Women's squad training camp 2014

In a world where time's short, it's tempting to skip the pre-season training camp. The women's squad resisted that and got themselves down to Hereford for what sounds like a really enjoyable week. Some early season regatta wins may be no coincidence. 

Apparently Hereford is famous for its cows… Well, its chickens are none too shabby! We ate a lot of big, big chickens. In fact, we ate a lot in general! We also learnt a lot, laughed a lot, and lugged a launch up a mountain of steps A LOT!!

I’m hoping I took a little bit more of the ‘load’ back with me from Hereford. Indeed, my car felt a bit heavier on the way back, although that may just have been the lovely Susi’s travel hamper of food!!

Before we went to Hereford, we joked about an escape plan – ‘Escape from Allencatraz’ is what I called it and I imagined three escape tunnels (Tom, Dick and Harry) from the B&B to the Cider Museum!! In reality, Allen could have left the door of the B&B wide open every night (you can do this if you don’t live in London J) and we wouldn’t have ventured far because … we loved it!!

Thanks guys! It was awesome...


In a packed car loaded with lycra, Vita Coco drinks, Percy pigs and Doritos we headed to Hereford, excited and slightly nervous at what 8 days of training camp would be like. We made it to the B&B in one piece (despite getting so excited when passing the trailer en route that we forgot to look at the sat nav and so missed a turning) and hurriedly changed into kit to unload the boats ready for the first
outing. The first outing was a ‘getting to know the river’ outing and so relatively simple you would think – oh no! Our coach decided that it would be fun to switch 2 of us so that we would change sides.

We had 3 outings every day for 8 days with Wednesday afternoon off to explore the sights of Hereford. In each outing we all learnt so much whether it be a technical focus in the morning, how to gel together as a Four or racing pieces against the other Fours and then of course the most exciting part of all – racing starts! Having not done these since last season we had to relearn the sequence and how to feel the boat. However, there was still the same nervous energy hearing the ‘Sons Attention Go!’ even if we knew it was only from Allen.

I think a brilliant (if exhausting week) was had by everyone. It was good to spend time with the squad and have fun away from the stress of everyday life in London – definitely good team bonding over hot chocolate and biscuits in the evenings! Now that I am back at work I miss the mid-afternoon tea and chocolate sessions – how many bars of popping chocolate did we get through???

Massive thank you to Sandra and Babs for organising it, to Allen for his huge effort in designing the training programme and keeping us motivated through the 8 days and to Sandra and Nicola for coxing us.