The contrast in this week’s training sessions couldn’t have been greater. Having just got home from a great session on almost perfectly flat water it seems hard to believe what we had on Monday. This session started out a with a bit of a breeze (well, a bit more than that but still rowable) and Tim and I got in a good few lengths. Gradually though the wind was strengthening and as the light was starting to go we agreed to do just one more length. This was a BIG mistake.
From somewhere the wind just picked up and up and up until we were bouncing all over the place, waves breaking over the front and rear canvases and spray everywhere; one big wave hit us and emptied itself all down my back. We got halfway back down the far side and decided to cut straight back across the lake to the clubhouse – by now the waves were so big we had me sit the boat while Tim spun it. Trying to scull across the swell was pretty hairy so we angled across, bouncing around like a cork, finally getting back to the pontoon after a pretty scary final length.
Paula and Jo were back as well and as their boat, Sharpie, is heavy at the best of times, I went to help lift it out. They grabbed both end and I took the middle; as we lifted it out and turn it over, the gallons of water in the bottom promptly emptied all down my front. That was bad enough but having wife and daughter almost in hysterics at this was the limit!
Strangely enough, despite the conditions it was actually a really good session, especially considering Tim and I hadn’t been in a double together for probably six months.
Tonight, we got down to the club and the lake was at the other extreme. Flat, calm water, surprisingly warm and just about perfect conditions for sculling. This allowed us to put in some good strong lengths and get in some racing starts, all good practice for Sunday. We decided to polish off the session by doing a couple of race starts against Paula and Jo, out again in their double. Off the first one, we got quite a good first few strokes but about five into the settle my right calf seized up with the most painful cramp I’ve ever had. It took me a good five minutes to recover, every time I put my foot back in the shoe, it just cramped again. Anyhow, it finally eased (but is still sore while I’m writing this) and we caught up with the other double for another go. This turned out to be our best start yet, so I’m trying to figure out how to induce cramp on the row down to the start at Leicester this Sunday! After a few more starts (including a couple of near collisions as our steering went off a bit) it was time to head in after a really good session.
Roll on Sunday, first Regatta of the season.