The Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club travelled to Nottingham over the long May bank holiday weekend to get a taste of multi-lane racing at the BUCS regatta. Windy conditions are not uncommon at the National Water Sports Centre and this weekend did not disappoint. A huge tailwind howled down the course on all 3 days of racing adding another dimension to the rowing!
On Saturday the conditions were getting the best of many of the crews and racing was shortened to the first 1000m of the course by lunchtime. With a modified plan the CULRC coxless four of Olli Lupton, Piran Tedbury, Rupert Price (steering) and Charlie Adams set out on the waves. However, they struggled to find a good rhythm in the choppy water and crashed out of the heat in a disappointing 5th place.
After last minute changes to the line-up and only one session prior to leaving for Nottingham the eight of Katie Phillips, Olli Lupton, Piran Tedbury, Sam Hayes, Rupert Price, Charlie Adams, Chris Kerr, Allen Pope and Sam Blackwell were hoping to reverse the fortunes of the four the previous day. In the heat they had a scrappy start but improved through the race to row through a strong Nottingham eight to win and seal a place in the final. After a short outing on the River Trent the eight paddled to the start confident of a better race and a medal. Imperial were very fast out of the blocks and the battle for silver began between the Nottingham and Cambridge crews. Coming into the finish the waves got the better of this newly formed CULRC crew and Nottingham pipped them to bronze on the line.
Finally, on Monday the CULRC double of Rupert Price and Sam Blackwell braved the weather to try their hand at some sculling. Unsure of what to expect they lined up for the heat against some strong opposition from Durham and University of London (UL). A shaky start put them on the back foot from the off and UL pulled away a 3 length lead by the 1000m mark. However the Cambridge crew strode into a nice rhythm and started to nibble away at this lead moving into the last 500m. A monumental push saw them gain overlap, half a length and finally move through this quick UL crew to win the heat and secure a place in the final. Once again racing was shortened to 1000m in the afternoon to try and get the best from the conditions. Seeded into lane 4 Cambridge went out very hard and started well. At around 250-500m in the waves started to pick up and they began slipping back in the rough water. Coming into the final sprint they had left themselves too much to do among the wash and came a close 5th.