University of Nottingham Rowing

March 30, 2015, by Lee Chrimes

Boat Club makes a splash at London Head of The River Race

The University rowing team fielded three crews in the UK’s biggest rowing event – a time trial along the famous University Boat Race course from Mortlake to Putney against over 300 crews. The Men’s Race (HoRR) was on Sunday 29 March, and the Women’s Race (WeHoRR) was on the Saturday 14 March.

The senior eight achieved an impressive finish time of 18:59.55 placing them 7th in Intermediate A category and 80th overall; a magnificent achievement. In true University of Nottingham tradition they overtook their opposition from Nottingham Trent and beat them by a healthy margin.  Both the novice and intermediate crews put in a solid effort to finish in 20:47.08 (70th in Intermediate A) and 20:40.63 (7th in Novice A) respectively.

Despite difficult conditions with high wind speeds on the afternoon the Notts uni rowers enjoyed the event which sees rowers from across the UK and abroad come to London to battle down the Thames tideway.  The event had suffered recently, having been cancelled for the past two years in a row due to severe weather, so it was great to enjoy a successful race this year.

The men’s event came hot of the heels of another herculean result for the woman’s squad at the Woman’s Head of The River Race where they placed 13th out of all crews, giving them a stunning 3rd place in their category in which they were only beaten by rowing titans Oxford Brookes and Newcastle.  The club hopes these results are just the beginning of a new golden age for the sport at the University of Nottingham.

UoN Director of Rowing John McKirdy was pleased with the day and called it “a great day for everybody concerned, with 3 men’s crews racing at the HoRR”.

“This years performance from the mens first eight was especially pleasing finishing a credible 7th in their class.”Adding, “The new training regime and coaches attention to detail have pushed UoNBC men’s crews forward into an exciting position for the up and coming BUCS regatta and the season beyond.”  He also wanted to note “a special mention to our freshers crew, who despite being laid low by flu, a broken rudder, losing the fin, and to make matters worse our poor cox losing her voice.  They revelled in the excitement of the day and performed admirably.”

The rowing team is indeed now looking forward to getting the summer regatta season underway, starting with the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) regatta which will be held on Nottingham home turf at the National Water Sports Centre in Holme Pierrepont on the weekend of Sunday 2 May.

Find out more about rowing at the University of Nottingham at

Quotes from the team

“There was a really positive atmosphere as we got ready to go out on the water.  Going up to the start line was interesting – we kept bumping into other crews in the wind and it became quiet chaotic but eventually the officials got it under control.  This is the downside of an event with something like 400 boats in.

Next of course we had to queue up, but we were able to enjoy a close up view of the first crews racing down the course.  As well as top university crews (the likes of Newcastle, Oxford Brookes) there were many international crews which was a good sight.  We got to cheer on our own Senior Eight at one point as well!

Eventually we came under Chiswick Bridge and we took off our waterproofs and warm kit and turned the boat down the course ready to race.  We paddled steady, then let rip through the bridge again and started the race.  We quickly sped towards a local crew but it wasn’t long before two other university crews came up through the ranks.

As we overtook the crew that started before us, we came under pressure from the two crews behind and pushed as hard as we could through the middle of the course, after Barnes Bridge. It was difficult to keep ahead as we entered a patch of choppy water – that really tested our perseverance.

At this point I started to wish the race was over, but my coxswain did a great job of holding us steady into the last stretch and really pushing us to our limit in the final section.  By the time we passed through the finish we were ready to collapse, but we got swiftly turned around by the marshals before we could drift through Putney and down to central London!

All in all the race did really test our limits, especially given the difficult weather, but we all enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to building on the success of today.”


Men’s HoRR

Crew Time Position Overall Category / Position
Nottingham Uni I 18:59.55 80 In3A     / 7
Nottingham Uni II 20:40.63 247 NovA   / 17
Nottingham Uni III 20:47.08 260 In3A    / 70
Nottingham Trent I 19:17.28 115 In3A    / 12
Nottingham Trent II 20:50.76 264 NovA   / 22
Nottingham RC I 18:29.86 47 In2      / 7
Nottingham RC II 19:34.52 143 In3C   / 12

Women’s HoRR

Crew Time Position Overall Category / Position
Nottingham Uni I 20:52.8 13 In2     / 3
Nottingham Uni II 24:30.2 247 Nov   / 24
Nottingham Trent I 23:50.6 193 In3     / 58
Nottingham Trent II 23:58.0 202 Nov   / 15
Nottingham RC I 20:59.0 17 In1    / 1
Nottingham RC II 23:07.3 132 In2    /   30


Coaches of the Senior and Novice Men’s Squads:

  • John McKirdy
  • David O’Sullivan
  • Tim Brierley
  • Artjom Nepryahin
  • Canice O’Reilly

Crew Details:

Senior Eight coached by David OSullivan & Tim Brierley

  • Cox:            Sophie Lee Lawton
  • Stroke:        Will Aldridge
  • 7:                Tom Glover
  • 6:                Scott Barnes
  • 5:                Alex Douglas
  • 4:                Tom Marsden
  • 3:                Peter Boyes
  • 2:                James Budenberg
  • Bow:           Rob Muscroft

Intermediate Eight coached by David OSullivan

  • Cox:            Lara Jayne Cooper
  • Stroke:        Adam Giambrone
  • 7:                Ben Lapham
  • 6:                Lawrie Cate
  • 5:                Andrew Sonley
  • 4:                Jack Gray
  • 3:                Joe Pateman
  • 2:                Chris Hadfield
  • Bow:           Myles Kumar

Novice Eight coached by John McKirdy

  • Cox:            Georgia Bacon
  • Stroke:        Nimal De Silva
  • 7:                Guy Brown
  • 6:                Oli Salmon
  • 5:                Sam Hilman
  • 4:                Ollie Daly
  • 3:                Jake Hammond
  • 2:                Digby Ogden
  • Bow:           Tom Harvey

Womens Senior Eight coached by John McKirdy

  • Cox:            Helen Wilson
  • Stroke:        Jessica Eastwood
  • 7:                Amy Gibson
  • 6:                Anna Terry
  • 5:                Abbie Mailer-Howat
  • 4:                Amber Hickson
  • 3:                Georgia Misson
  • 2:                Ellie Russell
  • Bow:           June Twent

Womens Novice Eight coached by Mick Ruane

  • Cox:            Flick Street
  • Stroke:        Hannah Strange
  • 7:                Georgina Cockaday
  • 6:                Chloe Bickford
  • 5:                Georgie Mostyn
  • 4:                Georgina Galton
  • 3:                Becky Swain
  • 2:                Steph Chapman
  • Bow:           Rebecca Jayne Tyas
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