Blog posts are like buses...

Blog posts are like buses... wait 5 months and two come along at once! Firstly a summary since January:

January: The squad raced in singles at Boston Head, with triallists racing in elite over the full 5km course in preparation for trials in early February, whilst the others raced in IM2 and IM3 over the shorter 3km course. Everyone performed well, with the squad coming away with an elite win (Nikki), IM2 win (Laura C) and an IM3 win (Abby). We also jumped in the eight for the first time this season, racing an established Cambridge squad over rate capped pieces. This was a good starting point for us, getting used to the difference in style and technique between the squad. We then had a 5km erg to complete – always a highlight for January. Again, everyone performed well, with all squad members getting a PB. This means each member of the squad has a 2k and 5k PB this year.

February: February was a quite month for us. Trials was cancelled early due to adverse weather warnings which allowed the squad to focus on the eight for Women’s Head of the River Race. We had a variety of illness and injury, along with other logistical problems which meant that the build up to Trent Head and Eights Head were not ideal.

March: March started with an excellent win at Trent Head, giving us a platform to build on leading up to the Eights’ Head a fortnight later. The event was well attended and organised, allowing us to see where we ranked amongst other more established crews. This was our only run out at full speed for an extended distance, and gave us a good idea of how the crew reacted in a race situation. After a pre-paddle on the Tideway to get used to the bouncy water, the Eight of Anna Thornton, Katie Bartlett, Kyra Edwards, Kirstie Maxfield, Laura Champion, Catherine Lineker, Nikki Spencer, Sarah Bonar and coxed by Hannah York set off up to the start with high hopes of a fast race. The crew had a good tussle with Exeter University who went on to win the IM2 pennant. The girls had a good race, but couldn’t quite find the speed they had in training in the choppier conditions, and finished 16th winning the provincial pennant. The top 6 places were dominated by overseas and Olympic composites, with the headship going to the squad composite.

April: At the beginning of April we went hunting for some sunshine on training camp in Aiguebelette. The lake and surroundings were absolutely beautiful, with mirror flat water most of the time. We spent 10 days getting faster on the water and slower up the stairs as we got more tired, and coming back to a windy Holme Pierrepont has been a bit of a shock! Yasmin, Laura W and Nikki then headed to trials, where the forecast for strong winds meant racing was condensed into one day. Nikki came 12th in senior lwt, Yaz came 8th U23 lwt and Laura W came 13th. 

May: The students in the group raced at BUCS, the largest rowing event in Europe, racing previous Olympians and athletes at the top of their game. Everyone raced well, with Kirstie winning silver in intermediate singles. 


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