UBBC Bristol Uni Head

University of Birmingham Success at Bristol Head!



Bristol Head: a beginners perspective

James MacDonald


12 weeks ago I was wondering around the sports fair grabbing all the leaflets and signing up to far too many sports to remember. Rowing was the first ‘taster session’ I went to and, of course, we did a fitness test. Right from Darbs’ first inspirational speech rowing has become an obsession and with Bristol Head close on the horizon training was getting even tougher. Upon doing our Race simulation erg, excitement began to build for Saturday 6th December, Race Day.

We were going into the unknown, none of us had rowed competitively before but we knew that if we concentrated and gave everything we had throughout the race, we had the power to mount a challenge for a medal. As we paddled upstream, you could tell everyone’s heads were in gear, it was the best warm up we had ever done! When Axie made the call ‘Power for 10’ the race had begun and it was over very quickly, in a time of 4:02, a course record. We knew we had rowed well, but did not know if we had done enough to win until on the coach home we had a call from Tania telling us the good news, we had done it!

It was a fantastic start to Rowing and a feeling that we want to get used to so hopefully there will be more wins to come! The men’s B and C boats also rowed really well, with the B boat coming 8th and C boat being unfortunate when a Bath crew stopped right in front of them forcing them to manoeuvre, losing valuable seconds and finishing 17th.


Such good results shows there is lots of potential in our boats, and has spurred us all on to train that bit harder in order to maintain our winning ways in the next race. None of us could have done this without the coaching team particularly Callum and Tania who are always helping us improve and making sure Rowing at Birmingham is enjoyable for everyone. I am looking forward to coming back after Christmas to train hard and build on our success at Bristol in the future.


Bristol Head: senior women set up for a promising year of rowing

Vicki Williams


Bristol Head 2014 was the first race of the year for the senior women’s eight, and it was a great start of what will hopefully be a successful season to come. Going from the bottom beginner crew at Bristol Head 2013, to the senior eight brought a completely different experience of the day. Last year’s race was chaotic to say the least: having two spanners with no idea how to use them, stressing out about dropping the boat in the mud and performing well in the race, and praying not to catch a crab and make a fool of myself.


This year was very different. It was an honour being part of the top women’s eight, and all we wanted to do was bring all the hard work from the semester and execute the race cleanly and effectively. After lots of small boats work at the beginning of the year, getting back in an eight brought home how much I loved being part of a team – but teamwork also presents its fair share of challenges. One session would be great, and the next not so great. However, Bristol Head was a solid example of the hard work we had put into working together as a cohesive crew. Despite not winning, we came 3rd having all put in all of the effort we could (as our faces in the photos show!), and it was one of my favourite races as part of UBBC. Bring on Women’s Head!!


President has his say (and a win!)

James Heal



When Pete and I were told that we had won our Championship Doubles Competition we were in great spirits but it was the beginners who really impressed me. All crews raced well and we had, I my opinion, the best overall technical crews in the competition. They were all very professional, from rigging, getting on the water, racing down and de-rigging. It was great to see and I could tell the Captains Verity and Callum were proud. I’m very excited to see how these crews and athletes get on at the upcoming BUCS Head and it’s always nice to see Beginners forcing Seniors to take a look behind them and up their erg scores to keep up. Keep at it Ladies and Gents!



In Other News: Towards the End of the Term was very Sucessful for some of our Scullers!

The back end of the first semester has been a busy one. We’ve had athletes competing at GB Trials and Scullers Head on November, as well as the all-important Bristol University Head Race.

GB Trials

Three athletes, Lotte Morris, James Heal and Patrick Wright, headed down to the lowlands of Boston, for each athlete’s first GB trials.

The first day consisted of what all rowers know so well: The 2k Test. The scene was set, a large sports hall, Katherine Grainger ambling around and hundreds of rowers with race faces on. James was on the ergs first putting out a reasonable score of 6.12.8. Patrick followed and was on for a good score until the last 400m, which left him with a score outside the cut-off. Later in the term Patrick rectified this by going 6.14. Lotte got underway last, pulling a season best well under the cut-off time.

Day two left the rowers with a 5k time trial in the single scull. All rowers competed well and bettered their positions from the day before. Hopefully some good results to come further on in the season’s trials.

Scullers’ Head


Five UBBC scullers returned to Putney Town Rowing Club, all ready for their first go at the famous Sculler’s Head Race. Patrick, Milo, Lotte, Peter and James all did well in what was a very busy and congested race.