Tag Archives: thames tideway

Train Hard : A F*oar*some Sunday Outing

28 Apr

Why can’t every outing be like this!

Compared to the biblical conditions we had for the regatta yesterday(!), today’s water was beautiful, so still, and the river was deadly quiet – that combined with the sun was beaming down on us made for an amazing outing!

Due to the last-minute unavailability of coxes this morning, there were changes to the plans for outings, to make do with the people available.

As a result, I went sent out in a coxless four with Laura P (stroke), Bethan (2) and Marketa (Bow/Steerer) – with Ted coaching us from the launch.

It was a very technical session, as the balance in a 4 is over exaggerated due to the lack of extra bodies and blades to stabilise the boat, and so the drills Ted gave us were done in pairs. This meant we got much more personal coaching than as normally happens in outings in 8s.

We went through drills for getting catches in together, and before driving through. For this we did the exercise where we row with our outside hand only, and have the other hand on the back of the wheels of the seat. This helps to check when force is being applied to the blade. If the wheels move before the blade is in the water, then were missing water at the catch – and so reducing the stroke length.

As we are repeatedly told by the coaches – in summer sprint racing, every inch matters and can make a huge difference – therefore it is vital to get the blade in the water before applying force with the legs – and to do this at the very front of the catch.

Another drill was rowing with pausing at various parts of the stroke, building up to arms away, this time as a four.

The balance at first was a little patchy, however we soon overcame this, and Ted then let us row as a four back to the club.

As we got into the rhythm of it, it was really coming together, and Ted was as his usual self – getting very excited in his launch screaming and cheering us as we got a good run going on the boat.

There were four or five strokes in particular whilst rowing between the boats back to the clubhouse that were near perfect – the boat perfectly balanced moving smoothly through the water! We all got out feeling rather pleased with ourselves, with big grins on our faces!

Fingers crossed it’s not the only time we get out in a four – as a crew I think we were working together really well, and given more practice we could make a good crew for racing!

Outings like that remind us all why we put in the hard work and effort over the cold winter months!


After the morning fours outing, some more coxes arrived and so it was back to the usual 8s. Not as exciting as the first outing but still a good one, and some valuable lessons learned.


All in all, a good day on the Tideway!

Now home for a mid-afternoon Sunday nap – I’ve still not caught up from camp!


Be Happy : TRC

30 Aug

I was a little early – perhaps a bit of an eager beaver! I overestimated how long it would take to get to the club from work, and so got to the club twenty minutes earlier than expected!

I sat and chatted to Ralph until the others turned up, and we discussed the impact of the Olympics on the squad.

Thames Rowing Club generally take on about 60 novices a year, and as the season goes on and weather gets worse numbers drop.

August 2012, TRC had interest from over 150 people, and Ralph was amazed by the popularity. The Gold rush of medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympics had increased numbers, however the impact of the London Olympics had become rather apparent.


5 others turned up, 2 girls and 3 guys, and we were taken on a tour of the facilities – the boathouse, and the club – before being taken up to the gym for a quick intro to the correct rowing technique on a rowing machine – also known as an ‘erg’ or an ‘ergo’, and a quick session in the indoor tank.

The facilities are great, and Ralph was really lovely.

He took our details and said he will be in touch within the next couple of weeks with information on the start of the season, and the training schedule.

Fingers crossed! 🙂

Be Happy : Post-Olympics 2013

30 Aug

The Road to Rio 2016 … or just the aftermath of London 2012 ?

I was there : Eton Dorney, 3rd August 2012.

Stood in the second stand with my mum, waving our flags …

mum and me at Eton

mum and me at Eton

We cheered as William Satch and George Nash won Bronze.

We screamed as  Katherine Grainer and Anna Watkins picked up Golds.

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins

Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins

… and sobbed along with Alan Campbell as he was given his Bronze.

Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell

and I’m not going to lie … watching our athletes pick up their medals did give me a feeling of inspiration!

I was fortunate enough to get tickets to many events at both the Olympics and the Paralympics, and loved all the excitement and buzz of it!

lost but not lacking in inspiration

But once it was over – along with many others in London I’m sure – I felt a little lost, and felt a little like something was missing from my life!

Not wanting to let go of the magic of the games, I started researching into the sports I had seen. Living south of the river – close to Putney, famous for the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race – and always having been interested in rowing, I did a little bit of google investigation, and was so excited to realise that the rowing season runs each year from September through to the summer.

I emailed a few different clubs in the area, and received emails telling me that the clubs had had exceptional response to their novice squad recruitment  – so I wasn’t the only one that had been spurred on by the Olypmics!

There was one club however that from the very first email I got from them were incredibly friendly and welcoming, and not at all of the pretentious posery-attitude that I had always feared there may be with rowing.

thames rowing club

Having chatted to one of the coaches – Ralph – via emails, he invited me down to the club to have a look around and get a feel for the place.

So here we are – not even 4 weeks after watching the rowing at Eton – I am now standing outside Thames Rowing Club, about to meet with one of the coaches, and other prospective novice rowers in Putney!

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