Varsity success for LJMU’s women rowers

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Liverpool John Moores University Rowing Club racing at Varsity 2016 in the North of England Head, Chester. © Alison Schroeder

Liverpool John Moores University Rowing Club racing at Varsity 2016 in the North of England Head, Chester. © Alison Schroeder

LJMU rowers crossed the finishing line in celebration after defeating rivals, University of Liverpool Boat Club, in Saturday’s much-anticipated varsity race in Chester.

The annual North of England Head, held by Royal Chester Rowing Club, was the destination for Liverpool’s two universities racing for glory on the River Dee. LJMURC completed the 5 km course with a finishing time of 18 minutes and 57 seconds, beating University of Liverpool by just three seconds.

The LJMURC women’s captain and coxswain, Lily Ferguson, expressed her emotions and those that her crew faced in varsity clash.

She told JMU Journalism: “As a cox I had to keep them motivated to push on for the 5km, but the girls responded well and had a good row.”

The emotions of race day were also felt by fellow rower and President of LJMURC, Liz Oxby. She said: “”We won last year and if we hadn’t achieved the same I felt it would have been on me and I didn’t want that.

“There was a lot of pressure so everyone was on edge really. We had beaten them the week before in London but with a more experienced crew. Once we knew the result, it was more relief for me.

“The rest of the crew were very excited. It was the first proper win we have had all year and everyone was very proud of what they had achieved individually to get to that point.

“The whole year has been great, from becoming affiliated with British Rowing, buying our first boat and now winning varsity has just topped off such a big year for me and the club.”

Supporting her team from the sidelines, women’s vice-captain, Grace Skirrow, added: “It was easy to see from the bank that they were hurting but they kept pushing right to the finish line.

“In the end it was all worth it, with our second consecutive varsity win. From my experience, there is quite a rivalry between the two clubs, which makes the win even more satisfying.”

About Tiernan McGee, JMU Journalism