Swansea and Cardiff to clash on the river Taff

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Swansea are preparing for the seventh annual Varsity rowing race which will see four of their teams face off with their counterparts from Cardiff.

Bryony Lloyd, women’s captain, and Jon Eardley are both looking to lead their sides to a win, but there is varying levels of confidence between them.

The Varsity match consists of four races which pit a Cardiff boat with  one from Swansea, with eight to a boat.

There will be four races on the day; women’s novice, men’s novice, senior women, and senior men.

Lloyd said: “The Varsity match is a test of speed, stamina and endurance, with only one chance to beat Cardiff.

“I feel we have a good chance against Cardiff. After our recent success and our commitment to training, everyone is quietly confident.

“Morale is high within the teams, and everyone is working hard to get our first win against Cardiff in the senior women’s race.”

Eardley added: “The men’s team will be going into the race as underdogs but Cardiff cannot afford to underestimate us.

“We are confident that we can at least make the race competitive, and maybe even come away with a win.”

The women’s team have had a good year, winning bronze at the Welsh Indoor Rowing Championships.

They also won bronze at the Bucs head event in Peterborough, their first medal at the event in their history.

The men’s team have found it hard to make their make this season with financial difficulties affecting their ability to train effectively.

Eardley said: “This year has been a difficult year for the club, the senior men’s 8s boat was damaged and we have not been able to find the funds to repair it.

“So we have been forced to train in the smaller 4s for most of the season.

“Happily, the boat is being fixed and we hope to have it back for the race.

“Despite the problems we have made do and have competed in all of the major events this season, usually lending off other clubs.”

Training has been ongoing for all the competing rowers and the club has utilised a training camp opportunity to boost their chances for the race.

“We have increased our training and in the Easter holidays we held a week’s training camp at Eton rowing club,” said Lloyd.

“We also have a new coach this year, who has shared his knowledge of rowing and I believe this has very much helped us improve this year.

“Everyone is committed to training and they are putting a lot of hours in both the gym and the water.

“I hope this dedication from all the rowers in the club pays off and everyone as a club can celebrate.”

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