We welcomed in the New Year with Training Camp in Chiswick, a week which saw 60 rowers training up to three times a day, despite the rapidly decreasing temperatures and bitter cold wind. Having survived the seemingly never-ending week, we must still battle with persistent winter training. Even despite the snow!
With a number of Head races coming up, ergs, circuit training and weights continue; 5k tests are completed and crew selections have been made. This weekend, six UCL crews will race at Quintin Head. Unlike previous years, this year sees the course run from Hammersmith to Chiswick – hopefully inspiring more drive from our crews knowing that we are rowing ourselves home; home to warmth, food and hopefully an excellent result!
The following week we will find ourselves in Brighton. It is not often that the entire UCL Boat Club takes a weekend off training, but the annual Social Tour is an essential event in the UCLBC Calendar, and indeed one not to be missed. If you too like to be beside the seaside (and in fact Brighton is voted one of the best beaches in the world – not that we’ll be sunbathing or swimming (seriously, don’t go swimming, I’m pretty sure not even your alcohol blanket will keep you warm in this case)) then make sure you join the crew and come along! We’ll explore all of Brighton’s secret hideaways, have fish and chips on the sea front, and spend the nights in some cool clubs. Plus, I hear that those who don’t come have to do a 20k erg, both days, twice…
And after that it’s back to training. The second weekend of Reading Week is BUCS Head, and following that we have Hammersmith Head and finally the big ones – WEHORR and HORR (known by some as Weekend of HORRor). Here is where all that winter training reaches its peak – all those ergs, weights, squat jumps and side planks. Universities and Rowing Clubs from far and wide flock to London to compete in the Head of the River Race, The course runs for 7k from Chiswick to Putney – a stretch of the river we are familiar with, though which almost appears unrecognizable with as many as 450 crews filling the water and hundreds of spectators crowding the bridges. This year we hope to improve on our results from previous years, and establish UCLBC as a competitive club across all categories – novice, senior, men and women.
So in a nutshell, fellow rowers, here is your life for the next few months. The training continues through these snowy days so that the ‘horror’ I describe becomes almost bearable – exciting, even.
And then, we will find ourselves here…
And rowing will become great again
Athena Mellor, Fundraising & Publicity