Wednesday, 6 May 2015

77. Rowing - Eight

Event: Rowing - Eight 
Date: 25th April 2015
Location: Sudbury Rowing Club
Cost: £100 Learn to Row Course
Rules: Women's rowing events were first included in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Races are held on rivers, canals or lakes over a distance on 2,000 metres. Races start under the supervision of an aligner and a starter, with umpires positioned along the course and at the finish line. The Eight category has eight rowers in the boat with one oar each. The cox shouts directions and encouragement to the rowers.

The Event:

London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal: USA

Sarah: After loving canoeing last year, I was really looking forward to rowing and getting back on (hopefully not in) the water. The feeling you get when gliding through the water in the sunshine is pretty unbeatable. The Eight was the first boat we tackled with the club, and over a few sessions we gradually built up from two people rowing with the others sitting (steadying) the boat, to all eight rowers pulling at the same time. It was more than a little wobbly at times, and a mix of exhilaration and terror when blades caught on the water and caused the boat to rock. With the help of our fearless cox, we persevered and no one fell in! We barely began to cover the techniques required, but for those few strokes where we were all synchronised, it was completely wonderful.

Ellie: Where to start with Rowing... well, we started with the Eight. Yes, just like the Oxford and/or Cambridge crews we powered up and down the River Stour... well, not quite like the boat race crews... I've never seen them looking like they were going to have some kind of fear induced panic attack. Or that they had completely forgotten everything that they were told 15 minutes ago. Or a look of alarm on their faces when things get a bit wobbly and they hadn't remembered a towel. Or like they have forgotten what side of the boat they were sitting on. Or what all the terminology means... or words in general for that matter...
Although it felt like the scariest way to start our rowing education, with hindsight, it was definitely the best. The load is shared between you, there is always someone to give you some tips and analyse what you are doing - for better or worse - and you don't have to worry about looking where you are going or where you are steering. As Sarah says, the times when we all rowed together or you were on a streak of good form and things clicked felt wonderful and you could really appreciate the passage you were making along the water and how it would be possible, given a lottttt of time and practice, to be able to call yourself someone who can row. 


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