For this year’s summer training camp, our senior squads gave up their bank holiday weekends and made their way to Henley-on-Thames to get some key practice steering the Henley Regatta course. Kamile Matulenaite wrote about the weekend…

“This year, training camp brought the senior squads to Henley for invaluable experience in steering the course, learning the landmarks and making friends with the long-feared booms.

On the first day, we kicked off training camp with lots of long paddling, each time trying to inch closer and closer to the booms. It also marked the start of our weekend-long binge on the most syrupy flapjacks ever made (thanks to Gemma’s mum!). A cup of coffee, a flapjack and we were ready for the next set of sessions – more paddling in doubles, fours and eights. In the breaks, we made friends with the boathouse dog, and not-so-much-friends with a small, angry dog that snapped at our blades as we pushed off the pontoon and followed us all the way down the course to Temple Island. After a long day of training we relieved our muscles with a group yoga and stretching session in the setting sun, soon followed by lots of pasta.

Saturday started off with more paddling in the sun, with a nervous anticipation of seat racing that afternoon. By lunchtime, the sun was blazing and we were hiding and resting in the shade, waiting.
The nerves of seat racing had to be stretched out longer. The warm-up was spent zigzagging around pleasure boats; seat racing had to be postponed to the next morning.

Sunday – seat racing day. Boat swapping. Two pieces down the course. Crews for Henley were now decided. More flapjacks to recover and on to some more starts, pieces and high-rate work. The squads left training camp sore, sun-soaked and having made an immense amount of progress. Bring on regatta season!

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