A Portrait of The Rower as a Young Novice; Part 2

Steph has provided us with another glimpse into the life of a GUBC Novice; hope you enjoy 🙂


Another month, another step towards GUBC ladies novice domination… and what a busy one it has been!

First of all, we were very excited to be competing in our first races! After the bitter disappointment of the postponement of the GRC head race the previous weekend, we all felt a great sense of relief/excitement/anxiety as it was announced that the race was to go ahead. So we rocked up to the boathouse in our lycra and sexy yellow t-shirts, on which the GUBC crest was beautifully stencilled, with only one thing on our minds: VICTORY. (Not really. In all honesty, we were just praying that we wouldn’t end up at the bottom of the Clyde).

The run-up to the race was by no means smooth, with a few boat problems meaning that two of the novice crews had to row bucket-rigged, which was an experience to say the least (particularly for those of us stroke-siders who were experiencing the marvel that is the bow seat for the first time, where Calum’s head took a good walloping at the end of each stroke).

All three of our crews put in a fabulous effort and recorded some impressive times, which meant that the GUBC novices really had made their mark. More importantly, we had gained some racing experience, which was to prove vital in our next racing escapades which took place a mere week later in Inverness.

Yet again, GUBC novice ladies had three crews entered for this race, and yet again, they did not disappoint. Having to acclimatise to the bucket-rigged boat once again, nothing could hold these ladies back. The two crews racing in the morning really outdid themselves, with both crews finishing in the top quarter of the novice division. Having put themselves into a fantastic position after a very promising start, disaster struck our third crew half way through the race as one of the gates broke, leaving the four girls with no option but to have two of them row to the finish. Might I add, despite this catastrophe, they still managed to beat Strathclyde by seven whole seconds, proving themselves to be the true winners of the day!

It was so good to finally get some racing experience under our belts, and this will stand us in good stead for some of the major races that are to come next year.

Back to normality then, and training has, yet again, moved up a gear. Or six. With the exciting introduction of ‘Cormac’s school of ergs’, the technique of the squad as a whole has improved dramatically, only helped by his core exercises and stretches! And when we’re not sweating over the ergs, Allie is never far away, keeping us on our toes. Whether it be during the gruelling circuits or runs through Kelvingrove park, he is always there to put us through our paces. And pain. (It will all be worth it ladies).

I would like to say a huge thank you to Cormac and Allie on behalf of the entire novice ladies squad for the time and effort they have put in with us.  Our fitness and technique are improving with every session!

Despite the fact that exams are looming, attendance and spirit among the squad is still high. Everybody seems to be responding very well to the increase in training intensity, and with so many girls consistently turning up to training, we are sure to have a super-strong, fighting fit army of novi, with cores of pure steel thanks to everybody’s favourite, the partner leg raises. Ouch.

As we all look forward to Christmas (everybody loves a mince pie) training is never far from the back of our minds as we look towards next semester and Jess’ bulge-shifting bootcamp. For the time-being , however, we will continue to enjoy the socials (special shout out to Emma Fleming for an unforgettable club dinner!) and embrace our training… (possibly donning a few more thermal layers at the weekends..)