University Boat Club secures historic first BUCS points with third place in Newcastle

The University of St Andrews Boat Club secured their historic first points in Newcastle last month with an excellent third place finish.

An excellent performance from the senior women’s coxed fours helped the University of St Andrews Boat Club secure its first ever BUCS points on 26 February.

The crew, comprised of Ellie Livingston, Hannah Myatt, Charlie Fling, and Kirstin Giddy and coxed by Matt Taylor, put in a masterful performance against a number of other British universities. This is a monumental achievement for the club, which is one of the hardest training at the University despite its relative lack of resources and funding and the result firmly highlights that the team is continually punching above its weight.

This outcome was also further vindication that has taken place in professionalisation with the club following the appointment of Iain Rice as director of rowing. His hard work has seen results improve year on year despite the continual turnover of rowers in both the senior and novice crew.

Earning its first ever points will only provide greater desire for achievement and progress in the club and is further evidence of just how important the construction of the planned boathouse out at Loch Ore will be. It would greatly benefit the club’s outdoor training sessions and also allow an increase in boat care and equipment management. Progress is being made in that department, with discussions currently taking place between Rice, the AU, and local councils, as well as relevant local groups around Loch Ore.

Whilst they did not taste success at the Women’s Head of the River meeting in London on Saturday 11 March, the women’s crews were able to post highly impressive results that only further demonstrate their progress.

Both the senior and novice crews achieved the best results in their respective histories. The senior women’s 8s crew, coxed by Taylor and comprising Livingston, Myatt, Fling and Giddy, as well as Charis Evans, Samantha Marcus, Alice Thompson and Alex Shaw, finished 56th overall after a start position of 209th. They finished 101st last year. The crew also entered the intermediate university sub-category, and despite some incredibly impressive competition, they were able to finish seventh out of 53.

Meanwhile, the novice women’s crew also improved its performance, finishing 206th overall after starting out 307th and beating last year’s finish by 34 places. The novice crew was coxed by Sarah Hoke and featured Naomi Wood, Skye Arnott, Robyn Barclay, Julia Marache, Sofiia Bairamukova, Morgan Hartley, Shiyu Rao, and Chloe Rossington.

Credit must also be given to the Boat Club for its work outside training and competing. The school’s rowing programme with Madras College is well underway. Weekly sessions allow students to learn the basics of indoor rowing, and there are plans to take participants out to Loch Ore in the future. Both the men’s and women’s squads are organising fundraisers later in the semester to lower operational costs within the club.

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