The Rowing Year
Trials for the CUBC University crews begin at the beginning of September, usually well before the start of the academic term. The full University Boat Race programme lasts for seven months, culminating in the race itself. We often attend Great Britain winter trials as part of our programme as, after the University Boat Race, we are fully involved with national and international representative rowing. In October, we have recently attended the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA, USA. In November we race at the Fours Head of the River which is held on the same stretch of the River Thames in London as the Boat Race itself, although with the course running in the opposite direction. This is an important Boat Race event, as it is the only time except for the race itself that we compete directly against Oxford. In December, the first term concludes with the Trial VIIIs Race where two equally matched Cambridge crews full of ‘Blue Boat’ hopefuls race each other over the full Boat Race course.
The club begins the New Year with a warm weather winter training camp in Banyoles in Northern Spain.
During the second term, selection is completed and there are warm-up fixtures in February and March against tough opposition. Recent top domestic opponents have included Leander Club, Molesey Boat Club and Oxford Brookes. Our overseas opponents for these fixtures have included the University of Washington and the Dutch National Eight.
The Boat Race itself is a unique and momentous occasion. Both Cambridge and Oxford have trained hard with equal resources available to both Clubs and of course generous support from the sponsors of the Boat Race. This means that the best equipment and world-class quality coaching is provided, as well as comprehensive support including physiotherapy and access to top level sports science resources (bio-mechanics, physiological and psychological testing and nutrition). After the Boat Race the summer programme includes Henley Royal Regatta, and other international competition such as competing at Holland Beker or the Lucerne College Cup. After their time at Cambridge many of our oarsmen compete successfully for places in their national team crews for World Championships and Olympic Games.
The Rowing Day
From Tuesday to Friday, rowers and coxswains meet at Goldie Boathouse at 6:30 AM for land-training. These sessions will either take place on the ergos or in the weights room. At 9:00 they return home to eat, work and attend lectures, labs and supervisions. By 1:30 PM they arrive back at Goldie for the drive to Ely (which takes approximately half an hour) for the afternoon water training session, returning around 5:30. On Fridays, an ergo or weights sessions takes the place of the trip to Ely.
On weekends, the squad arrives at Goldie at 7:30 AM. They then travel to Ely for two water training sessions with a short break in between, returning to Cambridge by 2:30 PM.
Outside the organised training times the CUBC’s world-class coaches are often available for one-to-one technical sessions on the ergos, Row Perfects or in the mirrored rowing tank at Goldie. Video feedback and analysis sessions also occur regularly after or before training sessions.
Rowers and coxswains have the day off on Monday.
The CUBC squad has the difficult task of balancing their academic and athletic commitments. No exceptions are made for rowers at Cambridge University with respect to their workload and required attendances at lectures, labs and supervisions. Despite this, the CUBC’s athletes achieve score more highly than the University average. The President’s Prize for Academic Excellence is awarded annually and is hotly contested.