The winter of 2017 was tough for St John's College Boat Club, we were plagued by arctic snowstorms, flooding rivers, and foolish injuries. Nevertheless, we achieved a great deal that we can be extremely proud of. As always, our dedication to novice training has paid dividends, with another solid victory at Novice Cup by points (the second day was cancelled). With the Seniors, Rutherford Head saw both Squads fight through tough competition to come 3rd in both the Women's and Men's 8s, the only college to perform at such a high level across squads. A few weeks later the club would be involved in a herculean effort to raise money, rowing a relay with two machines for a whopping 24 hours while club captain, Toby Lehain, watched on, descending further and further into a sleep deprived madness. The club raised over £600 this year, split between ourselves, Teesdale and Weardale Mountain Rescue, and the Trust set up for Peter Wake, a former captain who now requires high levels of care. We will have the fortune of meeting Peter at Head of the River next week where we hope to be joined by a number of alumni for a wonderful opportunity to name our 1st VIII 'Peter Wake', a Wintech International, which was bought through kind donations of friends, family and alumni.
After a well earned Christmas break, the club returned with full vigour. The Exec were hard at work planning for Head of the River Races and alumni event; writing the new club constitution and simply battling the elements and busy schedules to try and find time for safe outings! Novices began to move into plastic VIIIs, being integrated with the senior squad. A great showing for the Novice Women at Tyne shows quite how important this can be for the club. These novice women will tackle the Head of the River course next week, representing the club at the highest level. They will be the first Women's 2nd VIII ever to be sent to London by the club, and we are extremely proud. Though their practice has been curtailed by the "Beast from the East" we are looking forward to seeing what they can do in London next week and in Regattas next term! The club is perhaps the largest it has ever been, battling colleges many time its own size with spirit and determination.