Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford

President’s Report 2014

Wolfson College Boat Club (WCBC) has had another very successful year of rowing. This year’s season started remarkably well, with 22 novice men and 15 novice women regularly training. Compared to last year, we were very lucky with the weather in Michaelmas term, which allowed our novices to develop their skills without interruption. Our senior men’s and women’s squads were also training hard and entered a number of regattas in Michaelmas term, including Autumn Fours, Nephthys Regatta, and Four’s Head of the River.

Women's novice boat competes in Christ Church Regatta 2013. (Left to right: Laura Hawkins, Mickaela Nixon, Anny Li, Kim Wilkinson, Irene Milana, Kelsey Murrell, Amelie Hartmann, Katie Rickard, Claudia Vadeboncoeur. Photographer: Akash Verma)

Women’s novice boat competes in Christ Church Regatta 2013. (Left to right: Laura Hawkins, Mickaela Nixon, Anny Li, Kim Wilkinson, Irene Milana, Kelsey Murrell, Amelie Hartmann, Katie Rickard, Claudia Vadeboncoeur. Photographer: Akash Verma)

Unfortunately difficult weather conditions in Hilary term resulted in limited training time and the cancellation of Torpids 2014. Once the river conditions improved, however, our novices and seniors continued to train hard and several rowers were able to compete in a number of external regattas in our preparation for Summer Eights, including Worcester Regatta, Oxford City Bumps, and Women’s Head of the River.

WCBC men's first boat win pots at Worcester Regatta. (Back row, from left: John McManigle, Thomas Aarholt, Jasper Barth, James Simpson, Gido Van de Ven, James Kirkbride; front row, from left: Neil Dhir, Stefany Wragg, Jack Hornsby; photo credit: Jack Hornsby).

WCBC men’s first boat win pots at Worcester Regatta. (Back row, from left: John McManigle, Thomas Aarholt, Jasper Barth, James Simpson, Gido Van de Ven, James Kirkbride; front row, from left: Neil Dhir, Stefany Wragg, Jack Hornsby; photo credit: Jack Hornsby).

The boat club managed to field six strong boats in Summer Eights 2014 and gained a net total of 7 places. The highlight was M3 getting blades in men’s division five – the result of many years of investment on the men’s side of the boat club – by bumping St Benet’s Hall, Queen’s II, Wadham III, and Pembroke III. M4 and W1 got an impressive three bumps each, W2 bumped up twice, and despite strong performances from M1 and M2, they were bumped down two and three places, respectively, by very powerful crews behind them.

The men's third boat celebrate winning blades in Summer Eights. (Back row, from left: Wybo Wiersma, Mark Nixon; middle row, from left: Matthew Chang, Duncan Palmer, Nan Liu, Jan Ahrend, Giovanni Mezzano, Maurits Kroese, Matteo Gianella-Borradori; front row, from top to bottom: Oscar Yang, João Sousa Pinto; photo credit: Thomas Quartermain).

The men’s third boat celebrate winning blades in Summer Eights. (Back row, from left: Wybo Wiersma, Mark Nixon; middle row, from left: Matthew Chang, Duncan Palmer, Nan Liu, Jan Ahrend, Giovanni Mezzano, Maurits Kroese, Matteo Gianella-Borradori; front row, from top to bottom: Oscar Yang, João Sousa Pinto; photo credit: Thomas Quartermain).

The women’s first boat race in Summer Eights. (From left to right: Heather Harrington, Laura Hawkins, Sofia Hauck, Alexandra Bridges, Nicky Huskens, Elo Luik, Cynthia Eccles, Miriam Driessen, Sarah Johnson; photo credit: Glenn Wong).

The women’s first boat race in Summer Eights. (From left to right: Heather Harrington, Laura Hawkins, Sofia Hauck, Alexandra Bridges, Nicky Huskens, Elo Luik, Cynthia Eccles, Miriam Driessen, Sarah Johnson; photo credit: Glenn Wong).

WCBC was also wonderfully represented at the university level this year, with a total of eight trialists. Alexandra Bridges, Cynthia Eccles, and Nicky Huskens rowed with the Oxford University Women’s Lightweight Rowing Club; Lea Carrot coxed with the Oxford University Women’s Lightweight Rowing Club; Miriam Driessen and Elo Luik rowed with the Oxford University Women’s Boat Club; and James Ellison rowed with the Oxford University Lightweight Rowing Club. Of those members, Nicky Huskens, Lea Carrott, and James Ellison competed with the first boats of their squads in the Henley Boat Races.

Some of the other highlights of the year include securing a three-year sponsorship deal from Investec worth £5,000 per year; hosting a naming ceremony for our new single scull, Bernard Henry II, last summer; and purchasing a new women’s eight, which is yet to be named.

Thanks so much to everyone who has made this incredible year possible. I would particularly like to acknowledge all the committee members and coaches who carried out their duties flawlessly. With the high levels of dedication and commitment shown this year, we can all look forward to another successful rowing season next year! You can continue to follow our progress by joining our Facebook page, ‘Wolfson College Boat Club, Oxford,’ or via our website, www.wolfsonrowing.org.

Laura Hawkins
WCBC President 2013-14