Five University of Dundee students will attempt to make waves in the world of rowing this weekend when they take part in one of the UK’s top elite rowing competitions.
For the first time in 14 years, the Dundee University Boat Club, who train on a stretch of the River Tay between Dundee and Perth affectionately known as ‘the swamp’, are sending a female crew to compete at Henley Women’s Regatta.
The ambitious team, who may well have set a Guinness World Record for rowing in March, consists of second-year students Fiona Lapp (Mathematics), Katie Canniford (Adult Nursing), Isabella Ashcroft (Forensic Anthropology), third-year student Hannah Campbell (Mechanical Engineering) and fourth-year student Eleanor Brinkhoff (Physiological Sciences).
“If you mentioned Dundee 12 months ago, other rowing teams would probably just shrug their shoulders, but now we are beginning to be taken seriously,” said Eleanor, who will miss her Graduation from the University this week in order to be in with a chance of bringing back gold.
“We are still very much the underdogs in the world of rowing. The boat we usually race in is more than 30 years old and our training grounds at Inchrya are about 20 miles away from campus. Unlike the teams we will race against this week, we don’t have a pontoon. We have to wade out into the freezing Tay to climb into our boats to even begin practice so you could say we have something to prove.”
Excited at the prospect of representing Dundee at Henley, Hannah said, “This year has been the most successful year for our boat club. We’ve attended ten competitions and taken away 18 wins. It’s great to be able to go to competitions and hold our heads high and feel like we have the right to be here, and finish on the podium too.”
The team will take to the warmer waters of the Thames this week, competing in the Development 4+ event. Henley Women’s Regatta takes place between Friday 21st June 2019 and Sunday 23rd June 2019.