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Behind the scenes: My Road to Silver – Ellie Lewis

With Great Britain (GB) Rowing trials done and dusted, my next mission brought BUCS Regatta. BUCS represents the national “Body for University and College Sport” in GB and this is the largest student Regatta held in Europe! 

Despite being at Manchester University for 3 years, this was the first time I had ever represented the Manchester University Boat Club. It would also be my first competing at BUCS Regatta. I was entered to race the LW1x and W2x (with a partner from the university and club).

The weather forecast for the 3-day bank holiday weekend event promised very tricky conditions with high winds and white horses on the lake! Oh boy, it certainly delivered!  Racing began for me on the Sunday morning, where I managed to win the LW1x time-trial. However, as the weather worsened, I had a tough battle with the conditions in my final event. I finished in a disappointing 4th place amongst some very strong Lightweight scullers.

Nevertheless, with even higher winds forecast for my second day of racing, this brought an exciting challenge with my doubles partner: Alice (she’s relatively new to rowing, but is definitely one to watch!!). We’ve only had 2 previous outings to practice together (and me racing in a higher weight category), we figured we had nothing to lose and gave it our all. We braved and battled the gusty winds and waves in the time-trial and finished 3rd. The semi-finals were then suspended in the middle of the day due to the conditions worsening at the start. When racing resumed, the sun came out and the wind settled in perfect time for our A Final – the last race of the day. It was an exciting race, amongst a tough field of international athletes, but we got out of the starting blocks well and managed to maintain 2nd position throughout the 2km distance. We finished the race in second and won the silver medal! We were over the moon!!

When I returned to Manchester, the reality of my student life quickly hit me in the face, with only 3 days to hand in my 3rd year Research Project Report… Thankfully, no dramas occurred and I met the deadline – with only 1 late night!! Racing is over for a few weeks now while I crack on with more training in Manchester and begin revision for my summer exams!

May 23, 2016 by Aston Lincoln
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