Charlotte Dexter, Jess Elkington, Emma Townshend and Hannah Traylen won Gold at the European Universities Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.

University rowers seize gold at European Championships

Women from the University of Exeter Boat Club (EUBC) continued their remarkable winning streak this month at the eighth European Universities Rowing Championships.

Charlotte Dexter, Jess Elkington, Emma Townshend and Hannah Traylen travelled to Poznan, Poland as the first ever University of Exeter crew to be selected to represent Great Britain for the event, joining 400 competitors from over 61 different countries.

Entering the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls category the team did not disappoint. After cruising to victory in the preliminary race, the squad battled through a strong headwind and swell to in the final. Breaking away at the 900 metre mark, the crew held off a strong Austrian fight back to clinch the top spot, and European glory.

Newly appointed Director of Rowing Richard Tinkler was delighted with the performance and praised the squad for their hard work, particularly in such challenging conditions. He said: “It was a really good race. The team had to contend with a really strong headwind which probably added a minute and a half to their time, but they made a good plan and took the race by the scruff of the neck.

“The effect of the headwind on a lightweight team like this is huge, but when we needed to make our move we did it. The girls were fantastic.”

The result comes at the end of an incredibly successful season for the women’s squad who have won a gold medal at every event they have attended in 2012/ 13 season, including the Women’s Head of the River, BUCS Head and BUCS Regatta.

Rowing is one of the University of Exeter’s 10 Focus Sports and has benefitted from a myriad of new facilities over the last 12 months. In September 2012 the club officially opened the new Nicholas Bull Boathouse and received six new Stämpfli boats. Former Head Coach Richard Tinkler has also been appointed as full time Director of Rowing, and will be working closely with the club to develop dedicated training programmes and strategies.

Assistant Director of Sport (Performance and competitions) Nick Beasant explained how the expansion of the University’s rowing programme is testament to the club’s hard work. He said: "We are proud of our strong rowing heritage at the University of Exeter and have been very pleased with the club’s development, particularly over the last five years."

“We have invested heavily in improving our rowing programme, but that is only half the battle. Without the commitment of squads, committee and countless boat club members along with excellent ongoing alumni support, the results we have seen this year would simply not be possible. In 2012 / 2013 the University of Exeter was ranked as the sixth best institution in the country for rowing, our highest ever standing, and we will continue to push to improve this result each year.”

A full race report written by Emma Townshend is available to view here.

Date: 12 September 2013

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