My life as a UELSports Rowing Scholar

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UEL Rowing is back in action! Jen, Felicia, Laurel and I finally got to race again this past weekend at the Heineken Roeivierkamp in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This regatta was pretty special, for several reasons:

1. It’s in Amsterdam, a ‘culturally’ rich city with plenty of tourists and free spirits. Great people watching and about one million close-calls with people on bikes.

2. We got to race 4 separate times, each time a different length. 250m, 750m, 2.5k, and 5k over a course on the Amstel River, one of the main rivers running throughout the city.

3. Nereus, the club that hosts it, knows how to put on a good show. The crowd watching had access to (you guessed it!) plenty of Heineken, the finish line had a moored boat with various forms of entertainment. Inside the boathouse was a flat screen TV live streaming the finish line from a camera up on the roof! The vibe was very fun and it was great to be around such a vibrant rowing community.

The members of the UEL boat club have been training non-stop since we got here in September, and because of in climate weather all over the country, haven’t had any other opportunities to test ourselves. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy to stay motivated the last few months especially as it seemed we were just the ‘UEL cardio team’. The wind was always howling, there was flooding everywhere, and everything was getting cancelled.  We weathered the storm, literally and figuratively, and went out on the water in some crazy conditions. That probably ended up being useful as we were in a nice little headwind all weekend in Amsterdam! Just a breeze to us 

We have also been fortunate to bring on a finishing coach named Miles Forbes-Thomas. His wealth of knowledge and experience coaching Olympic champions, British Rowing national team members, and helping out with teams all over the country obviously brings a really valuable element to training towards BUCS. New technical coaching is always great- sometimes you just need a new person to explain something to you in a different way and it clicks. Because of his connection, we have also had a session with Dr. Valery Kleshnev, the guru behind measuring the biomechanics of rowing. Data like that is very telling, and we now know exactly what we can do to improve, both individually and as a crew.

Our regatta of the year is BUCS, May 3-5, and we are so ready to race. We will have 7 months of training by then and only a few races, so I think the phrase ‘chomping at the bit’ is appropriate for us. We love racing and we can’t wait to bring home some medals for UEL.

 

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