Preseason training camp (19 to 30 September)
The season started with a 2-week training camp, during with the 24 triallists began this year’s Henley Boat Races campaign. Early groundwork was made with training, and the camp ended with an open-road cycle race 76-mile cycle race from Cambridge to Norwich. 3 members of the squad finished joint second in this race in a time of 3h 42m, and a notable effort was made by Alex Randall who completed the entire distance on a single speed (fixed gear) racing bike.
Cambridge Small Boats Head (1 October)
A group of small boats from the club raced at the Cambridge SBH at the end of the preseason camp. This was a successful day, with CULRC winning 5 events (IM2, IM3 and Nov 1x, and IM3 and Nov 2x), as well as losing narrowly by 1s in Sen 2-. Recent Alumnus, John Hale, also recorded the fastest 1x time of the day.
Cambridge Autumn Head (15 October)
With the start of full term, the squad size was reduced to 21, and full training began with 2 matched VIIIs training alongside each other, and a separate group of single scullers training for GB trials at the end of October. At the Cambridge Autumn Head on 15th October, the squad raced matched VIIIs on a r32 rate cap, and placed 2nd and 3rd respectively, wining the IM3 8+ category. Unfortunately they weren’t able to match overall winners Cantabrigian Rowing Club, who were winners by 10s with a crew containing some recent CUL alumni.
GB Long Distance Sculling Assessment and 2k ergo test (22 and 23 October)
6 of this year’s squad went to Boston, Lincs for the GB First Assessment. The 5k sculling time trial saw this year’s president Rupert Price put in the fastest time, ranking 12th in the Under 23, and 6th in the BUCS rankings (relevant for World Student Games selection). The 2k ergo test also showed promise, with personal best times from Nicolas Kernick, Rupert Price, Piran Tedbury and Liam Downes. Nicolas Kernick’s time of 6.17.8 was ranked 1st in the U23 LM category, and 6th overall in the lightweight men’s division. John Hale, recent alumnus, also recorded 6.24 on the ergo, showing he is close to his best form. All 6 triallists now look towards the second set of trials in December.
The 16 athletes who did not attend GB trials completed a 2k ergo test and delivered 10 personal best times (some by as much as 14s), which gave the squad significant grounds for encouragement, and that the training was paying dividends.
PowerTraveller day (28 October)
Several members of the squad took a break from the day to day training and travelled to Walton Rowing Club on 28 October, to spend a day with our sponsors, PowerTraveller. A presentation in the morning, and some basic rowing skills training, was followed by a lunchtime talk by CUL psychologist Jim Dowell, who gave the participants some ideas on the parallels between sporting and business success strategies, and some racing in the afternoon in matched eights in composite CUL/PowerTraveller crews.
Fours Head (5 November)
The 4 top scullers in the squad raced as an Elite Lwt 4x at Fours Head on Saturday 5 November. Preparation time was limited to 2 weeks due to other racing commitments, but the crew put in a strong performance, placing 30th overall out of the 455 crews racing. The crew also ranked 5th of the University 4xs, showing the club’s capability to compete nationally in this discipline, as well as in the eight.
As I write this we look forward to more racing, with the quad scull and two eights racing at the Winter Head on the on 19 November. After that we will again be racing in the Fairbairn Cup on 2nd December, followed by a week break and then the Trial 8s race in Henley, and the GB 2nd Long Distance assessment on the weekend of 17th/18th December.
The squad is still finding time to relax, with various “swap” events with girls clubs, participating in”Movember” as part of a cancer awareness campaign in British Rowing, and being involved in a”TabTV” event involving a game of netball as part of a ‘Tab Sports Swap’.