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Tour 2014 & Nithsdale Regatta

On the second week of spring vacation 40 members from the Boat Club took to Tilburg, Netherlands to begin intensive training before the most important part of the season. All four crews (senior men & women and novice men & women) trained three times a day for a week straight in the beautiful TSR Vidar facilities. The course consisted of 3.5 km from end to end and the boathouse contained countless erg machines and several lifting platforms for our boat club members to train with.

The president of the boat club, Mr. Andrew Van Kralingen was consistently on the launch giving sound advice to the crews and organising workouts along with the women’s novice captain Ms. Emma Shaw, who admitted that “[she] would live on tour every day if [she] could.”

The senior women focused on fitness and technique, making the most of the accessible water time as they prepared for sprint season. They were very effective in progressing through race starts and holding higher ratings consistently. When the women were not on the water or performing S&C sessions, they were goal-setting for the upcoming SSRC, in which they hope to medal.

The senior men had a similar training schedule with a larger emphasis on volume due to the upcoming Head of the River Race in London. The VIII+ saw a great improvement in terms of set and slide control as most water sessions focused on a combination of timing drills and stroke-rate pieces. There were a few injuries sustained due to the intensive nature of training but team maintained cohesion and morale was high.

Unfortunately, the men did not get to race on the Thames as the Head of the River was abandoned after the first two divisions went through due to poor river conditions. Eager to race again, the men are looking forward to SSRC (April 26-27) and BUCS (May 3-5) to materialise their gains from tour.

The novice crews improved drastically as they managed to make the most of their enhanced water time. Both men and women had an opportunity to put their development to the test on Saturday, April 12 during the Nithsdale Regatta, a 750m head-to-head course.

The novice women put forth a IV+ and an VII+ for the event. The VIII+ showcased good rowing technique and composure, but was unable to overcome Strathclyde’s crew due to a mid-race technical problem. The IV+ experienced a similar result due to controversial lane management by the competition. The boat was forced to stop and alter its course in order to avoid a collision when it was cut-off by the opposing crew. Despite this ill-fated event, the novice women came away with a positive outlook towards the upcoming events.

The story was different for the novice men, who won the VIII+ Novice category over St Andrew Boat Club after the latter were disqualified for losing their line and causing a collision. Near the start of the race, our seven seat’s oar was knocked out of the oar-lock and had to be re-fastened before the crew could continue rowing. The novice men managed to cut the boat lengths from the St Andrew boat but did not manage take the lead back due to the short length of the course. The race was contested and won. Overall the novice men were happy with their performance, and are keen to prove themselves on the water again.

The entire Boat Club’s attention now turns to the most important competitions of the year as our crews make the last adjustments for SSRC and BUCS. Good luck Saints!

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