After New Year’s, normally you think of a day to recover, to look ahead to the new year. Not for 20 lucky rowers, however, who flew to Spain for their annual training camp in preparation of the head-racing season in the Lent Half.
After driving a little over two hours from Porto to the hotel in Spain, the team rigged up the boats and keenly embarked on a gruelling training regime. For six straight days, six hours of training were split up into three sessions. The final session was always in matched eights, with the last four days seeing three eights side by side and battle paddling it out for, sometimes, 12 kilometres without stopping.
Whilst rowing was obviously the primary aim, the sauna available at the hotel ensured that some much needed relaxation could take place on most evenings. Socialising with the locals in the hot jacuzzis and cold whirlpools presented the perfect opportunity for some Etonians to practice their Spanish. There was also plenty of time to work and to prepare for the tough academic program ahead of the B and D blockers’ exam season. However, some boys found their concentration wavering with the fatigue from training.
The food was always plentiful at the hotel in Galicia, though the weather proved to be a bit different: the sub-zero mornings provided the perfect contrast to the tank-top infused afternoons. Even our Captain of Boats (Henry Pearson mi KS) couldn’t help putting on his gafas del sol!
We were hugely privileged to have the legendary Robin Williams amongst our ranks and would like to sincerely thank him for coming to help coach us this week. Further thanks must go to Mr Fangen-Hall, Mr Clarke, Mr Edmondson, Mr Biddle and Dr Pooley for being with us as well.
Nathan Swidler and Max Shakespeare