Feeling a bit rusty after the Easter break, most peoples’ priorities were to progress back into training with a few sunny water outings on the Isis and ergs in the college gym. Whilst this was true of our training week during 0th week of Trinity, the weekend involved a ‘swap’ with age-old rivals Cambridge, where St Peter’s College Boat Club (both men’s and women’s teams) were hosted by Sidney Sussex Boat Club members and borrowed their boats to participate in some friendly bump racing down the River Cam.
The weekend started with a wonderful lie-in (7am wake-up instead of 6am!!) and all participating SPCBC members met at the Gloucester Green Bus Station to catch the X5 to Cambridge. Upon arriving in Cambridge we had a lovely picnic in team member Alex Hirons’ undergraduate college, Emmanuel, and then proceeded to meet our hosts at Sidney Sussex College.
It was a beautiful day for rowing and our excitement didn’t falter as we headed down to the River Cam for an outing involving steady-state rowing and friendly (but naturally, simultaneously, very competitive) racing with the Sidney Sussex crews. We soon adjusted to the different style of their boats and the large group of swans that seemed to fear nothing as they flocked to the middle of river, requiring very cautious coxing. Rowing on, SPCWBC enjoyed the sunshine and new surroundings as we made our way to the spinning zone, focusing on pushing hard with the legs, tapping down, and consistent hand heights in order to aid timing. The situation suddenly became much more competitive as it appeared that we were to race the Cambridge women’s’ team in “bump-style” racing. The racing was a great way to get back into the rowing mindset (“head in the boat guys!”) and even allowed for half of the Sidney Sussex crew members to swap with half of the Peter’s crew to result in a mixed crew race.
The outing was followed by a great evening consisting of getting to know the Sidney Sussex crews more personally as we participated in a ‘swap’ (their version of a crew date) in their local Mexican restaurant where stories were shared over burritos and wine (the perfect post-rowing fuel). St Peter’s College Boat Club members caught an early bus back the next morning, ready and motivated to start intense training for Summer 8s, which is taking place on the 24th – 27th May on the Isis and supporters would be very much appreciated!