The three days of racing at Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, saw Newcastle University’s 53 boats reach 27 A finals and cruise to 19 medals. Newcastle was named the Men’s Victor Ludorum, joint Women’s Victor Ludorum and the overall Victor Ludorum, making this one of the most successful weekends in the Boat Club’s History.
Alex Turner, Newcastle University Boat Club President, said: “Winning the Men’s, Women’s and overall Victor Ludorum is very special, and something that the club has never done before. In what was my fourth and final BUCS, I could not have been prouder or more impressed by the spirit shown by everyone racing and supporting. This success is only the beginning of what will definitely be a great summer.”
The top-ranked Men’s Championship Lightweight Coxless Fours boat of Fred Beaty, Ryan Ballantine, Rob Fuller and Oli Varley took the gold medal, with the second-ranked boat not far behind in fourth.
In the Women’s Quads the Intermediate boat came away with the silver medal while the Championship boat won gold in front of strong boats from the University of London and Reading University.
The Men’s Lightweight Squad started the medal haul on Day 2, with a first and fourth in the Championship Lightweight Eight. The Women’s Beginner Quad of Nadia Ashbridge, Isabelle Souchard, Matilda Ross-Smith and Jen Peacock won gold by an impressive margin of nine seconds over Northern rivals Durham University.
To start the last set of finals at BUCS Regatta 2018, it was the Lightweight Men once again getting the gold medals, this time in the Men’s Championship Lightweight Quad.
Angelo Savarino, Head of Rowing at Newcastle University, said: “Two athletes won three gold medals, Rob Fuller and Ryan Ballantine, in the lightweight four, quad and eight. The win of the women’s quad was very special, as is another first for the club.
“The performance is comprehensive result of athletes and coaches, and in particular the volunteer coaches Steven Leigh and David Stevenson did a fantastic job.”
Winning Europe's largest student regatta
The Blue Stars collected 1,094 points in the overall standings of Europe's largest student regatta. They beat second-placed Oxford Brookes University and third-ranked University of London, as well as 33 other universities that entered the race, including Oxford, Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh.
Alex Leigh, Newcastle University Boat Club Coach, added: “This was a special weekend for the club. We didn't target the overall Victor Ludorum, but we won due to the number of crews making the A-finals and winning medals, across the full spectrum of available events. It is only the second time in the clubs history that we have won the Victor Ludorum, and it is something which quite clearly meant a lot to the athletes.
“Winning the Victor Ludorum is a huge honour for us because it demonstrates the importance of the performance of every single athlete in the club, regardless of ability, whether it be a championship gold medal, or a 4th place finish in an 'E' final.
“We like to focus on each athlete reaching their maximum potential, and as long as they give their all throughout the year, anyone, of any ability, is welcome to row for the 'Blue Star'. The search for self-improvement creates a culture which is tough but infectious, and it is always fantastic to see the club members supporting each other on the water and off it in training and competition.
“A lot of the younger rowers talked this weekend about sending the senior athletes out on a high in their last BUCS regatta, and the raw emotion which was repeatedly displayed in crew briefings was an incredible atmosphere to be a part of as a coach. It is an absolute privilege for Angelo Savarino, Ciro Prisco and myself to be involved with such wonderful individuals, who also happen to be pretty good athletes.”
The BUCS Regatta success sits alongside another outstanding performance by Newcastle University rowers, who reached 14 podium finishes at The BUCS 4s and 8s Head on the River Tyne, retaining Men’s Victor Ludorum team title in the biggest university event of the winter rowing calendar.
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