After a very successful BUCS Regatta in May, CUWBC qualified several boats for the European University Games. Three crews made the trip to Portugal, a quad, pair, and lightweight single, accompanied by coach Patrick Ryan, and CUWBC’s Club Coordinator James Lee was Rowing Team Manager for Great Britain.
CUWBC’s Vice President, Emma Andrews reports:
The European University Games include many different sports, and this year were based in the city of Coimbra, a University town known as the ‘Cambridge of Portugal’. The rowing took place slightly further out, on a purpose built 2k lake with a full warm up lake and medal podium.
We had one training day to check all the boats and practise steering in the cross wind. Racing began Monday morning with the lightweight single as the first race of the day. Lucy Harris (Queens’) had a strong row coming second in her heat, and moving onto the repechage on Tuesday. The pair and quad didn’t start until the Tuesday, and so after Lucy’s race we decided to go to the nearby beach in Figuera da Foz for some relaxation and recovery.
On Tuesday conditions were tough and all crews definitely learn lots from their respective races. Both the pair and quad had a race for lanes, to decide the seeding for the finals t. Both crews came 4th but came off the water with ways they could improve. Lucy had another fantastic row and was the fastest qualifier for the B Final.
Finals day on Wednesday, and Cambridge won the first race of the day by clear water with Lucy Harris in the lightweight women’s single B Final. The next crew, the pair of Jess Godden (Emmanuel) and Lou Brett (Fitzwilliam) went out hard, placing 3rd at the 1k, but sadly lost out on the final sprint to finish 4th overall. Both were part of our lightweight squad this year, but raced in the openweight category, so did a fantastic job to beat people double their size.
The quad of Abba Parker (Emmanuel), Kelsey Barolak (Homerton), Emma Andrews (Pembroke) and Rebecca Dell (Christ’s) was the final Women’s event of the day. After a gutsy start, they found themselves well in the mix with Reading (GBR) and Germany. At the halfway mark, they put in a push to move into second place, and start moving through the crews in the centre lanes. With 250m to go, Reading put in a huge sprint to move into first place, leaving Cambridge in 3rd, still overlapping the first two crews. After a relatively short time together, the crew was extremely proud of their performance, and were very happy to be on a medal podium that was 2/3 GB.