This past weekend, 2-3rd February, the squad visited the Tideway for the first fixture of the new year – sparring with Thames RC. We were greeted by a blustery day and choppy waters, coupled with a 6.30am start on the Saturday. We began with a warm-up paddle to Chiswick and after a short break were back on the water for some rate capped pieces before lunch. The afternoon was spent relaxing and recovering, and crews from both clubs came back renewed and even stronger for the Sunday’s higher rate pieces. Overall, the crews were pleased with the results of the weekend, holding our own against the more experienced Tideway crews and dealing with the conditions well. Most importantly, the valuable experience of testing ourselves against another club allowed us to gauge our improvement since December’s alumni sparring, and a lot was learnt that can be built on over the next few weeks. We would like to thank Thames RC for their excellent hospitality and a great weekend!