Brookes & Brits in Ghent
Records were broken at Ghent regatta last weekend when Oxford Brookes University Boat Club, as they so often do, dominated the water.
The men’s coxless four on Saturday, comprising Henry Swarbrick, Morgan Bolding, Rory Gibbs and Oliver Wilkes, won by a margin of 0.32 seconds, with Leander in second and a Brookes crew with Joel Cassells in third. Sunday saw a combination of Ed Grisedale, Quentin Antognelli, Henry Swarbrick and Oliver Wilkes cross the line with a time of 5:53.3, beating the previous day’s time by 2.49. Brookes believe this to be the fastest time ever rowed by a British coxless four outside of the national team. The impressive time also broke Ghent’s course record by 11 seconds.
Wilkes, who represented GB at U23 level last year, rows for Edinburgh University but as the boat was entered as a non-composite Brookes crew, Wilkes was required by regatta rules to don an OBUBC unisuit. Whatever the colour of the kit, this boat looks fast and with 6 weeks until Henley Royal Regatta, it could be the one to watch.
Ed Grisedale, Quentin Antognelli, Henry Swarbrick and Oliver Wilkes of Oxford Brookes at Ghent
Success seemed to follow under Brookes’ oars; they had two further medals for the men’s eight, taking gold and silver. The first eight broke the course record and set a new club record with a time of 5:30.28. However, it didn’t stop there as the women took their turn to make a mark in the record book, crossing the line in a club record time of 6:29.71.
The Sunday also saw silver for the women’s double, third for the women’s eight and, finishing on a high, gold in the coxless four. Two lengths clear, this win set another club record. Over the entire weekend, the women’s squad medalled in every event they entered.
There is no doubt Brookes have been on top form from an impressive display at BUCS, and in America where the men competed at the Windermere Cup, ceding the win by 0.4 seconds. The coming months will be an exciting time for the club who will no doubt be looking to do some damage at Henley Women’s and Royal.
Elsewhere at Ghent, there were strong results from many UK crews.
Leander’s Georgina Brayshaw and Ruth Siddorn won the W2x beating Brookes Imogen Mackie and Mary Wilson into second whilst fellow Brookes alumni, Alex Styles, rowing for Thames RC won the LWB 1x. In the W8+, form for Henley Women’s Regatta was revealed as Leander saw off Molesey and Brookes to take the gold with Tideway Scullers coming fourth. Brookes won the W4- beating Molesey and Leander, all racing in crews formed from the eights.
The W4x was an all UK affair with Leander’s Brayshaw/Bowyer/Adamson/Siddorn beating Nottingham, Thames, Molesey and Skibbereen. Phoebe Campbell of Thames Tradesmen, part of the WJ4x in 2017 took second place in the JW18 1x.
Article updated 09:30 & 12:31 on Thursday, May 17, 2018
Article by WEROW writer Chloe Dell whose love of rowing came later in life after feeling inspired after London 2012 and the success of the rowers, particularly the women. Chloe started as a novice at Swansea University where she spent 3 years and loved every minute of it. She continued her rowing at Minerva Bath RC.