Following the strong performances of the Oxford and Cambridge Men’s and Women’s Boat Clubs at the Fuller’s Head of the River Fours, here is what the Chief Coaches thought:
Christine Wilson – OUWBC Chief Coach
The experience of racing on theTideway is important to the development of every Oxford rowing athlete. Given the work we are doing to ground a specific approach to power application, it was encouraging to see those movement patterns starting to take hold. The Fuller’s Fours Head is a wild regatta – another iconic British event – and while the points system makes it tricky to select racing combinations, it is pretty fun watching sculling and rowing crews of all levels attaching a long head race course. It was also terrific that the Oxford men’s and women’s crews could support each other on race day from the St. Paul’s School boathouse.
It is clear that both squads have depth, which will push athletes on each squad to compete for seats in Boat Race crews. Each chance we have to measure our own speed against Cambridge and other British clubs is helpful feedback on the training and technical improvements the Oxford Women have committed to as a team.
Sean Bowden – OUBC Chief Coach
The later than usual Fours Head meant a change in the normal routine allowing for more consistent training at this time of year. I was pleased with the top coxed four. It is not always easy to get the stronger and bigger rowers to combine with technically efficiency in the early season so happy to see this boat develop well in a relatively short amount of time. Otherwise, our team raced well and did a good job on the day with no significant problems.
The racing produced an interesting picture with us having one boat in front and Cambridge showing a bit more depth to their team. The results reveal that we have plenty to do and we should be ready for close racing in April.
The focus is always on long term development for the Boat Race itself with the Trial Eights providing another useful target on the way to keep the team focussed. After Trial Eights we head off to Davos in Switzerland for altitude and cross country skiing before a well-earned break. We will then come together in the New Year for our rowing camp in Temple-sur- Lot in south west France.
Rob Baker – CUWBC Chief Coach
The fours head last weekend was a great opportunity for us to get the whole squad out for some racing. We have some good strength through the squad and I was particularly pleased with our crews approach to racing. We now focus on trial eights where we will be working towards producing the fastest eights combinations to have the best possible race on the Championship course. In January we travel to Banyoles for a big training camp where we should produce the first draft of our Boat Race crews.
Steve Trapmore – CUBC Chief Coach
Winning two pennants and placing 2nd in two other categories represents a solid days racing for CUBC and the best squad result for several years. I was pleased to see two of our coxed fours ahead the international coxed four from Leander but with OUBC’s top coxed four boat a good margin ahead of us we have work to do over the coming months. Focus now moves back into eights as we prepare for our Trial Eights race on Wednesday 18 December.