‘Over the coming eight weeks I will try and delve deep into the inner workings of the CUBC and see what it is that really occurs within the squad, as we prepare to do battle on Saturday 26th March… 58 days to go.’
Unfortunately, Week One this year begins with two apologies. Sadly no “G?days” or other artificial Tab Editor-created Aussie welcoming to introduce myself. Secondly, as much as I would like to think that there is at least one of you out there who would be fascinated by what Jesus Green looks like at 6:30am as I cycle past, or be even more enthralled by my architecturally inspired critique of the Ely Cathedral as we glide past of an afternoon, I am sad to say rowing is about the limit to my commentary abilities.
However, before you click away to see who is the latest glamour couple in Fit College (It still amazes me the taller half of last year’s winners actually rowed once upon a time…), I assure you that although this could appear to have the ingredients of becoming a very boring rowing column, there are surprisingly many tales that are born of a Boat Race season. Over the coming eight weeks I will try and delve deep into the inner workings of the CUBC and see what it is that really occurs within the squad, as we prepare to do battle on Saturday 26th March.
At the moment, we are in our fifth month of training and as with almost all Oxbridge sports, our season is defined by one day and one result. Win or Lose. It is as simple as that. Each side spends 12 sessions a week, 6 hours a day, 6 days a week preparing for the big race. As a squad, every man learns to drive each other that bit harder week by week, ensuring that come the Boat Race, absolutely everything has been done to cross that line in front. For that line is what defines not only your season but the memory you walk away with for life.
As in previous years, prior to the commencement of the structured training program, a lot of the squad is called in mid way through the summer to represent the CUBC at regattas around the world. Of course, the only way to facilitate the students actually arriving at prescribed cities and beginning the transition from beer to boat is to go to some incredible destinations, where the crews are shown shown truly magnificent hospitality.
For us, these trips are the real perks to rowing for Cambridge.
All of us are aware of the punishing seven months that lie ahead, and these trips are the perfect way to build back into training, whilst also enjoying everything the local city and its community has to offer.
110 meter abseil into “The Lost World”, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
However, the illusion is soon over. All these trips have the amazing ability to have return flights landing in Heathrow, and before you know it, the black hole otherwise known as the Goldie Boat House on the River Cam has sucked you in, only to be released when you are in peak physical and mental condition to take down the dark blue. The early days are extremely tough, every session from day one has to count, doing anything else immediately gives the other place an edge.
Now, the squad is beginning to hit targets and speeds that previously seemed unreachable. However, it is what we do from here on in and the progressions that need to continue that will define our season.
58 days to go….