Table topping success at the European University Championships

On the 8th of August a team of 13 DUBC rowers and two coaches headed out to Hanover Germany for the annual EUC regatta being held on lake Maschsee in the centre of the city. Having completed a good month of training, some pretty savage dieting and witnessing one particularly spectacular ejector crab all boats felt ready to perform at the next level up from BUCS regatta where they qualified for the championships in Germany. Upon arrival volunteers met the Durham delegation with almost stereotypical German efficiency and having been issued with ID cards, settling into the youth hostel accommodation was very easy. Following a couple of days of last minute fine tuning and training, heats started on the Wednesday for all crews and Durham posted a strong set of results which made the semis and finals look very promising. Katy Denham dominated in her heat of the LW1x winning by over 8 seconds and the LW4x also came home first in a strong field after being led to the 1000m mark. The W4- and the LM4- both came away with 2nd place in their respective heats; the former emphatically rowing away from Cambridge in the second 1000m. The LW4x also dared to double up into the open weight class, unfortunately missing a straight final slot with a close 3rd place in their heat, they proved their mettle with a strong win by over 10 seconds in the repechage to secure their place in the final. The LM4x also did enough in the heat to claim a place in the A final on Saturday. And so finals day dawned with early outings on the foggy lake for most boats and final weigh-ins for many hungry lightweights. The first race to come down the course at 9:22 was the lightweight women’s single with DUBC’s Katy Denham leading the field to the 1000m and then maintaining her lead to win the gold medal ahead of a strong field from 8 different countries. The LM4- was the next Durham boat racing, having reached the halfway mark in a very close 2nd place, the bhoys unfortunately finished in the bronze position a second shy of imperial who were themselves adrift from a very fast 4- from the Dutch University Gronigen; although disappointed it was a very good opportunity to race at an international level. The LW4x finished off the mornings racing for Durham securing a well earned silver medal in a strong field, led by the University of Münster who managed to pull away in the second half. Durham’s afternoon racing started with the LM4x, the boys positively rocketed out of the blocks and were keen to stay in the race as long as possible after losing contact in the heats; in the bronze position at 1000m the prospects looked good however the medal was clutched from their grasp by a polish quad, nevertheless the boat was happy with a gutsy row. The penultimate event of the championships featuring a Durham crew was the heavyweight 4-, after the leaving everything out on the water the girls unfortunately finished in 6th place but all involved learnt from the EUSA experience. Racing was concluded with the LW4x racing up a category in W4x, they finished a very creditable 5th after a long week of racing and only 3 seconds outside the medals, a great achievement when racing against much larger opposition. The EUSA experience finished on the Saturday evening with a party put on by the regatta organisers for all the participants and coaches to blow off some steam; certain sources say Durham alumni James Lee and Franz Imfeld were seen throwing some serious shapes on the dance floor. Great thanks must be given to all Durham coaches involved: Cam Kennedy who did a sterling job with the women to finish off his Durham coaching career and Allen Bashford who led the lightweight men. Thanks must also go to the man, the legend John Faulkner who travelled from Denmark to coach the lightweight men and from who’s experience everyone learnt a great deal.

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