BUCS 4s and 8s Head 2024

Last month our athletes travelled up to Newcastle to compete in BUCS 4s and 8s Head on the Tyne. This was our first race of the year and so was a great opportunity for everyone to cash in on their winter training and set the tone for the rest of our racing season this year.

Day 1:

The senior squads took to the water in 9 crews on Saturday, racing over the 5km course and coming away with 4 medals. Our men’s squad placed 9th in the coxed four, 18th in the quad and 14th in the eight. The lightweight men had a standout performance, winning silver in the coxless four and coming 6th in the quad.

The lightweight women medalled in both divisions, winning bronze in the quad before taking gold in the coxless 4 by nearly 40 seconds! This marks our third year in a row of winning BUCS Head medals in lightweight women’s events. The women’s coxed 4 defended their title, pushing the championship crews ahead of them and winning gold for the second year in a row. The women’s quad raced well and placed 23rd.

Our beginner squads also got their first taste of racing, entering the WInt8+, OInt8+ and OInt4+ and beating some senior squads at other universities to put themselves in a good position for their races the next day.

Day 2:

It was the beginner squads’ turn to compete for medals on Sunday in both eights and coxed fours over the shorter 3km course. These athletes first picked up their oars in October and have faced a turbulent introduction to the sport, trying to learn how to row with very little water time amidst rainstorms and red flags. The day started with medals from both of our division 1 crews, the men’s eight taking silver and the women’s four winning gold. The men’s squad then broke down into 3 fours, with the first four winning gold, and the other 2 fours coming 9th and 20th. The women’s eight put together an excellent race and came 5th. This is the first year that Surrey have won gold in both beginner men’s and women’s events – a testament to the resilience and hard work of our beginner squads.

This was our most successful BUCS Head to date, finishing with 7 medals and placing 8th in the overall Victor Ludorum. Our focus now turns to the last BUCS event of the year, BUCS Regatta.