Following the example of Team GB’s rowing crews’ successes at the Beijing Olympics, the men’s eight finished a respectable eighth in the blue ribbon event. The squad faced opposition from international squads such as Croatia and Poland. many of the other's teams crew members having represented their own countries in the summer Games.
Men’s captain Dougie Thoms who accompanied the squad to Zagreb told Guardian: “It was a great experience to row at such a prestigious event.
Being part of an athletes’ village for the first time and racing many different nationalities. (It was) also great to represent the UK and be part of a team with other British Universities. Racing Olympians showed how important some countries viewed the Regatta. It also brought home how well our team had done at BUSA to earn the right to compete against such athletes.”
Thoms was full of praise for his team's performance: "In Zagreb, there was a lot of pressure as we knew there would be crews that were a lot stronger than us. We simply tried to row our best to do ourselves proud. I think we did that, recording our fastest time of the season.”
Prior to the competition, the squad spent a week with their twinned club Canottieri Sebino Lovere, on the shores of Lago d’Iseo, Italy. The crew were given the opportunity for sightseeing as well as receiving excellent training conditions. The club also benefitted from hospitality from former GUBC rower Aristide Bonomelli.
The club’s ability to be able to compete with some of the most elite crews in Europe shows their rising credibility as both an international and university squad. That three members of the team who only started rowing at University have in the space of three years, started competing at European level echoes the level of development of crew members.
The club’s recent good run of form was shown in securing runners up spot in the Scottish Universities Sport Team of the Year award. Last season also saw the club become BUSA silver medalists in the Men's Championship 8s, reflecting recent triumphs in the Annual Boat Race and the renowned Henley Regatta that Thoms saw as a learrning curve.
"At Henley there was a lot of pressure on the guys to perform knowing roughly how well we should do before the regatta started (based on previous competitions throughout the season) It was pleasing the way the guys handled the pressure and losing to the eventual winners in the semi finals was still a great result.
"I'd also like to give a special thanks to GUSA for they’re support of thesquad last season, in particular Euan Miller and Mark Huddleston who also came to cheer on the club."
With the new season just on the horizon, the team have plenty to build on from their successes of the summer and the men’s captain is confident that the club can live up to expectations: ‘Last year was our coach George Warnock’s (twice Glasgow University blue and winner of the inaugural Bob Wilson memorial trophy) first at the club and I am sure he is the right man to lead the squad again. Last year he was finding his feet a little but now we can hit the ground running."
With many members of the crews graduating this year, the new season sees the chance for up and coming rowing stars to make a name for themselves. A club that continues to go from strength to strength are always on the lookout for new recruits. If you’re interested check out the website for more details: www.glasgowubc.com or email captain [email protected]
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