Training with Cambridge University Women’s Team

On Sunday 23rd November the Coxless Crew spent the day with Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club (CUWBC). Rob Baker, CUWBC’s head coach, had kindly invited us up to meet the girls and watch them training and to get some expert advice on rowing technique and boat set up.

We arrived in at 7.15am in a very miserable and wet Ely to see the girls getting the boats out onto the water just after first light. The squad were rowing in 2 eights, 5 pairs and a single for the first outing of the day, which was a 24km row. The Coxless Crew team jumped onto the coaching launches with Rob and the other coaches Paddy and Nick and accompanied the girls down the river, observing them in action and getting tips on technique from the coaches. After the outing we had the chance to chat to the girls and gave them a short talk to introduce them to our row. We then left them heading back out onto the water for a second outing.

For Cambridge row blog

Emma and Izzy both rowed with CUWBC during their time in Cambridge and Emma rowed in the Cambridge v Oxford boat race in 2005, so it was great fun for them to reminisce and be back with CUWBC for the day. Watching the squad train and listening to the coaching team in action was a great opportunity for the whole crew to improve our understanding of how best to move a rowing boat. We were also truly inspired by the squad’s commitment and enthusiasm for their training and focus on the task in hand. We wish them enormous luck for the rest of the season and for their boat race against Oxford in April, which will be the first time that the women’s boat race takes place in London over the same course as the men’s race. We’ll be following their progress and supporting them from Doris out on the Pacific on boat race day!

After leaving Ely we headed to Goldie gym in central Cambridge where the girls do their strength and conditioning work and train on the rowing machines or ‘ergs’. We were joined by Dean from Time Code Pro who had kindly given up his Sunday to come along to film us. We did some training and then were joined by Rob, who gave us each some one on one coaching on the ergs. We will be doing a lot of our training in the run up to the row on the ergs so it is important that our technique is rock solid.


The Team Erging


At the end of the afternoon we had a really helpful brainstorming session with Rob about boat set up. It is absolutely critical that we make sure that our rowing positions on Doris are set up correctly. Rigger position, blade length, seat heat, position of the foot stretchers etc. all have to be finely tuned to ensure that we are moving the boat as efficiently as we can and that we are in strong rowing positions to help us stay comfortable and avoid injury.

Big thanks to Rob, Paddy, Nick, the CUWBC squad and Dean Alexander (photo credit above) for another great training day.



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