Sunderland University’s rowers are praying for good weather ahead of Wednesday’s Varsity clash with Teesside University.
Sunderland are hoping to get revenge for last year’s defeat which had to be done on rowing machines because bad weather meant the water was unsafe to row on.
The match will see the teams competing in men’s and women’s fours, as well as in double sculls.
Ellen Tack, president of Sunderland University’s rowing club, said: “Preparations are going well. We are fairly confident with our women’s boat, but the lads’ boats are going to be quite tight we think.
“We are praying for good weather, but we can compete on the machines if needs be. Hopefully, we should be doing quite well on those too.”
The Varsity tournament consists of the two universities competing in all the sports they have teams for and the winner of each match earns a point towards the overall score of their university.
However, it’s been several years since the rowing clash has been played out for a point due to various problems. But this year’s winner will earn a point for their university.
Experienced Sunderland rower Stephen Beadling said Teesside’s victory last year was on a technicality.
He said: “Instead of going out on the water we put them on the ergos[rowing machines] and they had a lot of bigger people who were likely to pull higher scores with the ergos. However, if we’d got out on the water we were better technically.
“We want to win a hell of a lot as we haven’t had a good Varsity in a long time.”
But they will face an experienced Teesside outfit most of whom have competed in a Varsity tournament before. And with half of the Sunderland club appearing in a Varsity event for the first time they will hope that experience doesn’t play too big a part.
This was a preview to the rowing match which was part of Tees-Wear Varsity competition between Sunderland University and Teesside University on 08/03/2012. It was published online at sportsbyte.sunderland.ac.uk