Row of wins puts Newcastle on top

Sports Editor Mark Sleightholm discusses the BUCS 4s and 8s Head as this years' event takes place on the Tyne

Mark Sleightholm
6th March 2018
Image: David Stephenson

While many of Team Newcastle’s teams were busy losing Stan Calvert, the Boat Club demonstrated their dominance on the water, coming out on top of the men’s events and second in the women’s.

The BUCS 4s and 8s Head saw the country’s best student rowing teams come together on the Tyne last weekend for a string of races.

Once the points from each race was added up it was Newcastle at the top of the men’s Victor Ludorum table on 428 points, well clear of the 360 points earned by their nearest challengers, a combined team from the University of London’s constituent members.

In a closely fought men’s intermediate eights the Newcastle first team came in first for the second year running, just six seconds ahead of a side from London. Third place went also went to the hosts thanks to a persistent performance from the Newcastle seconds, with the thirds coming up in fifth. This dominance at the top of a 46-team race went a long way in ensuring Newcastle’s outstanding overall result.

The men's team in particular stood out as one of the weekends' biggest success stories for Newcastle

Newcastle also chalked up wins in both the men’s and women’s championship lightweight coxless fours and the women’s intermediate coxed fours.

The men’s team in particular stood out as one of the weekends’ biggest success stories for Newcastle, beating the Nottingham side that won the race last year by a seven-second margin.

With Newcastle a top rowing university, the beginners’ races on Saturday saw only one Newcastle boat, the women’s beginner coxless four. With Leeds taking a convincing lead it was up to Newcastle, De Montfort and Durham to battle for second place, with Newcastle eventually coming in second.

Sunday saw the intermediate and championship teams taking to the water.

Strong performances from Reading and London Universities gave them a lot of first-place finishes, but Newcastle were never far behind in any of the races they entered. Indeed, a string of second placed finishes saw both the men’s and women’s teams performing strongly in the overall points table.

NUBC’s attention now turns to the Boat Race of the North on 16 March, earlier in the year than in previous years. A longstanding competition between rowing teams from Newcastle and Durham Universities, this year’s event has been expanded to include several other races on the Tyne as well.

The Tyne Rowing Club will also be competing, along with junior teams. The public will even have the chance to take part in the action themselves, with rowing machines installed on the quayside by NE1 for the event.

NUBC's attention now turns to the Boat Race of the North on 16 March

Newcastle University beat Durham in five of the six university races last year to win the Boat Race for the second consecutive year. Durham have not won the event outright since 2008.

Each race runs from the Redheugh to Millennium Bridges along the Tyne. The action kicks off at 2:30, with final races due to finish by 4pm, followed by medal presentations and a barbeque.

Colin Blackburn, Newcastle University’s Director of Sport, is looking forward to the event.

“The Seimens Boat Race of the North will be a great spectacle for the public to enjoy,” he said, adding: “as well as a fantastic opportunity for our rowing teams to showcase their talents and hopefully bring back the Siemens Boat Race of the North title and trophy.”

In the BUCS Head Durham’s combined men’s score put them in fifth place, 239 points behind top-of-the-table Newcastle.

Things were much closer in the women’s Victor Ludorum, with Newcastle in second place and just 35 points ahead of third-placed Durham.

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