Hartpury wins race to host major rowing competition

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Hartpury has been selected as joint host of a showpiece university and colleges rowing event next year – the first time it has been staged in the South West.

A joint bid from University Centre Hartpury and the University of Bristol, in conjunction with Gloucester Rowing Club, was successful in being awarded the BUCS Rowing 4s and 8s Head event for the next three academic years.

Tom Radcliffe, Director of Elite Sport at Hartpury, said: “University Centre Hartpury is delighted to be hosting the BUCS Rowing 4s and 8s Head from 2019-2021 on our home water at Gloucester Rowing Club, in conjunction with Bristol University.

“At Hartpury we already work closely with British Rowing and are well known for our very successful junior college programme.

“The running of one of the biggest events in the university rowing calendar with BUCS will promote our extension into higher education rowing at University Centre Hartpury.

“We look forward to holding a successful event and highlighting the quality of our institution and dual career rowing pathway.”

After three years on the River Tyne, the BUCS Rowing 4s and 8s Head event will now be held on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal on the weekend of 2-3 March next year.

Opened in 1827, Sharpness Canal was the largest in England, but there is now little commercial activity on the canal itself, making for excellent racing conditions and marshalling.

The course is sheltered for the majority of the route and provides an ideal venue for head races.

Fiona Rennie, Chairperson of the BUCS Event Management Group for Rowing stated “We’d like to thank the University of Bristol, Hartpury University Centre and Gloucester Rowing Club.

“It’s exciting to think we will be taking this event to a new part of the country and giving many students the opportunity to race on what for them will be a new patch of water.”

The event welcomes over 400 crews over two days competing in coxed, coxless and sculling 4s and 8s crews.

For many crews this event is their first chance to compete against other institutions in each academic year, and for many beginner rowers this is their first competitive experience on the water.

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