For many it was a key event, one of the tangible reasons for joining the boat club in Fresher’s week. For others it was the spur that pushed them through the pain of 2km tests and early mornings, and for many more it is an event for which they will have to wait until next year.
For all of those who raced at London Met it was a thrilling experience and a weekend full of learning. Of course, to row on the 2012 Olympic lake was a real treat within ones first year of rowing!
What defined the London Met for the crews was the chance to compete in high standard rowing, amongst the very top crews in England and Ireland and to compare our level to that of the equivalent in the UK.
The first days rowing saw both crews race at Intermediate 3 level. In challenging Heat’s, the A boat finished 2 nd by 3 seconds to UWE, and the B boat were knocked out of the running in a race dominated by Oxford Brookes – proving that this would be amongst the most competitive regatta’s of the year.
The Semi-Final produced what resembled a dog fight. Oxford Brookes, UWE and DUBC fought mightily, battling for seniority on the lake which had seen the 2012 Olympic Medallists fight a similar fight. DUBC finished just inside qualifying time once again. But sadly, the final saw the old traditional’s dominate the race with DUBC like a Cadet amongst Major General’s – having fought a good fight nonetheless!
Having become fond of success back on home ‘soil’ as an Unbeaten Novice Crew*, Sunday’s racing would knock us off our seats altogether! Prepped, pepped and drilled by our (iconic) coaches Charlie Cunningham and Mike Ryder we approached the start with equal measures of ambition, apprehension and a tenacity to please our home support. However, thirty strokes in to a strong start a seat jammed and despite an honourable regaining of composure we had lost a lot of time. Having been knocked out of our desired final, we armed ourselves with a professional composure which served us well in our final race.
Having expected an easy race in this undesirable final, Cox and crew soon became aware of Bristol’s matching of our speed and determination. Our two boats drew well away from the race down the centre lanes surprising one another with the matching strengths. With heart and brawl DUBC crossed the line first in a race which neither boat had expected and a satisfying end to a tough but ever educational weekends racing.