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06th June 2024 Ruby Rowlands (2022, Jurisprudence)

Exonians enjoy successful week’s rowing at Summer Eights

Exeter College Boat Club President Ruby Rowlands (2022, Jurisprudence) reports on a successful Summer Eights.

The women's second boat at summer eights

The Women’s second boat competes at Summer Eights

The 22nd of May saw the first day of Summer Eights, and, as if the weather wanted to keep up the trend we’ve faced the whole year, biblical levels of rain.

Given the considerable lack of training Exeter College Boat Club (ECBC) has been able to have due to the weather this year (we have had two separate ‘black flags’ this year, which means not only that you cannot row, but also that you cannot even go onto Boathouse Island due to the flooding), the fact that we were able to field six boats again was a remarkable achievement.

The week saw many successes for ECBC too, with strong performances from all boats. This was especially so for our M2, M3 and W3, who, despite being largely made up of novices, held their own against the crews around them throughout the week. The W2, similarly, displayed an impressive resilience with a series of strong rowovers, including two in a day on Friday (although came impressively close to a double overbump!). The W1, as has become customary, put on a remarkable display throughout the week, with their chance at blades thwarted only by the fact that Hertford were slow enough that Linacre got to them before Exeter could get to Linacre!

It was, in fairness, a mixed bag of results. Our M1, despite giving it their all, were surrounded by strong crews, many of whom had had the resources to train away from the Isis, and struggled to hold their own. The W2 found themselves unfortunately placed on the first day, directly behind a very strong Reuben W1, and were unable to catch them. The M3 became particularly well-acquainted with a tree on Thursday.

Saturday was by far the strongest day for ECBC, with the sun coming back out in full force, and a fantastic turnout from alumni and students alike to support from the balcony. I’m happy to report that we were easily one of the loudest clubs on the river (perhaps beaten only by whoever was playing the bagpipes at Brasenose). It was a day of successes, with the W2 finally getting their hard-earned bump, the M2 achieving an overbump, and a triumphant bump right in front of the boathouse by the W1. The bump from the W1 puts the Exeter women on their highest bungline ever achieved, and the highest Exeter bungline in general since 2012! These results, and seeing the great sense of community and support both from within the club, as well as from other members of college and our alumni, made Saturday a particularly pleasing day for ECBC.

In the evening, we had our bicentenary celebration dinner, welcoming back over 90 of our alumni, spanning every decade from the 1950s onwards. It was a great chance to meet many of our most faithful supporters, and celebrate how far the Club has come since its foundation 200 years ago. That we had a dinner which was at the absolute limit of the hall’s capacity is a testament to the sense of community that membership of the Club can bring, and I for one am excited to see where ECBC goes next.

All in all, a great week for ECBC!

The men's second boat at summer eights

The Men’s second boat

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