View all news

Nonesuch takes to the water

15 September 2011

The club's first boat, almost over 100 years ago was called Nonesuch and in honour of its past, the club have chosen to name themselves after it, The Nonesuch BC.

The club's first boat, almost over 100 years ago was called Nonesuch and in honour of its past, the club have chosen to name themselves after it, The Nonesuch BC. The club also share their name with the University's alumni magazine, which like the boat, would have been named after the "Flower of Bristol".

This summer, the club gathered in Henley for the town’s ‘other’ regatta; Henley Town & Visitors’ Regatta. Much like the famous Royal Regatta held four weeks earlier, the crews race over the same course as used in the 1908 & 1948 Olympic Regattas. The rowers were mostly composed of recently alumni and were joined by Gordon Trevett, high performance manager, rowing coach, Hiatt Baker warden and 6ft 7” vintage oarsman, who could not resist getting back in a boat despite being over 40 years older than any of his crew-mates.

Adam Mackenzie (MSci 2009), Nonesuch BC's captain reports on the race:

"First up to race were Gordon’s crew, drawn against Oxford Academicals RC. The Oxford crew certainly looked well drilled, and with the sight of an obvious ‘handbrake’ in the Bristol boat they had every right to fancy themselves likely winners of the semi-final. However, after a slow start, the Bristol crew, rowing with great length and strong finishes, pushed through the crew composed of Oxford University staff.

After going on to win the club’s first race by a comfortable margin, the crew had only one hour to recuperate before taking on a crew from Henley RC in the final. This was a tough ask as a number of the Bristol crew had not stepped back in a boat since leaving university. Undoubtedly the opposition would have been training several times per week for their summer regatta season.

With the home advantage and a quick start not matched by the Bristol crew, the Henley boat pulled out an early lead. Once the Bristol boat had settled into their strong racing rhythm the gap between the crews closed with each stroke, however we were unable to overturn their lead despite the obvious efforts of the crew.

The defeat was soon forgotten over a barbeque on the riverbank whilst our other crew prepared themselves for a straight-final later that afternoon in the blue riband event of the regatta, Elite Eights. Again, we had been drawn against a crew from Henley RC, although their offering would be much faster in this event. The Nonesuch boat also had some serious pedigree, for half of the crew had earned themselves Bristol Reds whilst at University.

Both crews surged off the start line and again the Henley crew managed to secure an early advantage with their highly polished start. Many spectators in the launch following the race were surprised to see the Bristol old boys swiftly counterattack and soon overturn Henley’s slight lead, which we managed to maintain down most of course despite Henley’s ferocious attempts to get back on level terms. Nonesuch snuck across the line first and celebrated enthusiastically, more relieved that the race was over than anything else!

Once back on dry land, tankards were collected and the cox of the winning crew was duly thrown into the River Thames. A great day out was had by all and we hope that the success of Nonesuch BC continues in much the same way for years to come!"