THE Swansea University Rowing Club had a day to forget as they suffered a 4-0 whitewash at the 8th annual Welsh Varsity Boat Race.
Cardiff University’s rowing club captain Amy-Louise Hill lifted the trophy following the four hotly contested races on the River Taff.
The day began with the women’s novice crews taking to the river.
Kirstin Rodgers’ crew had it all to do given their record of four defeats in four races.
Cardiff led by three lengths as the boats headed towards the final bridge turn, but Swansea quickly responded with the finish in sight.
They closed the gap to just over a length as they emerged from under the bridge, but faded in the final 250m to lose by three lengths.
Novice captain Rodgers praised her crew’s dedication following one of their best performances in boat race history.
“The crew have shown a great commitment going into the race,” she said. “It’s probably one of the closest races we’ve seen at this level before.
“I’m really, really proud of the team; they kept it tight all the way round.”
Swansea’s novice crew took to the water next with Cardiff going into the race as favourites.
The two university crews last competed against each other at the annual BUCS Head Race in February, where Cardiff finished eight places higher than Swansea.
Cardiff never looked troubled as they emerged from under the bridge in front of the Swansea crew, finishing ahead by three and a half lengths.
Captain Matt Meyer was pleased with how far the novice crew had improved since the head race despite the varsity defeat.
“I’m really proud of the boys; unfortunately Cardiff’s class showed in the final 500m,” he said.
“We’ve made up a lot of ground on the Cardiff crew since the BUCS race so I’m pleased with the effort today.”
The third contest of the day was the women’s senior race.
Former Cardiff University rowing captain and current Cardiff AU President Cari Davies returned to the water in the third seat.
Cardiff rowed to victory by a narrow two length margin but the race was overshadowed by Davies needing medical attention as the Cardiff crew crossed the line.
She was helped from the boat and attended to by the on-duty medical team and was given the all-clear later on.
The men’s senior race concluded the day’s action, with three of Swansea’s 2012 novice winning crew in action.
Despite the inclusion of Sam Cunningham, Matt Meyer and Ben Christophersen, Swansea were beaten.
Cardiff led coming into the final straight and despite Swansea’s best efforts they could only finish two lengths behind.