On a frosty and sunny morning, the Rutherford Head presented the club’s first challenge as a full squad. Three senior men’s eights and two senior women’s eights were boated, as well as a veritable flotilla of smaller boat classes. For many of the athletes in the squad this was their first chance to fully open the taps in an early Winter season marred by weather difficulties.
The women’s squad once again confirmed their strength and depth by winning four events in a mixture of sweep and sculling classes. The elite eight beat their opposite numbers from Newcastle by a minute and ten seconds in a resounding show of class that healed many of the wounds inflicted in last year’s boat race loss. The Second eight were the fastest boat in the WIM2 category, and were only two seconds behind Newcastle’s first eight. Further wins were added to the tally by the women’s coxed four and coxless quad, both in the IM2 category.
The men’s squad showed a no less potent performance, the men’s elite eight defeated their opposition from Newcastle by a margin of thirty three seconds, thereby confirming the strength of the new intake of which five were in the eight. The second eight’s performance followed a similar format to the women’s, in so much as they were victors of the IM2 class and a mere five seconds from Newcastle’s top offering. The Fours and quads distinguished themselves with some good performances. The men’s elite quad won over Newcastle by a margin of six seconds. The men’s elite coxed four won their category with a strong performance. Other wins came from the IM2 coxed four and IM3 quad.
These performances reflect a very positive trend to the early season, with more test ahead at the North East Indoor championships (hosted by Durham,) as well as the second set of GB trials.