It was an exciting weekend of firsts for LSERC. It was the first time in the club’s history that they attended the Scottish Spring Regatta, travelling to Strathclyde Park by bus, train and plane. This was the start of a beautiful relationship with many Scottish clubs who supported in the most vital way, lending valuable equipment and time. Without the help of Strathclyde Park Rowing Club and Heriot-Watt University Boat Club it wouldn’t have been possible.
For some of our athletes it was their first race, and for many it was their first exposure to multi-lane 2k racing. This experience will prove invaluable next weekend, allowing everyone to be mentally and physically prepared for BUCS.
The first boat to race was the M4+ who have had a tumultuous campaign due to illness. A last-minute substitution saw them coxed across the finish line in their semi-final by the men’s captain, Logan, who we all hope will now embark on a successful coxing career after this incredible debut. Showcasing the LSERC spirit, they all went down the course with a smile, which only served to benefit their long and relaxed rowing technique. All the boys put in a huge amount of effort, applying themselves in the race, keen to learn and grow for next season. This dedication only continued into the second day of competition where they made sure to support both W4+s.
For the W4+ (B) they got their first taste of 2k multi-lane racing, facing a competitive field and a packed heat. For some in the boat, it was a great racing debut, showcasing the huge breadth of the women’s squad and great potential for the future. The novices formed the engine room, lending their strength and power to the more experienced seniors. The excitement and passion of the crew was infectious, meaning they all got off the water with huge smiles. This was inevitably helped by the great conditions, but proved a testament to the bonds within the boat and across the club.
All crews stood proudly on the sidelines to cheer on the W4+ (A), who, after coming second in their semi-final, went on to the final later that day. They faced a fierce battle with Glasgow University, who had beaten them in their semi-final, as well as the University of St Andrews, who won their own semi-final convincingly. These three university clubs showed why rowing remains an important part of universities up and down the country, with the girls battling for medals with zeal. Whilst a solid final push from Clydesdale made for great entertainment, it left all of LSERC breathless. The girls fought them off to the finish line, beating Clydesdale to secure the bronze thanks to a great final push, which left them only a few seconds away from taking silver.
This was the first medal secured this year, as well as the first medal for many of the girls in the W4+ (A) with LSE. In fact, it may even be the first medal LSERC has secured since last year's regatta season, speaking to the continued progress of the club and all its athletes. The club continues to develop and plan for the future, aiming for further success not just in the coming weeks, but the coming years as well. This is a product of the fantastic leadership and behind the scene work of many members of the committee, who balance their studies and other commitments to ensure that everyone is able to thrive within rowing.
By Sam Winton (LSERC Head Coach)