Novice rowers make history with first ever win in Welsh Varsity boat race

Novice Men

This year’s men’s novice team pulled off the unexpected and won for the first time in the history of the Varsity boat race.

It was the fourth time the novice men’s race had taken place, since its first in 2009, but Swansea had not managed a win until now.

Jake Loomes said the win was “phenomenal” as they had gone into the race as underdogs.

He added: “The race was a great experience; it was completely unexpected to get the result.

“It’s just been an amazing day and I’m still buzzing from the victory.”

Cardiff started brightly leading for the first half of the race.

But going into the final bridge turn they ran wide giving Swansea time to force an advantage, having had the inside line on the turn.

Swansea’s Sam Cunningham was also ecstatic following the victory.

He said: “The beginning was a bit tight, we were half a length behind for the opening part of the race.

“We took our rate down to 32 strokes per minute, and applied more power and pressure. We kicked on.

“Swansea crossed the line first, it was a beautiful sight.”

Cunningham explained rhythm was a key component in Swansea’s win.

“Going into the final corner I saw Cardiff’s cox in my eye-line,” he said.

“We did not panic and increase our rate at this point.

“The thing about rowing is that you’ve got to keep steady, and we kept steady and took the race.”

Women’s novice captain Phoebe Wright shared her club mates’ delight following the win.

She said: “It was really great to see them win. Swansea have really shown that we are now stepping up as a club.”

Swansea were unfortunately beaten in each of the remaining three races.

Cardiff sealed the win by defeating Swansea’s senior men by less than a length in the final race of the day.

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