Women’s Eights Boosted for the 2003 Northumbrian Water University Boat Race
(15 May 2003)
The University of Durham Women’s First Eights have been boosted ahead of this year’s Northumbrian Water University Boat Race on 18 May with the inclusion of two crew members who have taken part in trials for the Great Britain squad.
Naomi Hoogesteger and Marsaili Scott will be hoping that their success will be emulated during the annual race against their counterparts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. They were selected to take part in recent pairs trials for the final selection of the Great Britain squad. After both obtaining good results Marsaili was chosen to attend a final selection weekend in Belgium.
Having narrowly missed out Naomi will be aiming for selection in the future – a huge achievement as she has only learnt to row since starting at Durham University and was part of the first ever Freshwomen crew in 2001. Naomi is currently in her second year studying Modern European Languages and after coming to Durham in 2000, was introduced to rowing coach Emma Hall-Craggs. Naomi commented, “I was told that I wasn’t good enough for the college 2nd novice VIII so a friend who was a Freshman at the time introduced me to the coach at Uni.”
Currently Women’s Captain of Durham University Boat Club, Naomi has taken part in the Women’s Head of the River; BUSA regatta, English Commonwealth trials and Women’s Henley regatta. She also finds time to coach the novice men’s four who row for St Mary’s College Boat Club and has been offered rowing scholarship to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and is taking it up for the next academic year.
Having taken part in last year’s University boat race Naomi knows what to expect, she said “I will be taking along my lucky earrings and of course we will be training harder than Newcastle!”
Marsaili Scott, from Hexham, will also be taking her place in the Durham University Boat Race squad for the second time. The 20 year old Natural Sciences student tasted glory with the winning crew last year and will be aiming to follow up their success at this year’s event.
Having taken up rowing three years ago after encouragement from her mother, Marsaili’s success in reaching the final selection weekend in Belgium for the Great Britain squad is a great accomplishment and she was placed 5th pair in the Senior A final of the Coxless Pairs.
Marsaili has shown a natural talent for rowing and finished off last season by winning a bronze medal at national championships in a single scull. “I’m hoping to get into the Under 23 GB team this year after being one of the top scullers in GB and winning the U23 sweep trials as well,” she said.
Her preparation for the Nortumbrian Water University Boat Race begins with intense training in the weeks leading up to the race. However the superstitions lead to a regime of traditions which Marsaili hopes will lead to a Durham victory, “I always wear my hair in plaits while I’m racing and this year will be no exception! I do a special warm up and have two lucky hair bobbles for my hair and one that goes on my drink bottle! I always wear a bone carving that my dad gave me for my tenth birthday when we were living in New Zealand.”
Helen Swain, Public Relations Office, University of Durham, Tel: 0191 3340017
Notes to Editors
- When reproducing material in connection with this press release, please refer to the 'Northumbrian Water University Boat Race'.
- The Northumbrian Water University Boat Race takes place on Sunday 18 May. Land- and river-based entertainment, featuring jet ski displays, dragon boat racing and a sailpast and pageant by the North East Boating Federation, musicians and street performers, gets underway at 3.00 pm, with the first of the races at 5.00 pm. The presentations to the winning crews will take place in Baltic Square at 6.15 pm.