Fours Head of the River / November 1st 2014

Saturday 1st November dawned bright and early with the prospect of turbulent racing on the tideway for this years Fours Head. As always anticipation had been building throughout the club in the weeks building up to the biggest race of the winter term. RUBC sent three quads to race and with the conditions unusually calm it made for some quick racing!


The Women’s Elite 4x was comprised of Lucy Cruxton, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Jess Lewis and Katy Ratcliffe. A great performance saw them finish in 4th position. They were followed down the river by the Women’s IM1 4x of myself, Rosie Snell, Poppy Durkan and Francesca Bratt. The girls had a fantastic race surrounded by a tough field of boats to finish 16th out of 42 crews. A really strong performance from all the girls, especially since both boats had last minute crew changes due to illness. This highlights the fantastic adaptability of our squad and is a strong stepping stone to push us on through the winter months training.

Elle Blackwood, Women’s Captain

IM1 4x

The Men’s chosen battlefield for this year was the IM1 4x with the RUBC boat consisting of myself, Sam Twine, Vince DeLuca and Mark Lewis. We put a solid performance in on the day, overtaking two crews and putting several hundred meters into the Cardiff boat behind us. The crew finished 8th out of 29 crews, certainly a solid building block for the year to come and invaluable sculling racing experience for all concerned. We now lead into another big block of training in preparation for the BUCS indoor regatta.

Rob Johnston, Men’s Captain

 Upper Thames Head / October 26h 2014

This Sunday, RUBC headed to Henley with eight 4x’s racing. Although just a 3000m course the conditions were testing, racing upstream into a delightful headwind! Nevertheless a great effort was shown by all who persevered their way up the course to the finish line.

In division 1, the E4x just missed out on 1st place by 9 seconds. The Nov4x then stormed down the course to win, their first win of the season and a cracking performance considering three of the crew members haven’t been sculling long. Two boats were entered into a strong WNov4x category finishing 3rd and 5th out of 7.

In division 2, the WIM34x came 1st by a fantastic victory margin of 1 minute 6 seconds over second place! The WIM14x finished in 3rd. Then the men finished off the results in the IM24x with RUBC crews coming 2nd and 3rd, with just 1.1 seconds separating them and the category being won by a composite of UWE and RUBC member Vince Deluca – who stepped in at the last minute after one of their crew members fell ill.

This Saturday sees RUBC in action on the tideway in Fours Head, with 3 quads competing; IMI4x, WELI4x and WIM14x.







British Championships / October 18th 2014

Weather conditions at Nottingham were far from ideal last weekend as the top rowers from the country congregated at Holme Pierrepoint for the Brit Champs. RUBC sent 3 crews to race on the Saturday and Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne in a composite. Sunday saw Sam Townsend and Mathilda both racing again in composites.

First to race were Simon Williamson and Corey McDowell who won their I-final after a strong finish to push them out clear by a length and a half. Our LW2x of Lottie Burgess and Lucy Cruxton had a strong time-trial performance to put them into the C/D semi-finals from which they qualified to the C-final to place a very credible 4th amongst strong opposition. Saturday’s best results came from the ‘Sams’ of Sam Twine and Sam Townsend who made a tremendous effort in the A/B semis to reach the A-final where they finished 6th behind Leander crews. Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne won a fantastic Silver medal in the W2x in a composite with Gloucester.

Come Sunday the weather conditions had worsened further but this didn’t hold back Sam Townsend and his composite with Borlase and Agecroft, as they stormed down the course to win their time trial and thus the overall competition ahead of two Leander crews. Mathilda also had another very successful day in a 4x composite with Gloucester, putting in another fantastic performance to pick up a Bronze medal.

Overall, a very windy weekend, but with some exciting results which our Trialists can use to push on from ahead of the first round of trials in November.

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Reading Small Boats Head / October 08th 2014

SBH 4x

Men’s Squad:

Going off the in the first division were two doubles comprised of Vince de Luca and Corey McDowell and the second one of James Robinson and Dylan Jane. Vince and Corey had a very good race, winning their division and recording the fastest doubles time of the day. Simon Williamson also had a good race in his single, coming third in IM1 1x.

In the second division, we had the elite quad racing which was comprised of Vince De Luca, Sam Twine, Rob Johnston and Corey McDowell, recording the fastest overall time of the day.

In the third division, we had four crews racing in the form of an IM1 4x, which comprised of Simon Williamson, Patrick Bamforth , James Robinson and Adam Dingley, a Novice 4x of Dylan Jane, Ben Tompkins, James Everett and Jacob Chapman, and Sam Twine and myself in Elite singles. The IM1 4x had a very close race, narrowly losing to Shiplake by 7 seconds over the 3.7km course. The Novice 4x had a solid row and came third in their division. Sam and I had good races with Sam coming second in Elite 1x by only 2.7 seconds. I came fourth.

All in all, it was very good first racing session of the year and everyone is looking forward to more!

Rob Johnston, Men’s Captain

Women’s Squad:

The first division saw the IM3 4x of Sarah Newton, Amelia Page, Emily Ambrose and Nadine Villalta put in a strong performance to come a respectable third, a great result for the girls.

In the second division saw the Elite 4x of Rosie Snell, Poppy Durkan, Courtney Edmonds and Katy Radcliffe, and the IM1 2x of Emma Lacey and Maisy Cook both race exceptionally well, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively.

In the third division, the IM1 4x of Courtney Edmonds, Poppy Durkan, Francesca Bratt and myself finished 2nd to some tough competition from TSS and the Novice 4x of Philippa Johnson, Frances Lethbridge, Maddie Archer and Zara Dorrington put in a fantastic effort in their first ever sculling race to come second, showing how much their sculling has improved just over the first few weeks of term. Lucy Cruxton finished off the day with a convincing win in the Elite 1x.

It was a successful weekend for all the girls and a great platform to build on, with crews looking forward to racing at Fours head and Upper Thames Autumn Head in the coming weeks.

Elle Blackwood, Women’s Captain