A gloriously sunny morning graced the first event of the second Super Wednesday as NTU and Uni of Nottingham prepared for this year’s Varsity Boat Race.
Tensions were high, the waters were calm and the rowers prepared for an intense battle downstream. Crowds gathered quickly and the embankment next to Trent Bridge was filled with excitement, tension and music to get people pumped.
The first race began at 11:30, with the women taking up oars to battle it out on the water.
Boats were carried out of Britannia Boathouse by both teams, chants of “Yeah Trent!” and “Trent Army!” filling the air as the rowers embarked towards the starting-line, located upstream at Wilford Suspension Bridge.
UoN could be seen and heard in first position. With the boat cutting through the water like a dolphin, as the cox at the bow of the boat screamed at their rowers.
Trent tailed behind, trying to hunt Uni Of down, but they were now at least two boat lengths behind with half a kilometre to go. UoN looked adept and consistent with each rowing stroke – paving the way for a fairly easy win. Trent’s women had only been rowing twice before as an entire crew, however. Making the loss much less bitter.
We caught up with Faye Williams, Trent’s captain after their head to head:
The men were up next, the crowd now even bigger than before, the music was booming and the golden sunlight danced across the water – it was a perfect scene.
Last year, Trent’s men finished just 25 milliseconds behind UoN, so this year they were hoping to make up that time for the win.
As they passed Trent Bridge, UoN were pulling ahead with powerful strokes, but – similar to last year – it was immensely close. Powering towards Lady Bay Bridge, UoN managed one last stroke to pull them ahead, and across the finish line, winning by a fraction of a second yet again.
Just a quarter of a boat length behind, Trent unfortunately lost again despite a brilliant effort.
We spoke to Edward Stracey, future President for Trent’s rowing society, after their race:
Another phenomenal show of teamwork and integrity on the River from all rowers, and the day couldn’t have been better, with beautiful weather, roaring crowds, and university pride.
Here’s to next year, Trent!
By Joe Locker.