This year’s DCBC annual training camp took place last week and brought the club to Lake Banyoles. A total of 36 members made the journey to northern Spain, almost half of them new novices, with less than half a years’ experience.
Upon arriving in Banyoles, the sight of a multi-lane 2km rowing lake was spectacular, especially compared to the narrow, winding river Cam. The ability to complete 3 sessions a day was equivalent to a week’s training for many of the new members. The week began with many of the outings focusing on composite crews with novices and seniors of both genders mixed together. This enabled everyone to learn from each other and helped the novices improve rapidly. The lake provided the perfect opportunity to race 4 VIIIs abreast, in some very competitive and enjoyable racing.
Both senior crews, M1 and W1, used the camp to provide a platform from which we could kick start the term, having not rowed together since the Fairbairns. Sharing a Lake with both CUBC and CUWBC was an inspiring, yet humbling experience. My highlight of the trip personally was being challenged to a 2km race against CUW midway through the camp. With their crew made up of majority international level athletes, it was always going to be a close race. Both crews were level at the 1km mark, but M1 put in a strong push and ended up winning by a length. W1 also raced a CUW Lightweight IV, but despite a close race lost by a length and a half as CUW pulled away in the closing stages. Both crews learnt a lot from the experience, which will hopefully serve us well in bumps later this term.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Jeremy Boardman, who volunteered to give up his time to coach alongside Ian Watson for the week. His technical knowledge, patience and passion for rowing and DCBC was a fantastic addition to the camp and I’m sure he’s inspired the next generation of Downing rowers!