November 1st saw the Glasgow University Boat Club competing in full racing colours for the first time this season, in the Glasgow Rowing Club Fours Head.
Held on the River Clyde, conditions were ideal with flat water and clear skies as Division One saw a strong performance from the Men’s 1st IV of Daniel Graham, Rupert Bloomfield, Dougie Thoms, Mike Croll and cox Kerra Templeton. The team brought home victory in a time of 18.40 seconds, beating their rivals 1st IV of Edinburgh by a comfortable seven second margin. GUBC were also declared winners of the overall University prize for their efforts in the competition.
GUBC Ladies also enjoyed a successful day out, especially their second crew who finished a respectable fourth in Women’s R2. Division Two also saw a good run from the men, but the crew were disqualified following a mid-race collision.
Fifty club members also made the trip to Inverness a week later for the Inverness Fours Head, with GUBC producing a strong set of results despite racing over 4.5 km. The competition saw the Men’s 1st IV win the Open Fours event with a commanding 33 second lead over their nearest rivals.
The crew also produced the fastest time of the day and being awarded both the Fours trophy and unusually, a traditional set of antlers for the quickest boat. The squad’s other strong performances, including victory for the men in the Novice Fours event, demonstrated the crew’s continuing strength as the season progresses.
The women’s side of the club also placed favourably. The novice girls had outstanding rows despite it being their first major competition. Women’s novice coach Chris Heaps said afterwards:
“It was an excellent first performance from the girls and showed that the squad have lots of potential for the coming months.”
Men’s captain Dougie Thoms was also pleased with the crews’ competitive performances, telling Guardian:
“It was an overall promising set of results which definitely provided a solid base to build on for the important races next spring.”
The results firmly establish GUBC at the top of the Scottish Universities Winter League. With a tough winter’s training ahead, the boat club’s focus now shifts to Eights racing, with a trip to the Tyne at the end of the month for a real test against Durham and Newcastle’s top rowing crews.