photograph Record-breaking weekend for Boat Club

Newcastle University has confirmed its position as one of the strongest in the country for rowing after finishing in second place in the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) Regatta, held at Holme Pierrepont, in Nottingham over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Newcastle's rowers came away from the event with six gold, nine silver and five bronze medals - the best ever result in the history of the Boat Club.

More than 1,000 teams from 60 universities took part in the event, which turned into a tour de force for the North East, as Durham University claimed first place for the fourth year in succession.

Highlights of Newcastle's weekend were a silver medal for the senior men's eight, finishing only one second behind a full international crew from Oxford Brookes University, and the Novice Women's squad, who won gold in the novice and fresher's eights races, and silver in the junior eights and novice four.

Newcastle was also named Best Fresher University in the UK after winning the Fresher Challenge, and with it the prize of a brand new eight worth £15,000.

Newcastle University's Director of Sport, Colin Blackburn, said: 'Newcastle's second place at the BUSA Championships was outstanding given the size of our club and the resources available to them. It highlights the standard of rowing talent being developed at Newcastle University.

'Much credit must go to Head Coach, Angelo Savarino, and his coaching team for introducing an outstanding rowing programme.The greatest credit, however, must go to the athletes themselves, some of whom only took up the sport in October 2006, for hours of dedicated training and commitment to enable them to row at this level at the same time as reading for their degrees', he said.

The BUSA results have given all four of Newcastle University's crews confidence as they prepare to compete in the 11th Northumbrian Water University Boat Race on Sunday 13 May.

published on: 10th May 2007