Craig, our resident marketing guy and first-time rower, is keeping you up-to-date with ‘behind the scenes’ action as the UniRec crew builds up to the Gallagher Great Race on Saturday 12 September.
Click here for the crew’s latest video blog and check out Craig’s Week Two update below.
After recently nursing my way through an epic case of ‘man-flu’, I was feeling less than enthused about this weekend’s training. However, after a motivational pep-talk from the ever-inspirational James Campbell (which included him telling me that The Rock would row if he had the flu), we headed down to the club.
Our crew were already there when we arrived, looking much more confident than they did in week one. We were greeted by Coach Sam and our Cox Leeshay who was rowing with us for the first time after being unavailable for the first two sessions. As we started to prepare the boat, Sam dropped a bombshell – he was going to try people in different seats. You could sense the apprehension from the crew who soon realised that this potentially meant rowing with the oar on the opposite side. In typical bloke fashion I was playing it cool (‘I don’t care what side my oar is on cos’ I’m a big powerful man-mountain who’s ready to take on the world’). However, I was secretly hoping that Sam would let me stay in six-seat because I knew I would look gumby if he moved me. I looked at Sam, trying to persuade him telepathically to keep me in the same spot. It didn’t work and he moved me up into seven-seat.
The first few strokes in my new position weren’t great. I felt like a baby giraffe trying to stand up for the first time – probably looked like that too. However, once I got used to the movement, things started to improve. We took turns rowing as a six, two people balancing the boat whilst the rest of the crew practised timing, oar-depth, etc. After a few goes up and down the river, we attempted to row as an eight. Similarly to last week, this was pretty messy. The boat rocked from side-to-side which means it’s difficult to prevent your oar from hitting the top of the water. If we’re going to take gold on race day, we’re going to have to improve our balance - but there’s plenty more training sessions to come so no need to panic just yet. Overall, the team did well and you can definitely see improvements every time we train.
When we finished on the water, Coach Sam led us into the erg room to practise some technique. After a few minutes going through the basics, Sam challenged the team to a 350 metre sprint. If you read last week’s article, you’ll know that my only aim during these sprints is to beat James Campbell. Once again, I embarrassed him, which made me feel warm and fuzzy. JTR took out the best time (he’s pretty impressive) with the rest of the team not too far behind. There’s some genuine power in our crew and Jack, JTR, Jolie and Tanya bring some experience after participating in the event last year. If we can get this balance thing down on the water, we’ll stand a pretty good chance on September 12th.
Sam and Leeshay finished the session by giving us a few pointers and things to work on next week. Everyone left feeling pretty positive and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the river.