- Published on Tuesday, 10 April 2012 16:34
- Written by Jonathan van Rensburg
UCT Rowing Club brought in a record medal haul at the University Sports South Africa Sprints Regatta.
After three months of intense early morning training sessions, the UCT Rowing Club dominated at the renowned University Sports South Africa Sprints Regatta held at Vanderkloof Dam in the Free State from March 23rd to 25th.
Battling through the wind and rain, competitors from nine universities arrived, boats in tow and ready to race. The qualifying heats took place on Friday the 23rd and UCT showed their intent, winning almost every race.
The finals were held on Saturday. After a delayed start due to unfavourable weather conditions, the Ikeys rowers began to rake in the medals. From the men’s side, UCT won in the sculls, pairs, doubles and fours event across the A, B and C divisions in both lightweight and heavyweight classes.
After dominating in the smaller boats, the Ikeys men went on to win the hotly-contested eights races in both A and B divisions. Both boats won with well over 15m of clear water to spare, and the A boat was crowned winner for the second year running. At the end of the day’s racing, the UCT men placed 1st in 10 events, along with a host of close 2nd- and 3rd-place finishes, leaving UCT, with 299 points, the victors in the men’s section. Tuks, in 2nd place, finished more than 90 points behind.
The women fared just as well, beating Olympic-class rowers from UJ and TUKS in both the A eights (ending UJ’s three-year winning streak in this event) and the A coxless quads divisions. They also won convincingly in their pairs, quads and doubles races in all divisions and weight classes, with a special mention afforded to the novice scullers that battled the conditions to regularly place in the top three for their events.
The sterling performance from the Ikeys women raked in 7 gold medals and 13 other podium finishes. UCT topped the women’s points table with 290 points, well ahead of 2nd-placed UJ on 246. The combined efforts of both men and women gave UCT an overall score of 589 points, winning the regatta for the first time in 10 years. The UJ rowers ranked 2nd with 428 points.
In addition to regatta glory, a total of 13 UCT rowers received national full or half colours for their individual performances, more than any other university. Among them, UCT is looking to qualify Joe Muller, Leo Davis, Matthew Shaw, Marcus Crowther, Chase Hyde, Cameron Hoey, Kim Joscelyn and Anthea Dickson to represent South Africa iat the Student Games in Russia later this year.
With coaches of national pedigree, equipment of the highest standard and rowers reeling in these results, it looks like UCT Rowing Club is all set for its final encounter of the sprint season at the South African Championship Regatta in East London later this month.