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University Boat Club has a March to remember – University of Reading

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University Boat Club has a March to remember

Release Date 30 March 2006

Debbie Flood being presented the commemorative oar by John Amery and Tom Van der GuchtThe University Of Reading Boat Club (RUBC) continued going from strength to strength this March on and off the water. The beginning of the month saw the club host the most successful Head of the River Race in its 71 year history. An enormous entry of over 200 crews converged on the River Thames in Reading to compete in one of the most prestigious events in the rowing calendar. With the University celebrating its 80th birthday on 17 March its renowned boat club certainly got the celebrations underway in style. The action took place over the picturesque 4.6km stretch of undisturbed water between Mapledurham and Caversham Locks. Crews raced down at 20 second intervals giving everything they had in an attempt to take home a famous University of Reading Head Hip Flask. The large crowd witnessed some fantastic racing, with sometimes as many as three boats side-by-side surging down the river. The overall winner was Oxford Brookes University, taking home the celebrated Roe Challenge Cup in a time of 13mins 38secs. University of Reading crews were again among the fastest and did the club proud. On 25 March the club took two of its crews to London for the Men's Eights Head of the River Race. This is the largest and longest Head Race in the UK. The 420 crews compete over the famous four and a quarter mile Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race course but row in the opposite direction from Mortlake to Putney. The first Eight finished a hugely impressive 32nd overall (the highest result the University has achieved to date) in a time of 18 minutes 34 seconds. This put them 2nd in the University prize just 11 seconds behind the winners. The University's 2nd Eight finished 197th, a great result considering the crew included three members who only started rowing in October. The quality of the entrants was extraordinary. The top 15 crews were filled with mostly national and international squad members with the Great Britain Eight coming out on top - A crew that contained RUBC graduate Ric Egington. Two weeks earlier the club had one of its members win the Women's Eights Head of the River over the same course. Natasha Page was in the Great Britain Women's Eight, a crew made up of individual rowers competing for their own clubs. March also saw Reading Graduate and Olympic Silver medallist Debbie Flood receive a special award from RUBC, as a thank you for her constant support of the club. Debbie was presented the commemorative oar by John Amery and Tom Van der Gucht, members of Ortner Boat Clubs for Reading alumni. University of Reading Director of Rowing Will Rand believes the recent achievements are just the start of another fantastic year for the club: "Last year's successes were always going to be tough to emulate but things have really begun well. This year's Head of the River Race race was a superb event. The public turned up in numbers, watched some fantastic racing and brought a great atmosphere to the occasion. It's fitting that in the month the University celebrated its 80th birthday the boat club staged one of its best Head of the River Races. "Our crews at the Eights Head of the River in London performed exceptionally well and were a credit to the club. It was terrific to see Debbie's efforts recognised as she has done a large amount for RUBC and the University itself. We are extremely grateful. We wish her and current members of the club, Natasha Page, Alex Gregory and Sam Townsend all the best at the final trials for Great Britain crew selection in mid-April." For more information about RUBC contact Will Rand, the Director of Rowing at the University of Reading. Mob: 07989 972 594 Email: Website:

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