Tideway Sparring

Two weeks have passed since our first crew blog, a period that has been
marked by considerable illness in the BB and the squad as a whole (massive
thank you to all our subs). Nevertheless, we continue to train hard, and
the focus is now firmly on the upcoming race; myriad starts, short high
rate pieces and ergs, and a hellish strength/endurance weights circuit are
just some of the changes introduced. In addition, bonding activities have
been stepped up and we have begun to formulate our race plan, so the crew
is starting to feel more and more like the Blue Boat of 2011.

Last weekend, we packed up our boats and headed to London for some sparring
with 1927 BC, Imperial College BC and Sport Imperial, our last chance for
some side-by-side racing against an unknown crew before the BR. The first
outing, a ‘competitive paddle’ was solid, and it felt good to be back on
the Thames, familiarising ourselves with the landmarks in preparation for
the Head of the River Race (WeHoRR) next week. The second outing, a 2.5
hour epic session (due to the untimely turn of the tide), started somewhat
poorly, after a cox box fail put as all on edge. The first piece, against
our alumnae (who cheekily started on the ‘paddle’ call), was rushed and
confused, but a cox box change and a re-focus saw us get our act together
and pull away in the second. The third and fourth pieces gained in
confidence and we were able to find the length we were used to in training,
resulting in wins against the ICBC boat and a hold against the Sport
Imperial crew in the last instance, a good effort considering their
impressive line-up. Overall the sparring was a very useful experience,
serving to highlight areas for improvement in our racing, which we have
been quick to start working on.

It’s now only two and a half weeks to the race, and for some of us at
least, the butterflies have set in and are here to stay. With only 10 days
left in Cambridge before we head to Henley for Race Week, we will shortly
begin to taper our training. Sunday 20th marks the move to Henley, and if
you would like to send us cards etc in support, we can be reached at the
following address:

C/O Felicity Rutland
Remenham Lane

Tamara (BB 2011)