Charlotte Taylor Booth’s input has clearly been making an impact at Reading University Boat Club, where she has been assistant to head coach Chris Bartley since September 2017. The task they had set her was to develop the hitherto dormant sculling side of the club’s racing programme.
Following good results on home waters at the Reading Amateur Regatta on June 24, when the club predictably dominated most categories, bigger challenges were faced at Marlow on the 28th, in the run-up to Henley. First up in Tier two, all the RUBC crews performed impressively, particularly the ‘B’ boat which won by nine seconds with 3 lengths of clear water between them and the next crew – a big margin by any standards.
The ‘A’ boat racing in the Champ category had a solid race, placing third behind a quick crew from Leander and the U23 quad; while the ‘C’ boat made up of RUBC alumni also raced well to place fourth in both the time trial and final.
Then to Henley – the culmination of this highly productive season. A surprising fact was that RUBC had 4 out of the 16 quad crews qualifying for the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup, which attracts competitors from all over Europe. I had mixed feelings on Thursday (day 2) when I watched them win, by a narrow margin, over a scratch Nottingham / Newcastle crew, two of whom were boys I taught to scull at London Oratory School several years ago.
They may not have made it beyond the quarter finals – but the RU scullers have come from nowhere to being an impressively visible presence at Henley, where they have made their mark.
Still time to join a course
Charlotte is bringing her coaching skills to France from late July to the end of August. Her first two weeks are full, but there are still some places going from the 8th of August onwards. It might be possible to come for just a few days’ training rather than a full week – feel free to ask.