The academic season of 2018-19 was a fantastic year for rowing at the University of St Andrews. Club records were set at every event the club competed at, as it finished the year with several members reigning as British, British University, Scottish and Scottish University Champions. At BUCS (British Universities and Colleges of Sport) Regatta, the University of St Andrews won two gold and two bronze medals, setting a club record and placing them in ninth position on the overall medal table, behind the top GB-funded High Performance Programmes. Their Men’s 1st VIII+ set a club course record in London at the Head of the River Race, winning the Medium Academic Pennant for the fastest time in their category (against the Boat Race course). At Henley Royal Regatta just recently in July, their men’s coxed four finished in the top-4 out of 51 entries by reaching the Semi-Finals of their event, watched for the first time, by the club’s founder, John Browne. Henley Royal Regatta is the world’s most prestigious rowing event and sees international crews descend on a small town just outside of London for some of the closest racing in international rowing, in front of over 250,000 spectators.
Rowing is a fast-growing sport at the university and is becoming increasingly popular. Founded in 1962, the club is still relatively new compared to other university rowing clubs across the UK. It’s a performance sport within the university and a highly competitive and successful club within British university rowing, recently described as “one of the most exciting and fastest developing university programmes”. The club comprises of four squads; men’s and women’s novice squads for complete beginners and men’s and women’s senior squads for members who have been rowing for one year or more. Rowers in the club can expect a high standard of coaching from their newly appointed Director of Rowing, Jordan Stanley. Jordan joined the club from New Zealand and has a background in international rowing, his influence has already been felt throughout their competitive season.
A competitive and performance-based club atmosphere does not mean ill-natured rivalry between members, but instead relies on the rowers supporting and encouraging each other. The St Andrews rowing programme believes its success lies in its friendly club culture and supportive atmosphere, allowing its athletes to develop to their full potential. The St Andrews ethos is one where the athletes push each other at training, so when they compete, they are comfortable in the knowledge that every single crew member has worked their hardest to that point. Our Senior rowers train 12 times per week, with our novice rowers training less, but discipline, professionalism and friendliness remain constant pillars, which generate club successes and records. Matt Taylor, Boat Club President 2017-19 said: “Rowing as a sport is for the dedicated and the most driven athletes. At St Andrews, this is no different, however, our atmosphere and training environment allows for the combination of a top-level training programme, a tough training climate and a shared club vision to cultivate athletes and teams who can develop key skills, train harder and push themselves further. Our rowers do not only want to win for their own pride, but they want to continue to build St Andrews’ name in the world of rowing, and that deeper meaning is what counts nearing the end of a race. The University of St Andrews Boat Club develops skills and friendships that last a lifetime, with immense loyalty, pride and teamwork stemming from that. There is no better way to leave a legacy at St Andrews, than through sport and driving our name to higher levels.”
If you are interested in the St Andrews Rowing Team please click or copy and paste the link below to access their video.