Held over a month in June and July, immediately after the end of the academic year, the 2004 Dev Squad was a huge success, culminating in three eights competing in the National Championships while a fourth eight won the Senior Four event at Molesey Regatta. Interest in Dev Squad was unprecedented with over eighty people trialling for places at the introductory sessions held during May Week. Four eights were subsequently selected, which trained on the River Cam and at Ely, competing in Kingston Regatta at the end of Week 3 and at the National Championships and Molesey on the final weekend.
At Kingston the hard work paid off with CUWBC wins in the novice, senior four and senior three events. A week later these wins were consolidated by strong performances at the National Championships by three of the crews, two of whom narrowly missed the final of Womens Eights, and further success at Molesey Regatta by the fourth eight. The results bode well for a strong squad for the start of trialling, and for a successful 2005 season.
Dev Squad 2004 was not only about water training though. The girls also spent time working on erg technique and stamina, and participated in tough circuit sessions designed and run by Pat Keegan. An excellent introduction to crucial components of core stability was provided by CUBC Physiotherapist Gill Keane, who will be involved in developing this with the squad over the trialling season.
It wasnt all hard work though; the squad enjoyed the odd BBQ and social event both together and as individual crews, which enabled them to get to know each other before many return to trial in September. This included a meal generously subsidised by Chris and Debs at the Cambridge Blue Pub. Extremely functional (and funky) kitbags were supplied to all girls courtesy of Willinilli rowing clothing company, who also sponsored the 2004 Blue Boat. These will no doubt appear in numerous college and CUW boats over Michaelmas term.
Overall CUWBC Dev Squad highlighted and began to develop considerable talent which, along with the enthusiasm and drive for success which was obvious throughout the month, points towards a very successful trialling season!
President Kate Hillier and Head Coach Roger Silk would like to thank all the rowers for their enthusiasm and hard work throughout Dev Squad. It would not be possible however without the voluntary dedication of all our coaches. On behalf of all those involved in Dev Squad, we would like to thank Don McLachlan, Pete Convey, Nick Acock, John Ionides, Steve Joy, Gerald Roebroeks and Patricia Keegan for their early mornings, many hours, long drives and overall commitment to excellence. Dev Squad would also not have been possible without the calm organisation of the CUWBC Vice President Jesse Stanley, whose tireless efforts (and 26 hours in every day) ensured that the month ran so smoothly.