It feels like we haven't stopped since Brit Champs in October! We have had a race every other week since then, so things have been a little busy.

First off, 2 weeks after the Autumn Head we had the first set of GB trials. This is a gruelling weekend, with a 2k erg on the Saturday, and then if you make the cut-off time, you are entered into a 5km head race on the Sunday. The squad got off to an excellent start, with Catherine and Kirstie both making the time, with Kirstie getting a massive PB and going under 7 minutes for the first time and placing 15th. Laura topped off the heavyweight racing with a PB as well. Nikki raced next in the lightweights, falling just short of her PB but making the cut-off comfortably. Yaz continued with her recent form with a PB and a 4th place finish (2nd U23). Laura Wheeler is still recovering from her back injury, and had a medical exemption from this trial.

Day 2 dawned with an early drive back to Boston. We could not have asked for better water conditions, with almost flat calm conditions. Kirstie raced in the heavyweight division first, having an excellent row to come home in 27th place, in an event won by Jess Leyden, the current junior singles World Champion. Unfortunately Catherine was unable to race due to illness. In the lightweight division, Nikki improved on her ranking from the erg to finish in 7th place, with Yaz claiming 10th position. The winner of the lightweight event, Charlotte Taylor, produced the fastest women's time of the day.

The squad then had a quick transition into crew boats for the Fours Head of the River Race. We were involved in 2 quads, an elite quad of Nikki, Laura, Kirstie and Lindsay raced for time only after having to make more than 50% substitutions from the initial entry. Unfortunately, due to a blade breaking just before Hammersmith Bridge, the crew did not achieve the race they were hoping for, but did benefit from some solid power training, after finishing the race with just 3 rowing (and managing to hold off some crews!) Catherine was joined by Start athletes Sarah Bonar and Kyra Edwards as well as Anna Thornton in an IM1 4x, which had a brilliant race, and rowed home with a comprehensive 12 second victory over their opposition, and placing 5th women's quad overall. This is the second time Catherine has won at the Fours Head, and the 3rd time the squad has won a pennant at this prestigious event.

Having felt like we had only just left Boston, we returned on Saturday 14th December for the second GB assessment. This trial was just the 5km water test, with the inclusion of the squad athletes that raced at the World Championships, resulting in a very high quality field. The U23 athletes were not required to attend this assessment, so Catherine and Nikki were the only 2 athletes to race, and were greeted with a massive headwind for the final 3km of the race. Catherine came 27th in a race won by Fran Houghton, with Nikki improving on her previous result, coming 6th, in a race won by Imogen Walsh, who beat Olympic Champion Kat Copeland. As a result of their performance at trials, Kirstie and Yaz have been invited to a training week in Caversham this week.

The squad now get a small break from racing, and a chance to recharge a little over Christmas, before a busy few months at the start of 2014, with WEHoRR, more trials and maybe a few more races thrown in.

Happy Christmas!

After closely monitoring the river conditions for the week leading up to the Autumn Head, and listening to the high winds on Saturday night, more than a few people were concerned the race wasn't going to go ahead. Luckily Sunday dawned brighter and calmer than forecast, and despite it taking approximately 2 years to get up to the pipe, the Autumn Head went off as planned, and on time!

The squad were racing in their singles in the first division, resulting in a starting order where we chased each other down the course. Despite some pre-race reconnaissance of the course, the wind and stream seemed to have other ideas, with some of us taking some creative racing lines. With two weeks left to go before trials, this race came at the end of a tough training block, and provided the perfect practice for the 5km water trial.
The squad came away with 2 wins, Yaz won Senior singles, and Laura won IM2 singles with Kirstie coming second in the same category. Nikki came second in Elite singles, behind Junior World Champion Jess Leyden from Hollingworth lake, followed by Start athlete Katie Bartlett, then Catherine in 4th and Lindsay in 5th. Abby came 3rd and Caitlin 5th in IM3 singles. Whilst the rest of the group enjoyed a nice cup of tea and some cake, Laura headed back out onto the water after a late call up into an IM2 quad which came second in their category over the shorter course in division 2. The girls then tried their hand at start marshalling, which is more difficult than it looks when you can't see half the crews and/or their race numbers, but I think everyone managed to get off in the right order!

Congratulations to anyone that managed to make it up to the start line - it's great to see so many people sculling up to race, and thanks to everyone that helped make the day go so smoothly, from the race organisers, marshals and safety team, to everyone that made cakes and manned the food stall.
A very overdue blog post - it's been a busy week!
The 19th and 20th October saw the British Championships being brought to the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. This is the first time that the event has been held at this time of year, in the format that was trialled at the Diamond Jubilee in 2012; with doubles and fours racing on the Saturday, and quads and eights racing on the Sunday. Heavyweights, lightweights, U23 and U19 all raced together, with medals awarded to the top 3, and pennants to the winners of the sub categories. All athletes wishing to represent GB in the summer were required to race at least one day, whilst anyone on funding had to race both days, ensuring that racing was of a very high standard at the top end. Each day starts with time trials to allocate which semi-final you were to race, with the top 12 going to the A/B semis, 13-24 to the C/D semis and so on. This format means that you are guaranteed close racing whatever your standard, as you are divided into groups of similar speeds. It also means that you are guaranteed 3 races, and come away with a final ranking, whether that be 1st or 31st.
The squad had 2 doubles entered on the Saturday, with Yaz and Nikki racing as a lightweight double, and Kirstie and Laura C racing in the heavyweight double. The time trial is raced over 1900m, and knowing this could decide how your day is going to pan out, with the threat of missing a higher semi final by a small margin hanging over you, it definitely wakes you up! After a tense wait, the light double were to race in the C/D semi, whilst the heavy double were in the G/H semis. In the C/D semi the light double had a close fight with two U23 bronze medallists, who just pipped them to the line, but ensured a close race for the C final. The heavy double had an excellent semi-final where the top 3 boats almost crossed the line together, and they ensured their place in the G final, where in a strengthening cross head they rowed a hard race and left everything out on the water. In the C final, the light double couldn't match the strength of the heavyweights in their final off the start, but slowly clawed their way back through the field, pushing past the Leander C boat and the U23 lightweights, and finished second - giving a finishing position of 14th, in an event won by VML and Fran Houghton, and 4th lightweight boat overall.
On day 2 the heavy quad of Cathers, with Start athletes Katie, Sarah and Beth, came out to play, whilst Nikki joined fellow lightweights from MAA and Putney Town RC in a composite quad. Both boats made it through to the A final, and were drawn in adjacent lanes. The favourites from Tees lead from start to finish, whilst Wallingford pushed out into second, leaving the Nottingham and Mortlake quads to fight for third. Through every timing marker the quads were level, with both crews being able to hear and respond to the other boats calls. At 250m to go the composite had their noses in front, but in a final move to the line, the Nottingham quad managed to push through and take a hard earned bronze medal.
                                                          Photo by Naomi Baker Sports Photography
Overall the weekend was a great success, it is a well organised event with close racing. The only thing missing were a few more spectators! There has been a lot of debate about the format of this event as a 'true National Championships', with summing up opinions well if you are interested.
The squad have a busy few weeks up to Christmas, racing on the 3rd November at the Small Boats Head, followed by GB trials a fortnight later, then 4s head 2 weeks after that, and then trials again 2 weeks after that.
A little snapshot of some of things the squad got up to last season. Worth watching!

If viewing on a mobile you might need to go to the video via youtube:

A warm, flat lake produced some fast times and good racing for the 51st Home International Regatta held at Holme Pierrepont on Saturday. This is an annual match between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, with countries taking it in turns to host the event in their country.

Pippa raced first in her single, finishing off the season with an excellent win against some fast opposition in a time of 7.53. Next down the course was Nikki racing in a lightweight pair with Anastasia from Mortlake Anglian and Alpha BC. They were closely tracked down the course by defending winners from Wales, but held off a strong finish from the Welsh pair to win. Nikki then joined fellow lightweights Fran, Anna and Charlie from MAA and Putney Town to race in the openweight quads. The quad had a strong row to win comfortably, in a time of 6.51.

This brings an end to a lucrative 2013 season for the squad. Bring on 2014!

Notable wins and achievements for the 2012/13 season include:

Diamond Jubilee Regatta - Silver in women's fours
                                         - bronze in women's quads (composite)
Fours Head of the River  - Win in senior 4s (record time)
Eights Head of the River Race - Winners of the provincial pennant, 6th place overall (record time)
Nottingham City Regatta - Women's lightweight singles 1st and 2nd
                                         - Women's heavyweight singles 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Met Regatta - Winner IM2 singles
                     - Winners IM1 quads
Henley Women's Regatta - Winners senior quads, senior single, senior lightweight single
Henley Royal Regatta - A quad and 3 singles racing
Home International Regatta - wins in W1x, WLwt2- and W4x for England.

Laura Wheeler has been invited to train full time with the squad at their base in Caversham.
Alumni Vicki Meyer-Laker won the W2x World Cup series. Monica and Tina have both been competing in the W4x at this seasons World Cups.

7 of the squad returned to Henley to compete in the madness that is Henley Royal Regatta. The winners of senior quads at Henley Womens were already in the regatta with only 8 entries for the Princess Grace at HRR. Laura Wheeler pre-qualified her single on the back of an excellent season where she has been invited to train down in Caversham, whilst both Pippa and Nikki took the last two remaining spaces in the draw for the Princess Royal Cup for singles- meaning NRC athletes represented almost 40% of the total athletes making it through to the regatta in this event.
With only 8 crews in each event, the girls all had to wait until Friday to start racing, so spent a couple of days soaking up the atmosphere, cheering on the mens' crews racing for NRC and resisting the urge to stop rowing after 1500m at the HWR finish. All 4 crews had a tough draw, with the quad racing the current squad 2- and 2x (containing NRC alumni Vicki Meyer-Laker) who had joined forces for the regatta. Laura was to meet fellow squad athlete Vicky Thornley who has been racing her single at the World Cups this season, whilst Nikki drew 2x Olympic silver medallist Debbie Flood. Pippa had been practicing her starts after drawing reigning Olympic singles champion Mirka Knapkova.
In the blazing heat the girls boated. First to race were the quad, who gave it some beans off the start, but ultimately ended up with an 'easily' verdict against them. This caps of a (brief) but successful season in this boat for them. Other NRC alumni Tina Stiller and Monica Relph were also racing and were knocked out in their semi-final. They have been competing in the quad at the World Cups, coming 5th in WC2. The composite quad went on to win the regatta - well done VML!
Next up was Laura, who showed how much boat speed she has gained this season to lose by just 2 lengths. Pippa, (surprisingly) lost to Knapkova, but has shown she is well on her way back from an injury plagued season. Nikki, despite pushing the limits of how quickly you can respond to a starter and gaining about half a length in 3 strokes, lost by 4 lengths to Flood by the finish.
Thanks to everyone who came and supported - it really does make a difference!
Based on their performances over the season, Pippa and Nikki have both been selected to race for England at the Home International Regatta, which this year will be held at Holme Pierrepont NWSC on Saturday 27th July. The rest of the squad are now having a break before returning to training to try and make the 2014 season even bigger and better.

This was where racing began for the weekend with single file time trials for the senior doubles and senior quads. Racing in the senior double was Laura Champion and Ellie Whittle and the senior quad was made up of Lindsay Marshall, Catherine Lineker, Sarah Bonar and Beth Lloyd.
Both crews were off to a great start qualifying into the last 16 to then race over the Saturday and Sunday.

This was the first main day of side by side racing for all high performance crews. Along with the quad and double there was also Yasmin Marks in senior lightweight single sculls, Louise Hart in senior single sculls, Lucy Mason in junior singles and a junior double made up of Kyra Edwards and Olivia Kay, coached by Lauren Fisher.
The Senior Double race got off to a good start racing Ironbridge, winning by three quarters of a length, although they got off to a leisurely start they then romped through in the last 300m to take the win. This set them up for a race against a Thames double later in the day, and despite a strong effort couldn’t continue the winning streak. The Thames double then went on to be overall winners of the event.
Yasmin Marks in the lightweight senior single, was in fine form winning both her races by significant margins and setting her up for some good racing on Sunday.
Louise Hart in the senior single also got off to a strong start, after having a row-over in the first round she then went on to win her second round and progress to Sundays racing.
Continuing the Nottingham sculling domination on Saturday, the quad raced Mortlake Anglian and Alpha in the heats and then Marlow in the quarterfinals, winning both comfortably and progressing to semi-finals on the Sunday.
The Junior 2x made up of Kyra Edwards and Olivia Kay, progressed from the time trial into racing and again progressed to the Sunday having gained some good race experience and confidence for the following day.
Lucy Mason was racing in the junior singles and despite this being her first ever race on the Henley course showed steely determination and conquered the nerves with a solid  win to progress to Sunday.
Finally Caitlin Boyland was part of an Academic coxed four who came up against, bravely battled and unfortunately lost out to the eventual winners from Exeter University.
The High Performance Squad finished Saturdays racing on a high after only two crews losing out and Sunday promised some much tougher racing and the chance of some silverware!

With 8 crews racing on the Sunday of the regatta, it was lining up to be a busy and exciting day (if a little nerve wracking for Dez).
Nikki met her previous doubles partner in the semi final, Lizzie Polgreen of Isle of Ely and despite a close contest and an impressive wind at the finish, was pipped to the post on this occasion.
The Junior double of Kyra Edwards and Olivia Kay came up against international crew Norske Studenters - Norway in their final. Despite a solid performance from our girls the junior double was out gunned to the finish line. The Norway crew have been selected for The Junior World Championships.
Lucy Mason took on the Junior singles in the semi finals racing Upper Thames, Lucy took on an epic wind with a late surge at the finish closing the gap from four to two lengths on the finish, a great performance for her first Henley experience.
Katie Bartlett was leading out the Under 23 8+ from the stroke seat. The eight raced Boston College in a straight final and finished the race with a convincing lead. 
Louise Hart raced the senior singles final against McCarthy of Walbrook rowing club. Louise led the race from start to finish, showing off her boat moving ability in the tricky conditions yet again versus other, much larger scullers.
Yasmin Marks raced the Senior lightweight singles final, she raced Johnston of Tideway Scullers and maintained her winning streak with a convincing win of 4 lengths over the tideway sculler.
The Senior quad met Molesey in the semi final, the crews having met previously at coronation regatta with a win for Nottingham, Molesey were keen to redress the balance.  Both crews went out hard with Molesey taking the lead off the island. The Nottingham crew were a length down with 500m to the finish when Lindsay called to wind for the finish (and then some!). Molesey made Nottingham work for every inch but were unable to hold off the onslaught and Nottingham won with a verdict of 2ft.
The senior quad then met Wallingford in the final, both crews closely matched from the semi final times. Nottingham committed off the start and had half a length off the end of the island. Wallingford suffered from some erratic steering through the middle of the race resulting in some clashing of blades, but Nottingham held their line and pushed on to the finish winning in a verdict of 1 and 2/3 length.
Pippa Whittaker took on Kris Johnson of Leeds, in the elite singles, both of whom train on Holme Pierrepont at Nottingham. After a brief reunion on the start line the racing began in earnest, with both crews going out hard, Kris took the lead pushing hard. Pippa wound early and pushed Kris all the way to the finish line, but unfortunately just missed out.

Nottingham therefore finished the day with a win in the senior singles, senior lightweight singles, senior quadruple sculls and as part of the winning composite U23 Elite 8+.
As a squad we would like to thank all the organisers, officials and fellow competitors for making this, the 26th Henley Women’s Regatta as special as ever. Also a special thank you to Lauren Fisher for helping out with coaching duties over the weekend.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation, a 1000m regatta held on the Thames in the grounds of  Windsor Castle was organised. This was a one-off regatta, with special medals commissioned to celebrate the occasion. This event was perfect as a warm up for Henley Women's this weekend with side by side racing against the stream. It also made a nice change from the sterile environment of multi-lane racing - it's always more exciting when your opposition start rowing at you!
The newly formed quad of Lindsay, Catherine, Sarah and Beth raced in both Senior and Elite quads. With a by through the first round, the quad raced Molesey, who will also be racing at Henley Women's, and beat them by half a length. In Elite quads, for the Herbert Challenge Cup, despite some creative steering from the Eton crew pushing the Nottingham crew out of the racing lane the girls maintained a cool head and executed a powerful push to take the lead to the finish.
Due to illness the IM1 double of Ellie and Laura had to withdraw, leaving Pippa and Nikki to contest the elite double sculls. The girls had a straight final against 2012 World University gold medallists. With both girls racing their singles for Henley Women's, this race was mainly to get used to racing the shorter distance on the river. Despite struggling a little with the wind blowing the boats across the river, the girls managed to hold off a strong surge to the finish by Wallingford to win the Gooch Challenge Cup.

The next day, Catherine, Lindsay and Nikki were pitted against each other at the Nottingham Sprint regatta in the elite singles, raced over 750m from suspension bridge to the buttress just past the landing stages. Nikki and Lindsay raced first, with Nikki maintaining a narrow lead through Trent Bridge, to win by half a length. Nikki met Catherine in the final, and went on to win by 2 and a half lengths.
The Senior 4x (L-R Sarah, Laura, Beth, Louise)

The Metropolitan Regatta once again fell on a warm and sunny weekend. The squad had a variety of boats entered at this high standard event, and a good performance here would boost confidence in the run up to Henley Women's Regatta. Met is run over two days, with each day being self contained.

On the Saturday Pippa and Nikki came up against each other in the final of the elite single sculls. In a close race, which was won by Olympian Debbie Flood, Pippa came third, closely followed by Nikki in fourth. Also racing was Yaz in IM2 singles. Yaz continued her great racing season by coming home second in her heat, allowing her to progress straight to the final, where she stepped up again and won.

The Elite 4- had a hard lead up to the regatta, with illness preventing the crew from training as a unit, meaning the girls sat on the start line having not actually done more than paddle in this combination - not the best prep! Despite this they were in the mix for most of the race, but the early pace showed towards the end where they came in fourth. On the Sunday, despite making improvements from the day before, they came 5th.

Sarah and Beth from the GB Rowing Start programme raced in a double where they came in second, and then moved in to the senior 4x with Laura and Louise. Despite lying in fourth, and close to taking the final qualifying position from their heat, the wavy conditions got the better of them in the final 300m. They made amends for this performance by dominating the event on the Sunday, winning their heat and then going on to win their final as well.

The last of the Nottingham crews to race were Nikki and Yaz in the Elite Lightweight singles. Nikki built up a strong lead off the start, but couldn't quite maintain her speed through to the finish and came home in second place. Yasmin came fourth with a very strong finish in the final 500m.

Whilst the rest of the squad were at Dorney lake, Abby travelled with the senior men to Peterborough where she raced in novice singles. Despite showing speed in training, Abby is still struggling a little with her start. After remembering how to row in the second half of the race, she managed to make a 50 second improvement in her 500m time, yet despite coming back at the field like a steam train, she didn't manage to make up the time lost over the first half of the race - next time!

Next up is the Coronation Regatta in Windsor on the 15th, followed by Women's Henley Regatta on the 21st-23rd June.
Last weekend the squad stayed close to home and raced at the Nottingham City Regatta. With events still being cancelled due to the weather, there was a larger than usual entry, with crews travelling up from Wallingford and Thames amongst other clubs.
Abby started the racing in the novice singles. This was Abby's first race, and although she didn't win, she had a good race and felt that she learnt a lot, predominantly that a monster grip is not the way to tackle a headwind.
Next down the track was the IM2 women's quad of Beth, Sarah, Ellie and Laura Champion who won their heat, and went on to dominate the final. This was Laura's first win for NRC, and Ellie's first ever win - celebrated with an involuntary dunk in the lake thanks to Sarah.
The Elite Lightweight women's singles race had both Yasmin and Nikki in, with Nikki winning, being followed by Yaz, with the rest of the field some way behind. Yasmin raced IM2 singles in the second division, where she had another good race coming 6th in the final, but was out powered by some of the bigger girls into the strong headwind. One of the closest races of the day was in the Elite singles, with Catherine, Lindsay and Louise all racing. Lindsay lead out of the blocks and built up a lead, but a strong second 1k from Cathers meant that they crossed the line together, only being split by a photo finish, with the win being awarded to Lindsay. Following close behind was Louise, making it a 1, 2, 3 for NRC.
Caitlin Boyland joined with another member of the senior womens squad to race in the IM3 doubles, where they came in third against some strong opposition. Caitlin is just coming back from injury so this is a great step in the right direction. Caitlin was a member of the Loughborough Talent ID programme, and has made the jump over to the High Performance group this year.Our newest member of the squad, Laura Champion, has made the move after a successful season last year at City of Bristol rowing club, and judging by the start of this summer season - their loss!
Following her strong performance at April trials, which she backed up with a 2k erg PB the next week, Laura Wheeler has been invited to train at Caversham with the senior team, and is currently training in a quad. This is a huge step towards her goal of racing at the World Championships in South Korea this summer, and we wish her all the best 'down south'. 
Our next competition will be the Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake, where we will be racing in singles, doubles, pairs, fours and quads - it will be a busy weekend!
After a successful training camp in Brive the squad came home to a cold and windy Nottingham. Determined not to be beaten, we braved the water each day, despite being laughed at by the boatmen for trying to go out when the lake resembled the North Sea (more than it normally does). Secretely I think some of the squad are hoping for some terrible conditions for racing - we will be well practiced!
Laura W and Nikki travelled down to Caversham to race at the senior squad final selection trials. a good performance here against the established squad members would get them one step closer to a seat in a boat for the World Championships. Laura continued her great progress and finished 14th overall, beating many of the development athletes that GB Rowing have supported as having the potential to go on to compete in Rio. With 17 seats available for the World Championships this is a fantastic result, and she is now seat racing for the second World Cup at Dorney Lake. Fingers crossed! Nikki had a tough task ahead with only four athletes being taken from the trial for further selection, and although she had a good final, was not quick enough to beat the top 4 athletes, three of who have raced and medalled for the senior squad consistently in the past 2 years and have recently come back from the first World Cup in Sydney.
Next weekend we have athletes racing for their respective universities at the annual BUCS Regatta, a three day regatta and showcase of university rowing. Ellie and Philly will be racing for Nottingham Trent, Yasmin will be racing for Derby, whilst Pippa, Louise and Caitlin will be racing for Loughborough Uni. Loughborough topped the medal tables last year at BUCS and hope to repeat this achievement this year.
Happy racing everyone!

The eight continued on the road river to the Women’s Eights Head by racing at their home event, the Head of the Trent. The aim was to have a solid race that we could then step up from on the Tideway. After an evening the night before all baking cakes for the club to sell, the crew turned up early for a pre-paddle and then stayed around to support the Nottingham crews racing in the earlier divisions. In the third division, with Rob Lawson coxing, the girls recorded an emphatic win, beating the second placed women’s eight by over 40 seconds, and once again won the Robin Haslam trophy for the fastest women’s crew of the day.

Saturday 9th March was the big race, where the crew of Katie Bartlett, Ellie Whittle, Lindsay Marshall, Sarah Bonar, Laura Wheeler, Catherine Lineker, Fiona Bassett and Nikki Spencer, coxed by Vicky Atkins and coached by Dez Atkins and Julie Edwards took to the water to race against 320 other women’s eights. Fi, Sarah and Katie are all on the GB Rowing Team Start programme, whilst the others are members of the High Performance Group. Led by the young guns in the stern, backed up by the big guns in the middle and with bow pair ‘keeping the bows out the water’ the crew put together a great race, overtaking the Zurich crew which finished second last year during the first half of the race, and then continuing that momentum over the second half to pull away from chasing Wallingford and setting us up well for the finish. The Tideway was kind and remained flat and calm, allowing for crews to race to their full potential.

The crew came 6th overall, winning the Provincial Pennant and also breaking the Provincial course record by 15 seconds. This now means that the current squad members hold a course record at the Fours Head, eights Head and Women’s Henley, with Catherine being the proud owner of all three!

Thank you must to Boston Rowing Club for allowing us to use their eight and to Loughborough Students 
Rowing for making that possible. 

Next up – training camp and hopefully some sun!

Louise Hart was joined by WCS athletes Beth Lloyd, Katie Bartlet and Sarah Bonar to race a championship coxless four at the recent BUCS 4s and 8s Head for Loughborough Uni. Despite only being able to have a few sessions together due to uni commitments(?!?) they destroyed the field to win by 15 seconds over Imperial. Loughborough topped the medal table last year at BUCS regatta and this result suggests they will be in strong contention to repeat this for a second year.

Last weekend the NRC girls arrived at the lake to a sea of Cambridge blue. Cambridge were up for the weekend to get some training in alongside another 8+. We had a series of pieces on both days, allowing all crews to learn and develop in a competitive environment. Cambridge are coming into their peak for the boat races in just over 3 weeks time, whilst the Nottingham crew is training for the Women's Eights Head on the 9th March. A lot was learnt over the weekend for all crews and we hope to put this into practice at Trent Head on the 3rd March.

Last weekend Laura, Ellie, Nikki and Louise travelled up to Boston for the second GB assessment and small boats head, both held over 5km. After the first water trial was cancelled due to adverse weather forecast, this was the first opportunity for many to show their water speed. On arrival they were greeted to a lightly frozen river, which was quickly broken up by some launches. A beautiful day emerged, despite the chilly -2 degree temperatures with slight tailwind conditions promised fast times. Laura and Ellie raced first, with Laura coming in a very strong 17th, beating some notable names who raced internationally last season. Ellie was racing in the BUCS small boats head and put in a good performance and gained valuable experience of racing down the trials course.
In the second division Nikki was due to race the GB trial, whilst Louise was vying for a medal in the BUCS competition. Unfortunately both girls were forced to withdraw after catching a sickness bug overnight, causing a lot of frustration for both after a good run up and promising times clocked in the weeks prior to the race.
The group now turn their focus to the Womens' Head of the River Race in London where they aim to improve on their 5th place finish from last year.

In a blink of an eye a twelfth of 2013 seems to have snuck by already. We seem to be stuck in a flood - freeze cycle, resulting in the ergs feeling (mistakenly) more loved than usual, whilst spiders in our boat bay believe we have built them all lovely carbon fibre shelters. The beginning of January was taken up with training camps. On the back of her excellent 3rd place finish at the ergo test in the first set of GB trials Laura was invited to the sunny climes of Portugal on the GB senior team training camp. The rest of the group stayed in Nottingham and put in some solid (if slightly colder) training in preparation for the 5km ergo test. The training clearly paid off, with almost the entire group claiming hard earned PBs. We were due to race at Boston Head, although this was unfortunately cancelled due to the recent flooding so next up is the second set of trials on the 9th February, raced in singles over 5km in Boston. We also have athletes racing for their respective universities at the rescheduled BUCS small boats head, held in conjunction with the GB trials. Sights are then set on the Women's Eights Head, where we have successfully won a pennant every year since the club was founded- no pressure then!
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home