With both Men’s and Women’s Head of the River race’s taking place over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday saw one of the biggest ULBC contingent’s in years descend on the Putney Embankment to compete, cheer on and help both the novice women’s VIII racing on the Saturday and the novice men’s 1st and 2nd VIII as well as the senior men’s VIII on the Sunday. It was fantastic to see so many family, friends and alumni on the embankment and there was a real Leicester presence on both days.
The weekend began with the novice women starting from 317 on the Saturday. Thanks to a blistering start and finish, the girls rose over 100 places to finish 214 overall and finishing 17th in the beginner academic category, out of 47 crews. The girls held a strong rhythm from start to finish that gave them one of the best beginner placings Leicester has ever had at WeHoRR.
The senior men started 197th in a packed field of eights from across the country. Despite the lads boating later in the day than our main University competition everyone was thrilled to race in Leicester colours and ready to defy the weaker stream. With Becky Goodman steering, the 1st VIII quickly moved through crews and executed their race plan exceptionally, finishing 128th overall, Leicester’s highest placing at Head of the River since 1999.
The novice men also got their first taste of the River Thames, starting behind one another at 290 and 291. The final crews were of equal ability and both began the race heavily pushing on the crews ahead up to Hammersmith bridge. Despite several crabbing incidents both VIII's were pleased to get experience on the tideway competing against other top university beginner crews.
The weekend was a great success overall for the club and we look forward to taking momentum forward to our pre-BUCS Regatta Marlow training camp in April.