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Henley Royal Regatta beckons for fast improving UYBC men

After just two months of training, the University of York Boat Club achieved the unprecedented achievement of qualification for the Henley Royal Regatta

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The University of York Boat Club achieved the unprecedented result of prequalification to the internationally renownd Henley Royal Regatta after a mere two months of training. University rowers John Appleton, Tom Bulpitt, Dan Steele, Oscar Neilson and Cox and President Ashley Haycock, teamed up with UYBC Old Blades William Lawrence and Jack Savage, and two York City members to form a composite crew with York City Rowing Club.

After a somewhat tentative start at Nottingham city regatta, six weeks ago, the crew has consistently gained ground at lightning pace. With solid performances at the Metropolitan regatta and outstanding rows at Marlow international regatta last weekend, culminating in a fourth place in the IM2 final against strong opposition, qualification at last seemed possible. The near misses of previous years, a tantalising four seconds in 2009, were washed away when pre-qualification was confirmed on Sunday. At last UYBC appears to be returning to the glory years of 2006 - the last time a university men's crew qualified for the regatta. With qualification under their belt the squad has now re-set their sights and aims to surpass 2006 and try and progress to the second round with a win on Wednesday. The crew will spend the next ten days honing their technique and form on the Ouse before travelling down to Henley to compete in the first round of the Thames Challenge Cup on Wednesday of Week 10.

The University IM3 eight of Freddie Dawes, Ben Coverdale, Karl Slater, Sam Agass, Richard Nixon, James Finn, John Underwood, Teddy O'Brien and cox Alice Taylor are also vying for a place at Henley. After positive results at Peterborough regatta as well as an excellent string of training outings the crew hopes to overcome a recent slip in form at York Summer Regatta to qualify. However they must first compete at the qualification event this Friday in order to win a place at the main regatta to compete for the Temple Challenge Cup. 47 university crews will attend the time trial and the fastest 14 will qualify for the first round.

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