This year saw probably the strongest field of entries in the last 7 years at the Ghent May Regatta in Belgium. With Essen, Duisburg and Ratzeburg cancelled due to conflicts with, and prioritising the German Olympic Trials, many a National squad, club and university crew chose to race at Ghent instead. Trialist crews from Germany, selected Swiss and Dutch crews turned up in force, making for a very exciting regatta.
The Boat Club came away with a number of medals in both sweep and sculling disciplines, as well as winning the Victor Ludorum of the regatta for most successful all-round team. Imogen Mackie took 3rd in a strong Lw1x field, with Ollie’s Morgan and Hayward claiming silver on both days in the LM2x. The 4- of Hawkins, Partridge, Spik and Gillard found themselves in a fight with Nereus both days, coming home with silver medals, and the 4+ steered by Charlie Clarke similarly with silvers behind Switzerland’s U23 4+.
The highlight of the weekend came in the 8’s events – the Women’s 8+ led the German U23’s both days to halfway in gutsy races, finishing in silver medal position ahead of another U23 German crew, a Dutch development crew, Molesey and Thames. The Men’s 8+ turned over rivals Nereus by over a length in a thrilling race, featuring the same crew that frustratingly beat them at Henley last season.
Competition was tougher than usual this year, so to come away with a number of medals and wins, as well as valuable racing experience against high-calibre crews, should put the Boat Club in good stead before its next major competitions at the Holland Beker in the Netherlands, and Metropolitan Regatta in 3 weeks.