Challenge Cup Winners!
22 May 2015
Last Saturday saw the West of England Challenge Vase, regarded as the premier trophy for Open Coxed Fours in provincial rowing, contested at the Bristol Avon Regatta with the final being a tight race between crews from the University of Bristol Boat Club (UBBC) and UBBC alumni, Nonesuch BC.
Made in Birmingham in 1834 the magnificent William IV vase was acquired jointly in 1877 by the committees of the regattas held at Bath, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Hereford and Shrewsbury. Racing for the “West of England” has taken place annually at the five regattas in rotation and has been competed for every year since 1877 with the exception of 1904, 1906, the two World Wars, 1968 and 1972.
The last time the West of England Challenge Vase was competed for at the Bristol Avon Regatta, in 2010, a UBBC crew, who went on to make the final of the Prince of Albert Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta that summer, won it. That crew, consisting of Ben Bathurst, Andrew Turner, Ben McSweeney, Andrew Parrish and coxed by Seb Tjornelund, were all subsequently awarded Bristol Red’s. To mark this anniversary the crew reformed to enter the events return to the Bristol Avon Regatta. After progressing through the rounds the final saw them take on the current crop of UBBC rowers (Andrew Holm, Alex Steventon, Chris Heywood, Nick Foster and cox Poppy Mather.) In a close battle the current UBBC rowers came out on top and will be looking to emulate the Henley success of their predecessors this summer. A great start to the summer regatta season and all under the watchful eye of Director of Rowing, Gordon Trevett, who has coached both crews and will be retiring at the end of this season after 12 years at the helm of UBBC.