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A freezing cold day and an 8am arrival signalled the start of the racing season for 24 BLBC freshers. The first race of the day was the fresher women’s first boat who were taking on ICSM 1. After a dramatic crab in the second stroke of the start (which nearly gave this fresher captain a heart attack) they recovered beautifully to win by nearly a length and a half. The girls‘ second race was Georges 1, again they were slightly behind off the start but found their rhythm and power to come through with a second win by half a length. In the nail-biting final against RUMS 1 the girls lost by just a canvas, after drawing ahead by half a length and fighting over inches at the finish line.

The men’s first boat faced GKT1 in their first race and beat them solidly with a whole length of clear water between them. Much like the women they faced Georges 1 in their semi-final and again beat them easily with 1.5 lengths between the boats at the finish line. The final was once again against the same opponent: RUMS 1. Observing the racing at flood tide RUMS looked to be drawing ahead but by the finish line the boys had beaten them by half a length to take home the medals.

The mixed crew also put up a brave fight for their race (which also happened to be their first outing as a crew) but ultimately lost to Georges 1 (whom the men's crew would later take their revenge on). The racing crews were as follows:

Novice Men's 1st - WINNERS

Cox - Jess Challenger

Stroke - Ben Johnson

7 - Robert Good

6 - Alex Deighton

5 - Milo Simpson

4 - Jamie Henderson

3 - Joseph Johnson

2 - Skyler Tian Ren Ye

Bow - Adam Mitchell


Novice Women's 1st - FINAL

Cox - Rocio Crispin

Stroke - Sreya Gooptu-O'Shea

7 - Olivia Dupere

6 - Alice Gant

5 - Tamsin Dyer

4 - Caroline Olabisi

3 - Sveva de Luca

2 - Samia Omar

Bow - Alice Westlake


Novice Crew Mixed

Cox - Mathew Robathan

Stroke - Aamir Saiyed

7 - James Ogley

6 - Alex Haiser

5 - Andreas Andreou

4 - Jessica Froggatt

3 - Tillana Tarkas

2 - Amanda Hertzberg

Bow - Vrinda Nadda

BLBC Volunteer at Run in the Dark 2017

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This week members of BLBC took time out of training for Cambridge Winter Head to volunteer their time at Run in the Dark on the 15th November 2017. It is an event where thousands gather in Battersea Park to run 5 or 10k for charity. Run in the Dark plays a vital role in funding The Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

12 members of the club, freshers and seniors got together to help the event run smoothly. We were in charge of marshalling along the course for the 2400+ runners to ensure they were all safe in the dark, having a good time and going the right way! In addition to this we also had several volunteers on bag drop and just being of general assistance in the chaos leading up the run.

Everyone did a great job, a big thank you to all who helped out!

BLBC Training Camp at Doncaster

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The men's and women's first boats went on the first training camp of the year to Doncaster for the weekend. Whilst there we got roughly 3 sessions a day on the water and managed to do some seat racing for selection for the first men's 8. The women made a lot of technical gains and really learned to work together as a crew. There was also opportunity to do some work in small boats for both men and women. During our time there we had 2 coaches looking after us who were exceptional in coordinating outings and helping all rowers to come along in technical ability and get them race ready for our first race of the year at Cambridge. It was a very successful camp for all who went along and there was time to relax and bond within our crews.

We thank Doncaster Rowing Club for allowing us access to their facilities and the people there that made the weekend possible. We look forward to returning soon!

BLBC Women's Season Update

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With the Easter break approaching, the tough Head racing season is well and truly over. Despite the sun finally making an appearance this also marks the end of the rowing year for many of our pre-clinical members and those on the allied health courses. This may be the end of the 2017 head races, but the BLBC ladies are ready to push forwards further in future years.

At the Women’s Eights Head of The River our 1st and 2nd VIIIs finished 175th and 261th of 293 crews, all the hard work and effort put it on the ergs and on the water by all athletes shone through. Kingston Head saw similarly amazing results with the 1st boat and the 3rd boat placing 81st and 111th out of 135 crews in their division. There are some incredible photos attached of the dramatic races, with credit to Robert Treharne Jones for capturing the 2nd VIII clashing with Imperial College at WeHoRR.

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Due to unfortunate timing clashes with exams over several different courses, we won’t be able to participate in the many upcoming regattas over summer but look forward to ending an incredible year at the UH Bumps races on 20th and 21st May.

As my time as women’s captain draws to a close, I have time to reflect on how proud I am to have been part of a club that consists of dedicated girls, willing to put hours of sweat and energy to achieve their goals. The grit shown by all the girls, seniors and novices have allowed us to enter 2 or 3 boats in all of the 7 races over the year so far – limited mainly by lack of physical boats. Of course, this couldn’t have been achieved without the diligent work of all our student coaches and the whole committee.

I would like to thank everyone in the boat club for allowing me to be a part of what has most certainly been the most successful year for the women of BLBC. Given the solid foundations built in the last 2 years, I am very optimistic for the future and am confident that we can better our results – with the real possibility of a future BLBC crew qualifying for Henley Women’s Regatta & taking part in British Universities and Colleges Sport rowing events.

Written by Tanya Hossain, Women's Captain 16/17

BLBC at Association Dinner 2017

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The Association Dinner 2017 has now come and past. After taking away Club of The Year last year, BLBC was going into the dinner this year with 2 nominations. Our club captain was nominated for Association Achievement Award and our men's novices boat for Team of The Year.

We are happy to announce that BLBC managed to take away both of our nominations this year! Thank you very much for all the support over the years and congratulations to all the other nominees!

BLBC United Hospitals' Novice Sprints Results

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The United Hospitals' Novice Sprints was a fantastic day for BLBC. With 2 men's and 2 women's VIII sent out, there were first round wins for the men's first novice boat and both of the women's crews. Unfortunately drawn against each other in the semi finals, women's 1st boat knocked out the women's 2nds before beating RVC and continued to put in a fantastic final race, only just being bested by RUMS to take 2nd place.

The novice Men’s 1st boat frankly destroyed the opposition by beating ICSM, Georges and a very suspect looking GKT crew (who were twice the size of the KCL boat and with all the kit) all by clear water to take the win.

With a fantastic start, we hope these crews will continue to become integral members of the club and succeed in the rest of the year.

BLBC Allom Cup Results

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Being the day after Christmas dinner, Allom Cup was going to be a struggle for many, but the Mens 1st and Novice VIII’s turned up bright and early aiming to finish the term on a high. With the first race of the Mens senior category BL Vs ICSM it was all to play for in the first race, with ICSM unfortunately winning by one seat, and continuing to win the cup.

The novice boat however continued their winning streak form the previous week and beat RUMS, UCL A, UCL B and Royal Holloway to win the novice category. The icing on the cake was their medals being presented by Rio 2016 gold medallist and former UL athlete Paul Bennett from the GB Men’s VIII. With head season approaching, it’s looking to be a hotly contested year. Watch this space.

BLBC at Cambridge Head 2016

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Catching the sunrise in Cambridge, the senior women’s IV set out to tear up the River Cam in the first division of the Cambridge Winter Head. After a record-breaking re-rigging time, the IV set off down the course to the start line. Only after 100m did we realise that in the hustle and bustle of the rowers and boats on the commons, we had set off without any backstays.

Never a club to let minor things like backstays, or the lack thereof, get in our way, the IV managed to set an incredible time down the course. Coming 3rd in their Student Senior category, they managed to absolutely smash the times of the IM3 category by at least 15 seconds.

It was lovely to see all the sweaty ergs; insanely early morning outings and weeks of training produce a brilliant result and we look forward to the all the women’s club making big gains in the future. Well done to Nadia Roberts (Stroke), Joanna Fish (3), Lulu Lyons (2), Anya Rutherford (Bow)!

Written by Tanya Hossain, Women's Captain 16-17