With several old faces from both sides of the Boat Club graduating at the end of the summer, we knew that the start of the academic year was vital for recruiting new rowers. We were pleased to welcome a large intake of new rowers into the club and immediately set about integrating them within the current squads.
Michaelmas Term is all about developing strength and depth within the squads in order to be ready for the racing season in the New Year and so, with our newly formed coaching group at the helm, we took to the task of developing fitness and technique both on and off the water.
The new gym within College has been a huge success, allowing us to train much more effectively off the water especially when stormy weather conditions preventing us from getting out on the river.
Having spent much of our reserves the previous year in order to row outside of flooded Oxford, we realised that we needed to rebuild financially as well as in terms of personnel. Consequently, we organised a fundraiser in the form of a 1 million metre erg challenge. This involved us rowing continuously as a club on one rowing machine with one hour slots for each member until the target was reached.
We smashed our target of 90 hours finishing in a time of 79 hours and 26 minutes, raising vital funds for the Boat Club as well as bringing the whole of the club closer together.
The term also saw the celebration of the Women’s 2nd VIII blades winning crew. The formal dinner in hall was a great social event, allowing us to look back on the successes of the previous year.
Meanwhile, our novice crews were hard at work preparing for Christchurch Regatta. The two men’s crews easily progressed into the third round but came up against strong opposition from Jesus and Brasenose. The women made it all the way to the quarter finals, just losing out to University College. All in all, a good week’s racing to end the term, which bodes well for the upcoming racing season.
The New Year has once again brought the rain, and with flooding affecting large parts of the UK, we are unable to row in Oxford as water levels and stream conditions are treacherous. Consequently, we have had to make several trips out of Oxford in order to match the water time other colleges are getting.
We travelled to Wycliffe College BC on the Gloucester canals for the last weekend of January. Despite the wind and rain, the whole club enjoyed getting back into a boat for the first time since December and good progress was made by all.
Last weekend, we trained at Eton Dorney (the London 2012 Olympic rowing venue) as water levels are still far too high in Oxford. It has been the wettest January here since 1766! The hard land training sessions we’ve been putting in are starting to show and it was good to supplement our fitness training with much needed technical outings on the water. With weather conditions still looking bleak, it is likely that any further water time this term will have to come from further trips to Dorney Lake.