Loughborough on Thames!
In September 2010 Loughborough Boat Club headed south to the Thames for their autumn training camp.
Taking advantage of the warm hospitality of the Goring Gap Boat Club, 20 members of LBC boated on the Thames for another training session from Charlie … to build on lessons from the spring training camp at Coniston.
With Charlie following in the launch, two eights and a four took to the water and with breaks for lunch and crew changes the training started. Local knowledge was provided by coxes from Goring Gap allowing the crews to concentrate on techniques with guidance from Charlie. The concentration was on balance and length. Our postures were analysed and a series of exercises undertaken to demonstrate how we can lengthen the stroke by rocking over both backwards at the finish and forwards before coming up the slide. As well as lengthening the stroke, we were shown how this will help us to achieve that elusive boat balance. Invaluable lessons and plenty of homework to practice when back on the Soar.
Sunday saw a varied mix of events to test the competitive nature of the two boat clubs. Despite some inclement weather the local head race course was prepared for competition involving a challenging 180o turn around the island.
A scratch 4 race, in restricted fours, was arranged with names drawn at random from the two clubs. The first boat out saw Zoe, Dave, Andy and Johnny astound the locals by returning in 9 minutes and 11 seconds, a time apparently never achieved in a big boat on this course previously. None of the other crews could match this time but all crews came together well blending members from both clubs.
Exhausted from the morning’s exertions, energy levels were replenished by a barbeque huddled beneath the welcome gazebos. Retiring into the boat shed gave some respite from the rain, but no respite from the pain. Four teams were selected at random from both clubs for a 2400m team ergo challenge. The format was new to Loughborough and our new colleagues provided invaluable advice as to how to arrange the changeovers efficiently, a technique picked up better by some teams enabling Zoe’s winning streak to continue, but all 4 teams finished within 15 seconds of each other.
After Zoe’s apparent domination of the weekend the men’s eight was given an opportunity for vengeance. Having taken on some of the lessons from Charlie’s training on the Saturday, 8 of the men took to the water in Dame Janet. Nick Maker, having coxed the winning crew in the morning, had apparently mastered the hand brake turn around the island and found the best line to steer. The men were finally victorious returning in 8 minutes and 10 seconds, a time the Loughborough ladies and Goring Gap eights were unable to equal. This was a great finish to a good weekend, Goring Gap boat club were excellent hosts and Charlie has again provided some invaluable training for the club to build over the winter months.
Our thanks go out to Charlie and our new friends at Goring Gap for a great weekend.
Reporter: Mike Targett