, found themselves chasing Durham in 2nd place early on and at halfway they were down by a length. Brookes I continued to stretch out their lead in a fantastic show of speed and power in the second half of the race. They crossed the line in 1st place to come BUCs Champions in a time of 5:37.39, almost 12 seconds ahead of 2nd place. One of the standout results of the regatta. Brookes II made a valiant effort to chase down a strong crew from Durham who beat Brookes to the line by 0.7 seconds.

In the Intermediate VIIIs, Brookes comfortably finished inside of the Top 12 to take four crews into the AB Semi’s. In the Semi-Finals, Brookes III&IV were able to progress into the A-Finals. Come the final, Brookes were lead early by a crew from University of London. Despite their belated efforts, Brookes were unable to reel in the leaders and crossed the line to take silver and bronze in Intermediate VIIIs.

The second day of racing saw the arrival of the Brookes Women, who bought four VIIIs to the regatta. The Brookes 1st VIII won the time trial by 1 second over the University of London to progress straight to the A-Final. The weather conditions deteriorated throughout the day and some tricky conditions were around for Sunday afternoon finals. Brookes charged out of the blocks in the final and were able to start establishing a lead early in the race. Brookes were able to break clear water just after halfway and were able to stretch out their lead into the final meters to win the third championship women’s VIIIs title in a row for Oxford Brookes. Their margin of victory was almost 9 seconds. Another outstanding result across the whole of the regatta.

In one of perhaps the most exciting races across the weekend was the final of Intermediate Women’s VIIIs. Two crews made the A final and lined up next to each other for a final show down. The following race embodies perfectly the environment and standard that is continuing to develop under the coaching of Hugo Gulliver at Oxford Brookes. Both crews, through 500m were already clear water ahead of the rest of the chasing field. The two crews traded blows throughout, in a race of the highest quality. Brookes II led their teammates at halfway by a little over a canvas. As the last 500m approached, both crews raised their rate of striking in a final sprint for the line. Being cheered on from the rest of the team from the side lines, Brookes III claimed Intermediate Gold by a little over ¾ of a length over Brookes II to claim the first ever 1|2 for the Brookes Women in Int 8+ at BUCs Regatta. An outstanding performance by all involved. The time in which Brookes II & III finished in would have placed them 3rd and 4th in Championship VIIIs, one race later.
The women’s results capped on a fantastic afternoon for BROOKES|Rowing where five gold medals were won in a row in the space of half an hour on the Sunday afternoon.

In the Men’s Coxed Four, the crew of Ben Hinves, Fergus Woolnough, Nykle Krijgsveld, Evan Olson and Tom Bryce produced perhaps the most eye-catching performance of the weekend. Brookes stormed the race, claiming Gold by a margin of over 19 seconds from the next fastest crew. Their time of 6:50.47 showed how strong a performance it was in comparison to the time the Brookes Championship Coxless Fours won Gold & Silver in of 7:05.93. Brookes also claimed 1st, 2nd and 4th in Men’s Intermediate Coxed Fours.

Brookes were also particularly proud of the efforts of the first Beginner crews to race at the regatta for over a decade. A huge thanks should go to Development & Learn to Row Coach, Hugo Sandars, for his efforts with this group and Brookes Sport for their continued support in allowing all of our athletes to perform at the highest level on the domestic and international stage.

Finally, there were a couple of non-student crews racing at Wallingford Regatta on Sunday. They came away with a 1|2 in Championship Coxless Fours with a clear water victory over the rest of the field. BROOKES|Rowing now turn their attention to racing abroad with the entire team heading to Ghent International Regatta this weekend and a select number of crews racing in Duisburg, Germany the following week.