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Issue 1261 : Clubs & Societies

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Published on Friday, 14 March 2003

Boat Club Cruise to Victory

The Boat Club confirmed its place at the top of university rowing last week at the British University Sports Association Head of the River Race. The men’s first and second eight won the championship and junior eights events respectively in a display of sheer domination.

Graeme Harrington, George Whittaker, Robin Nicholson, James Fox, Ed Johnson, Jimmy Wells, Angus Rivers and cox Seb Pearce of the first eight rowed hard over the 4500m course on the River Trent in Nottingham. This clinched their victory, producing a time eleven seconds faster than their nearest rivals, Cambridge Lightweights.

Not to be eclipsed by the first eight’s victory, the second eight of George Adams, Chris Archer, Chris Pollock, Garran Jenkins, Steve Stuart, Andy Wilkinson, Stu Larner, Pete Houlleberg and cox Ali Williams produced an equally tough performance to bring home the men’s junior eights pennant.

Imperial’s top crew, containing Olympic champions Steve Trapmore and Kieran West, GB internationals Dan Ouseley and Toby Wallace, ex-Australian international Richard Wearne, Irish international Gearoid Towey, two-times Henley winner Dave Gillard, IC captain George Whittaker and GB cox James Haddow raced against the Cambridge boat race crew last weekend. Imperial, who formed on the day for a friendly match against the blue boat of Cambridge, produced a performance that pushed Cambridge to their limit. The blue boat showed determination during the three pieces, but also displayed certain unease at being alongside another crew of comparable speed. Imperial, although beaten two to one, came away with positive hopes for the forthcoming Head of the River Race at which last year they came third out of 420.

The novice squad meanwhile, enjoyed success in Brugge, Belgium, with the men’s novice eight winning the under-23 event medal. Mikel Kibalchenro, Ian Tong, Simon Rees, Will Crowcrumbe, Phil Auraam, John Elliot, Richard Webley, James Pisko and cox Emma Channing showed a good improvement since their victory in the Allom cup last December, producing a time over the 4500m course that was two seconds slower than the Belgium junior international eight. The women’s novice eight came second in their event, but were pleased with their performance that closed the gap on some senior crews by almost half. Mason commented, “It’s impressive when you think that 14 out of 16 rowers who competed had only started rowing in October.”

The women’s squad also had a good start to the head season by winning senior coxed fours at Henley Four’s head of the river. Ali Elsey, Sam Musgrave, Catherine Piltcher, Kathy Burgoine, and cox Seb Pearce overtook two crews as they raced up the 3000m course before clocking a time that beat second place Furnival Sculling Club by a massive 16 seconds. Victory was again enjoyed in Brugge when the women’s first eight won the open event. Although the field was weak, good experience was gained for the forthcoming Women’s Head of the River Race, which takes place this Saturday at 2pm on the Thames from Mortlake to Putney. Supporters are welcome on the Putney Embankment to help cheer on the crews.

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