Newcastle leads Uni gold rush at HWR

The wind blew and the rain poured, but there was no dampening the smiles on the faces of Newcastle University women’s Eight as they raced over the line at Henley Women’s Regatta last Sunday (June 17th), taking first place in the Senior Eights.

Newcastle’s crew powered through the 1500m course in five minutes and 39 seconds, finishing three and a half lengths clear of second-placed University College Dublin.

Their reward was a commemorative silver winners’ medal – celebrating 25 years of the HWR.

The victory came little over a month after Newcastle’s Eight took home silver in the BUCS Regatta Championship Eights, and coach Jesse Burgoine is delighted with the improvement shown by his crew

 “The girls really deserved their win,” he said. “They have put in a lot of hard work and we are all delighted and very excited about next year now!”

More than 22 universities were represented at HWR over the weekend, a strong showing leading to the a university being represented in a host of finals – from elite to senior events, as well as the academic intermediate events.

Oxford Brookes and Reading took home commemorative 25th anniversary medals with a victory over Exeter University in the Elite Pairs final, with Emily Gade taking a medal of her own back to the Thames with a two-foot victory for the University of London (UoL) in the Elite Lightweight Singles.

UoL narrowly failed to double their medal haul, however, as Edinburgh University held off a strong mid-race challenge to top the podium in the Academic Fours.

There was also more than a little bad luck for Reading’s Senior Fours crew, whose snapped blade ended their hopes of overtaking Guildford in the S4- final.

Reading’s Quad more than made amends for the snapped blade, though, finishing a length clear of Sport Imperial/Imperial College in the S4x final.

Cardiff University (pictured) were flying high in the final of the Academic Eights, finishing their season with a win against a strong Durham crew – and a valiant performance in the Senior Fours from Queen’s University Belfast saw the Northern Irish crew narrowly squeezed into second place in their final, behind Upper Thames.

Imperial College enjoyed considerable success over the weekend, with elite single sculler Lucinda Gooderham and their Sport Imperial/Leander composite E4- both taking winners’ medals back to the Putney Embankment.

All eyes now shift to the men’s university crews, who will be in action at the historic Henley Royal Regatta next week (June 27th – July 1st).

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