Having taken a Bronze medal and picked up their first ever BUCS points in March, the University of St Andrews Boat Club enjoyed a historic performance at the Henley Women’s Regatta 16 June.
Last year’s efforts allowed the UStABC to send one crew to the famous Regatta, but this year their efforts were doubled and they put in some astounding performances out on the water.
The coxed 4, comprised of Matt Taylor, Charlie Fling, Charis Evans, Ellie Livingston and Naomi Wood qualified for the heats with ease following a strong time trial performance. They unfortunately came up short against Leeds in their opening race but it was a huge achievement for them to push the highly technical Leeds crew so hard and only lose by a length.
More success was had, however, was the coxless 4 boat. The crew of Hannah Myatt, Kirstin Giddy, Alex Shaw and Alice Thompson qualified for the heats and took the major scalp of Harvard. They began well and despite being underdogs throughout the race, they maintained the lead they got at the start and extended it to 2.5 lengths by the finish. They came up short against eventual winners Newcastle in the quarter-finals, but this marked the first ever victory for a St Andrean crew at the Regatta and highlights just how far the club has come.
This past academic year was one of continual progress and continuity for the club, with a continued increase in numbers and improved performances out on the water. Along with their BUCS points and performances at the Regatta, one of the male members of the club secured a medal in one of the single competitions at the Regatta. That compounded their performance at WeHoRR (an international calibre head race on the Thames) earlier in the year, where they made up 50 places on previous years.
With the development of a planned new Boat House underway and more fundraising initiatives scheduled for next year, things are looking bright for one of St Andrews’ hardest working clubs.