A Rower’s Tale – A Novice Man’s Perspective

“Catch…there; catch…there; catch…THERE!” Start of the rowing season for UCL novices and this phrase echoed repeatedly over the bay near the ULBC boat house, as the UCLBC novice men pulled their oars for the first time. It was a sunny October’s morning, and the water conditions were serene. Excitement as well as stress filled the hearts of the would-be novice men squad, as the instability of the boats in the water was certainly an exhilarating factor. However, all these feelings were overcome by one other feature: determination. The 2013-2014 UCLBC novice men’s squad showed from very early on that the successful legacy of the UCLBC will be continued…

The training

A few days later land training started, consisting of copious erg sessions. The squad was comprised of men of different physiques, some tall and well-built, others shorter but with greater muscular strength, others with greater cardiovascular capacity and height, other with adamantine courage to give everything they got, and the list continues. But determination and commitment were ubiquitous amongst the guys. 42 min pieces, 2ks, UT1/UT2 training, even the dreadful 5k tests at the third week of every month were not enough to break the Spartan morale of the UCLBC novice men. The high goal was victory…

The races

Cambridge Head 2013 came sooner than all we novice men expected. 3 crews, 24 men, 1 goal: to get the best result possible. The heroes of the day were the UCLBC novice M1, who rowed without a rudder. This was clear proof that all obstacles are to be overcome in the UCLBC. After all their efforts, and under the astute guidance of their cox, Alice, the guys finished 4th in their division. Following that, UH races came, where the UCLBC novice men’s squad faced Imperial College, they battled until they took that last stroke of the race, but were just overpowered by Imperial’s men. However, UCLBC’s novice M2 decided to take up the challenge in the repecharges and won. The days passed, though, quickly, and after 2 weeks the big winter race came: Allom Cup. The guys put in all their effort, with M1 reaching the semi-finals. This has resulted in gearing up the novice squad even more, now more determined than ever to win. Christmas will be a time of training, both physically and mentally, with an outlook on the Mecca of all rowing races: Henley Royal Regatta.

Alexander Skilbeck – Novice Man 2013/14