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DUBC team photo BUCS Head 2023

BUCS 4's and 8's Head once again treated the North East to two divisions of high quality racing attended by universities from all around the country. Following record breaking success at last year's BUCS head, Team Durham were lucky to receive not one, but two race reports for both the men's and women's squad at Durham University Boat Club. Read on for a full review of the weekend, from both the men's and women's squad.

BUCS 4's and 8's Head returned up North for the second year running, racing over the 18th and 19th of February '23. Universities across the country came to the River Tyne, to compete for the Victor Ludorum (VL), as well as capture sacred BUCS points in a sport that has few BUCS affiliated competitions. Durham University Boat Club (DUBC) had big shoes to fill, once again racing on their home waters. 

DUBC took the event by storm. Almost every single athlete medalled at least once over the course of the weekend, which truly is a phenomenal feat. 


Women's Squad

The women’s squad came away with the women’s Victor Ludorum for the first time since 2015, going home with 3 golds and 1 bronze medal; with every woman who raced winning at least one! The squad started the day with two eights in Division 1. Their first eight won gold in the Championship category for the first time, beating Edinburgh and Newcastle by 4.5s. Whilst the second eight took bronze in the Intermediate category. In division 2 the 8's split and raced a Championship coxed four, coxless four, quad, and lightweight coxless four. DUBC's quad and coxless four put out strong performances, both coming 5th, whilst the coxed and lightweight fours brought back two more golds, with the lightweights winning by a huge 105 seconds. With such a massive success from such a strong group of women, the squad and their coaches are definitely excited about what’s to come from the rest of the racing year, starting with Women’s Head of the River in two weeks and building into regatta season…

Men's Squad

The Tyne actively welcomed all competitors in the first division with quintessentially rough conditions making it not only a physically but also technically challenging race for all crews. DUBC’s men's squad took on the first division in fours and quad combinations; bringing home 5 medals to start the day with the standout performance coming from the Championship coxless four, who stormed to a gold medal with a lead of 56 seconds to the nearest crew from Imperial College London.

In the afternoon, the second division saw picture perfect conditions where DUBC men's squad assembled into three eights; one in the championship event and two in the intermediate event. All three men's eights rowed long and hard putting their work over the winter season to the test, with the men's first and second eights securing further BUCS medals. The second eight placed a close second against a very strong crew from Bristol, whilst the men's first eight defended their BUCS head title and extended their winning margin from 2022, against an impressive crew from Imperial College London.


Headlining Success


Following the extensive medal haul from both the men's and women's squad, DUBC were able collect the men's and women's Victor Ludorum, as well as awarded the overall Victor Ludorum for the first time in 11 years. This shows great promise for the squad leading into summer racing, following the Easter period. DUBC will look to overturn Newcastle at the Boat Race of the North for the first time in many years, hoping to officially turn the Tyne Palatinate once again. An incredibly successful weekend for the club and for everyone involved.