I joined Fitness First last year and I'm not sure I'll renew. It's warm and dry in there, you can't get run down by the Tupperware Navy and unless the fountain is even less salubrious than it looks, there's no risk of contracting a water-bourne disease. The thing is though, it's boring. And that brings me to this weekend's regattas. After the euphoria of last week, it seems we have no wins to report. A despondency hangs over our little corner of Hammersmith, but here's the thing - I haven't heard anyone say they were bored. Win or not, I'll bet that this weekend will have sharper memories for our competitors than the gym for all those people who did that. Anyway, here is an account of how our novices (except we can't call the IM3 girls than any more), got on from Andrew, news of the Sons-Furnival VIII from Graham and of the Sons IM2 VIII from Emile. Thanks to all three - it's easier to write about a win but, to me, weekends like this last one are still important in the life of the club.
The Sons IM2 VIII - Chiswick and Wallingford
The IM2 8+ is a relatively new combination, and despite having a winning start to the season last week at Borne we knew that this weekend would be a different proposition. At this early point in the season, we're not really a crew yet, but we just wanted to get out there and race and see what we could do.
With our stroke man missing for Chiswick regatta, we reordered ourselves and had a good crack at Lea in the first round. We stuck with them off the start, but as the race unfolded it was clear that we didn't quite have the pace to keep with them, and they drew away to win by about 2 lengths.
The next day we assembled the full crew and set off for Wallingford Regatta at Dorney lake. We knew the standard at Wallingford would be very high, and the real aim was to set benchmark 2k time to work from for the rest of the season. The three school crews in our heat predictably shot out of the blocks, but we were able to work off a Putney Town crew, who were a similar pace to ourselves. In the end they pulled away in the last 500 to beat us by 3 seconds, but we now have a good view of the work we need to do over the next few weeks.
We came off the water, and knew that in terms of preparation, race tactics and just gelling as a crew there are some very obvious things we can improve, and have to improve, in order to perform better. The good thing is that we'll soon be in Bulgaria on training camp, where we will be working on all these things, and we'll be back stronger than ever come June. Our next regatta will be back at Dorney on the first weekend in June, and then we'll see if all our work has paid off.