Looking Back: The 2018/19 season has seen some change and growth for the Women’s Squad, peppered with a little disappointment here and there at weather cancellations and oversubscribed events.
Despite that the Squad celebrated:
● Racing wins
○ Pairs Head (2018) WMC2x
○ Bedford Head WMC8+ and SW4+
○ Head of the East Op2x
○ Sudbury for WMC/D 4x, WM8+, SW4+, and some of our Squad in the MxM8+
○ St Neots for MWD 4x
● First pots won by three 2018 learn to row graduates – Macey Cubbage, Ruth Jenkinson and Claire Wells
● One birth, one engagement, one graduation, several birthdays (some bigger than others)
We have also said a sad “au revoir” to some of our rowers who have moved on to new jobs and/or endeavours.
The Squad has really grown this year, not just in members, but also in terms of fitness and technical skill. Key to the success is the continued support and motivation we get from our coach, Katie Ball, who pushes the Squads hard both during the Monday gym sessions (affectionately known as “Katie’s Keep Fit” even if they feel more like “Balls’ Beasting”), and on the water with regular Saturday coaching for racing squads and technical outings for all available on Sundays. We have seen some amazing progress in some of our newer rowers as well as our more experienced rowers, and we aim to continue this trend to secure some key wins this year.
The growth in numbers led to a decision to formally divide the squad into Seniors and Masters Women’s at this year’s AGM. At this time, Nuala Laird stepped down as VC of the Women’s Squad (recently having been supported by Macey Cubbage, who stepped up to co-ordinate the Senior Women in the summer). Nuala has tirelessly and ably co-ordinated the Women’s Squad for the past two years and handed the reigns to Clare Wells (aka Wellsy) who was elected to Masters VC and Sarah Jowett to Senior Women’s VC. Sarah is a very experienced senior rower, and Wellsy completed the Learn to Row 18 months ago (clearly her flair with designing attendance spreadsheets and constant emailing paid off in the end).
The ethos within the Squads is amazing; we all support and encourage each other, and there’s a healthy amount of competition in the mix too.
And believe it or not, it’s not all about rowing! Off the water, many of our members also completed marathons, half marathons, cross country skiing trips, recreational rowing – Lithuania and Thames River Row…..etc…
Looking Ahead: The two new Squads have developed a plan to introduce set tailored seasonal racing and training plans with the aim of ensuring successful entry into key races and events, as well as to support rowers as individuals to improve their fitness and skills and achieve their personal goals. We look forward to a successful 2019/20 season and to continuing to see our Squads develop and grow.
Even though we are now two Squads, we continue to work as one club, and aim to work closely with the other VCs to deliver a successful 2019/20 – #sleepstoHenley
Claire Wells Sarah Jowett
Vice Captain Masters Women Vice Captain Senior Women