York City Rowing Club’s purple, black and gold blazers lit up the Minster and three cheers rang out last Saturday morning (18th) as The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, named York City Rowing Club’s newest boat 'Constantine the Great' in front of the statue of the Emperor Constantine himself.
The Archbishop said, “When Constantine was emperor, he united the whole of the Roman Empire, restoring stability and security to the Roman world. He converted to Christianity and allowed Christians to worship freely; and stopped the persecution of Christians in the West. I’m delighted to officially name the new rowing boat Constantine the Great and I hope that those who strive to win races in her will take strength from the name.”
Dan Lewis, YCRC Club Captain said, “The addition of this international-standard shell to our fleet ensures YCRC crews are in a great position to compete, and fly the Yorkshire flag, at high level national and international events”.
'Constantine the Great', the newest addition to a club of over 300 members, has already seen success on home and international waters. It travelled to Lake Bled, Slovenia, in September for the 2017 World Masters Rowing Regatta, but the highlight of its short time at the club was the qualification and progression to the second round of the Thames Challenge Cup for Club Eights at Henley Royal Regatta this July.
The crew, nicknamed 'Dad's Army', and containing some of the club’s most experienced rowers, including past Henley winners, beat 16 other crews to qualify before overhauling a significantly younger Thames RC crew. They later met their match, however, in a crew from the elite Leander Club, home to many current and future GB rowers.
The day after the naming, on a sunny but cold Sunday 19th November, over 300 crews from across the region, and further afield tested their speed on the Ouse in the 2017 York Small Boats Head. It was an excellent day for YCRC, with their J18 4x- taking the Headship with the fastest time of the day, beating half of Dad’s Army into second place. It was also a fantastic opportunity to recognise the commitment of the volunteers upon which the Small Boats Head and other events rely, and Kathy & Martin Pickard were awarded the inaugural YCRC “Volunteer of the Year” award after their long years of service to the club.
York City Rowing Club is a large, successful and friendly rowing club based in the centre of York, with over 150 years of heritage, and boasting over 250 members of all abilities and ages. Its mission is to offer an inclusive, safe and supportive environment for rowers of all skills and abilities where everyone is encouraged realise their own potential.
To get involved, either as a beginner or an experienced rower returning to the sport, get in touch via www.ycrc.co.uk.