BUCS Regatta 2015 - Novice Men

On Saturday the 2nd of May the novice 1st IV traveled to the National Watersports centre for the first day of racing at BUCs Regatta, the biggest event of the University rowing calendar and also us novices first ever regatta. We arrived with very little time to rig but it proved not to be a problem as we had our trusty Aylings rigged in record time. We warmed up and got our first experience of the Bucs bogs, somewhere we would spend much of the weekend and all grew to love, sort of. The boating time for our time trial was on us before we knew it and then it was time to race. The first race was a time trial, much like the head races we were used to and a strong time put us 7th out of almost 80 crews, strong enough to take us to the semi-finals. By this point the rain had turned to drizzle but the wind was starting to pick up making the course quite choppy. We got off to a very strong start but ended up in 3rd for the majority of the race, exactly where we wanted to be as it would place us in the A final. As we approached the final few hundred metres imperial in their sleek Empacher made their move and our failure to wind due to lack of practice and a problem with the coxbox meaning we couldn't hear Ralph's (our fantastic cox) trusty calls resulted in them gaining on us. An exciting finish lead to imperial beating us by a thoroughly disheartening 0.06 seconds, however we were all still thrilled with a strong race and time. We now had a couple of hours until our final which was in the evening, which we productively used eating soreen and displaying our dominance in banter terms all over yik yak. Any yaks aimed at Warwick rowing were quickly voted off with strongly coordinated downvotes, a true achievement. It was soon time for our final race and as we paddled to the top the wind increased and the conditions got choppier. We span and took our place next to Southampton, our rivals from training camp. The race got underway and once again the mighty Aylings got off to a flying start before settling into a strong third position. Southampton tried to close the gap but our two pushes were too much for them and we pulled away securing third position in the race and 9th place overall, a result we were very happy with. It was now time to go and get some food and head to bed in our travelodge in Derby, where Lucas and I enjoyed a lovely cozy evening playing tinder and updating Instagram with pictures of the days racing. 

The next morning we woke up to the wettest morning you can imagine, worse than the downstairs of smack at the end of term. After Hoskin assured me that 7 man was needed and wouldn't be better off sat in the warm and dry minibus, we shouldered the Novice 1st VIII's mighty steed and headed to the lake. Unfortunately the 2nd VIII's morning was going less smoothly and the trusty Resi had decided that it would rather not race and would instead just de-rig itself, with a footplate being the main issue. The ingenuity of our coach Hoskin allowed them to just get the boat on the water in time although he did have to sacrifice his laces to fix it. Due to the adverse weather conditions semi finals were cancelled so finals would be decided only on time trial results. The 1st VIII produced a steady time to place them 11th and in the B final. The 2nd VIII also produced a good time and a strong row, although the Resi's aspirations to be a submarine meant there were a few crabs which slowed them down. Their time placed them in the F final. Now it was time for the finals. Due to an issue with blades the 1st VIII was late to the start line which meant we were almost missed our race, but once again Ralph kept his cool and set us up on the start line ready to race. The race got underway and we settled into fourth place. Southampton were in third and we had our targets set on them. As we approached the final few hundred metres Ralph called the wind and for the first time all weekend the wind clicked and we began to hunt down third place. Unfortunately it was a case of too little too late and although we gained significantly on the Southern crew, we couldn�t catch them. However we were still really pleased with coming 10th overall out of all the universities in the country. Next up it was the second VIII. Now in the Sims due to all the issues with the much loved resi, they powered down the course with a fantastic row and a neat, powerful wind to finish set them up perfectly to finish in first place to win their race with clear water. An impressive achievement and a good way to end a fantastic days racing for the self-proclaimed 'Nov Ladz' squad. We celebrated by once again yaking some top quality banter, earning some impressive upvotes and requesting some spinning classics such as Shania Twain and the mighty JT to be played over the tannoy system. 

A big thank you to everyone who organised the trip and all the logistics of the whole weekend allowing us to race and to Hoskin our coach for ensuring we all got where we needed to be in time and sacrificing his laces to the resi. Also to both Hoskin and Owen for all the time and effort they have put in over this year and on training camps to get us up to the standard that we are now. We really do appreciate it! After this weekend I have never been prouder to be a novice man, good job boiz!