by Meryl Hanmer
pics by Angus Thomas
A successful start to Varsity 2018 as Swansea secures its second point towards the shield. First the men’s cycling claimed victory on Wednesday 18th in Carmarthen and on Saturday 21st at Swansea Marina, rowing secured victory once more against Cardiff.
In total, five races took place along the 1,600m course on the river Tawe. Novice women were first to take the stage, followed by the novice men. Despite an early win for Cardiff in the Novice women’s race, the novice men’s crew sought their revenge with a confident win during a rather dynamic race. The Cardiff novice men’s crew had a steering malfunction which saw them beach on the one corner, giving Swansea the perfect opportunity to gain a lead of more than twenty boat lengths to the finish line. The mixed alumni race was next to take place with another win for Cardiff. The alumni race is a popular competition in good spirits which is as equally supported as the other races, but is not a contributing score to the overall Varsity shield. Finally, it was the turn of the senior women’s and men’s races, who’s scores mirrored the novice races. A bitterly close race for the senior women saw another win for Cardiff, but a prosperous win for the senior men helped retain the all-important Varsity title. Although the final score was a 2-2 draw, the Varsity point goes to Swansea thanks to their win last year, meaning they retain their title.
Club captain Dominic Bright is proud to boast both a successful event and end result for his club; “Overall, I’m very pleased with the results from the day, it was great to consolidate on last year’s victory with a draw in the races but overall retention of the title. The senior women’s race was the standout feature for me”. In terms of ‘star player’ awards, club captain Dominic was overwhelmed with choice from stand out team players but eventually it came down to:
Novice women – Kate Hind … “for being so upbeat and positive, and only taking over the role of stroke only 2 weeks ago”
Novice men – Tom Kind … “he has shown some real leadership potential and is always positive after sessions”
Senior women – Jess Smiles … “she is always enthusiastic, even on the toughest of training days”
Senior men – Charlie Punter … “he’s the glue that keeps the crew bonded and leads from the front”
A combination of media publicity, strong social media coverage and luxuriously beautiful weather meant large crowds were drawn to the event in support of both Swansea and Cardiff teams. The local community were once again able to enjoy a successful Varsity event which demonstrated nothing but good sportsmanship behaviour and vibrant competition.