The back stays didn’t fit when we tried to rig up our boat. The boat had been rented out the week before for HORR and our rigging changed. We adjusted the spans, fitted the back stays, and thirty minutes late had the boat on the water.
Then it rained, and it was the worst kind of rain: heavy, penetrating drops that soaked us through. But then it stopped, and the whole trip took a turn for the better.
In the week prior to our training camp, our cox and coach had been forced to drop out and Worcester Rowing Club had decided to change their fee for the racking of one eight over 4 days. Luckily, the faithful Tom Stewardson was able to cox and, after sending a few emails, I’d arranged coaching and alternative racking. Birmingham University provided the racking and their coach, Richard Poole.
We pushed off for the first outing, all this was forgotten. The sun was now out, and we were on a beautiful 6k stretch of the Severn. With four novice rowers and four seniors in the boat, we weren’t expecting anything special from the rowing, but that was the purpose of the trip. Gradually, things started to improve, about as fast as we could hope; the improvement over the four days was dramatic.
We pushed off for our penultimate outing with the warm morning sun glowing over Worcester cathedral. The air was calm, the water still. Warm up over, we span for a 3k paddle into the boathouse. This was that magic moment when everything we’d been working on clicked into place. The boat glided downstream with a stable platform, a definite spring off the front end, and a solid rhythm. Our patience, perseverance and hard work paid off.
I couldn’t have hoped for more from the four days we spent in Worcester. The trip was thoroughly enjoyable and we made good progress. Many thanks go to Stewie for stepping in at the last minute and Richard for his fantastic coaching.