21 May 2012
Under glorious sunshine on Saturday May 12th, Bristol University won the Varsity Blade back from the University of the West of England. Victories from Bristol’s novice women, novice men and senior women secured a 3-2 victory. The first and second senior men unfortunately couldn't continue the winning streak, allowing UWE to salvage some pride and pull back to only lose the Blade by one race.
Charged with winning Bristol the Blade, the senior women took to the water. UWE were again something of an unknown quantity but Bristol’s women didn’t let that trouble them. Taking advantage of their first bend, Bristol pulled away to lead UWE at the halfway point. Despite a brave challenge from UWE at the finish, Bristol’s women secured victory by over 2 lengths. 3-1 Bristol and the Varsity Blade.
On the day there were also a number of races that didn’t count for the Varsity Blade. Bristol secured victory in almost all these, too. The women’s second four put in a strong performance and never looked troubled by their less technically competent UWE counterparts. The novice men’s seconds raced well but lost their race. A lack of training time in the boat cost them as under race pressure they couldn’t find their best form. Both men and women’s alumni eights dominated their races. With a number of Henley finalists and winners and some former internationals on board, both crews looked imperious from start to finish.Overall an impressive day for Bristol University; winning back the Varsity Blade and taking the majority of the non-blade races in style.