Hello, hello and welcome to the first Blue Boat blog of 2012! Betwixt and between clocking miles training on the water in Ely and on the erg back in Cambridge, working on the gunshow in the weights room and testing ourselves at sparring fixtures in Henley and Ely; time has been flying by since crew selection. This weekend heralded the Women’s Eight’s Head of the River Race on the Tideway in London. It is a gruelling but brilliant event as nearly all the women’s crews in the country make the journey down and race along the 4 ¾ mile course from Mortlake to Putney. Needless to say, it brings out the very best of British rowing and so the competition was going to be stiff, especially as we were starting 8th due to the fast time posted by last year’s crew.
We had an early start and a quick outing before the river was closed for the race to familiarise ourselves with the river again and the various landmarks we would pass later in the day. We collected our thoughts at Imperial (where we were boating from) and before we knew it, we had marshalled and were turning back into the stream to race! We rowed over solidly, holding our own against the top crews surrounding us, responding to the lifts and pushes along the course. We came off the water with a lot of positives and a few improvements to make back as we fine tune our training over the next three weeks as the Boat Race draws nearer. Particularly poignant was the knowledge that whilst for us this is another part of the build up to the Boat Race, in 2015 our successors will be racing their Boat Race on this stretch of historic water, a very exciting prospect for all the girls that will be involved. We finished off the weekend back in Ely with some strong whole squad training. Undoubtably the solid results from WeHORR topped the weekend – we placed 9th with a time of 20.38, retaining the Intermediate 2 Pennant for the second year running.
3 weeks…and counting!