CUWBC had 6 athletes entered in the GB rowing team 1st winter assessment, which took place this weekend in Boston, Lincs. Tricia Smith gives her report of the weekend, which culminated in her and her pair partner Pippa Whittaker winning the Openweight Womens 2- water trial!
The first day saw 6 openweight CUWBC athletes complete a 2km ergo test. 3 of the 6 CUWBC athletes produced a personal best performance, with special mention going to Naomi Pygott (LWT Boat 2018) who PB’ed by a huge 15s.
The second day consisted of a 5km time trial on the water. The briefing followed a 1 minute silence to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, with #bladesofremembrance held aloft. On the water, we were met with conditions typical of Boston trials – grey skies threatening rain and a moderately strong cross-headwind that was insistent on gusting the boats into the banks of the river. Our recent experience at HOR4s set us up in good stead to tackle these conditions – nothing compared to those round Hammersmith the weekend before – and we aimed to maximise our speed through the rougher waters in the middle of the race.
Pippa and I were confident in our race plan, having adapted it from our successful performance at HOR4s. This really helped to break down the race into sections where we could think about the technical changes to maintain our boat speed. We went into the weekend hoping to put out a solid performance by focusing on taking care of the speed we had off the start, rather than making energy intensive pushes down the course. To come away with a win in the pair is great evidence that the CUWBC program is producing fast boats with a consistent and strong base speed.
The two Cambridge pairs of Naomi Pygott/Kate Horvat and Pippa Dakin/Larkin Sayre, racing for the BUCS small boats head, placed 8th and 9th respectively (13th and 15th in W2- trials overall).
This was Naomi’s first experience of GB Trials, and the atmosphere really helped her perform.
“Competing alongside some very impressive athletes was the ideal environment to perform my best on the 2k test. I was the last to test after some great CUW performances and Kate said to me, ‘there’s a buzz in the air, people are doing good!’. The 5k race was a great learning opportunity and I’ve come away with a clear idea of where I personally need to go to improve.”
I look forward to continuing to compete with the best of Britain in the GB trials process, which will carry on into the new year, with final selection for summer boats taking place after the boat race.
Cover Photo (c) All Mark One