The last round of the university rowing competitions, preceded by the Prague Mayor’s Cup and the Academic Championships of the Czech Republic in Třeboň, was the competition that took place on Saturday, 14 October – the 8th edition of the university quad sculls and eight sculls rowing races called Osmy Brno.
The race was held on a one-kilometre stretch of the Svratka River between the Brno districts of Jundrov and Komín. Teams from Masaryk University, Mendel University, Brno University of Technology and Palacký University Olomouc took part in the Brno race. Palacký University only competed in quads due to the small size of its team.
The race was divided into two parts. In the morning, the men’s and women’s coxed quads competed. In this race, the MU men’s team (Radim Pazdera, Ondřej Hoplíček, Adam Lízal, Martin Dufek + Jana Kokešová) did not perform well and finished third. Students from Palacký University Olomouc won the race. The women’s quad sculls team from MU (Lucie Dvořáková, Viktorie Bínová, Jana Kokešová, Anna Kunčáková + Radim Pazdera) fought hard, but they could not keep up with their rivals from Mendel University.
In the afternoon there were races of eight. Due to the low number of participants, the rounds were not contested between two teams, but each of the crews (MU, MENDELU and BUT) rowed alone, with the fastest time winning.
The all-male MU team (Adam Lízal, Radim Pazdera, Tadeáš Kamínek, Vít Vaverka, Martin Dufek, Miroslav Rymeš, Matěj Lohnický, Ondřej Hoplíček + Jana Kokešová) and a mixed team from the Brno University of Technology, which was almost twenty seconds slower, reached the final with a time of 3:07.86. MENDELU team finished third, as they failed to negotiate the bend at the first attempt and lost valuable time.
In the final race, the MU crew had a clear lead from the start, so it was no surprise to anyone at the finish line that they won the gold medal. Their time of 3:09.87 was very fast and the team improved their final record from last year by six seconds. “This year the race was a great social event, people from different universities in Brno came together to have fun. In addition, we won first place and showed the management of our university that we are interested in rowing and that we want to continue it at the university in the future,” said Radim Pazdera, captain of the MU men's crew.
Exhibition dragon boat race
A novelty of this year’s competition was the dragon boat race between MU and MENDELU. The course was 200 meters long and was therefore shorter than for the eights. Instead of students, the boats were crewed by teachers and members of the university management. On behalf of MU, they were Rector Martin Bareš, Dean of the Faculty of Arts Irena Radová, Eva Dopplerová, Jarmila Burianová, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science Roman Šimon Hilscher, Tomáš Plesník, Secretary of the Faculty of Arts Jiří Velinský, Richard Hubl, Tomáš Macas, Vice-Rector for Education and Quality Michal Bulant, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Martin Repko, Dean of the Faculty of Sports Studies Jan Cacek, Chairman of the Academic Senate Josef Menšík, Dean of the Faculty of Science Tomáš Kašparovský, David Póč, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation Petr Suchý, Martin Komenda, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Michal Koščík, Filip Křepelka, Vice-Rector for Personnel Policy, Lifelong Learning and Sustainability Monika Jandová, Bursar Marta Valešová, and Jakub Hadaš as helmsman.
Team MU warmed up carefully before the race and worked out a strategy that paid off in the end. The teams were closely matched at the start, but by the halfway point MU had picked up the pace and started to pull ahead. MENDELU’s crew could not quite keep up and ended up in second place. The winner of the dragon boat race was team MU with a time of 58 seconds.
“I hope that next year we will meet at the next rowing race and repeat this tradition with the dragon boats that we have established today,” said MU Rector Martin Bareš. “We are good friends, even if it didn’t look like it during the race today,” he added.