October 10th and 11th saw the third annual fixed seat rowing camp held at Stithians Reservoir in Cornwall. The camp was run by scholarship coach Rhiannon Halliday, whose post is funded by the Henley Stewards Charitable trust. The weekend benefitted from funding from the west regional rowing council, which contributed to costs such as venue and equipment hire and coaching.
A total of 24 juniors attended from clubs around the county. This included young rowers from Flushing and Mylor, Fowey, Padstow, Roseland, Rock, Coverack, Calstock, Saltash and Mounts Bay rowing clubs. Level 2 fixed seat coaches ran sessions over the two days to improve technique and skill development.
The sun shone on the first day to provide the perfect environment for the rowers who enjoyed sessions in various boats. Gigs were kindly lent from Coverack and Cadgwith gig clubs, in which coaches Martin Mullin and Chris Hitchings concentrated on the finish and recovery phase of the rowing stroke. Dave Jane took a session using Penryn rowing club’s flashboat and skiff, following the same theme which gave the rowers an opportunity to develop skill in less stable boats, which could then be transferred into the bigger gigs. The juniors also had the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and try their hand at rowing with a sliding seat in kingfisher training boats, borrowed from South West Lakes Trust and Greenbank rowing club.
The second day saw the chance to put any newly acquired skills to the test when teams were formed and the rowers raced in the two gigs in a fun competition. The whole weekend was supported by ‘FalmouthPhotos.com’, who took stills and captured video from the launch of the juniors rowing in the gigs, skiff and flashboat. A recording system was also mounted on the stern of one of the gigs which was able to capture the rowers from a different perspective. The film was then played back on the second afternoon, where the group were able to analyse their own rowing, with coaches commenting on technique. This was a new experience for most and found to be an incredibly useful coaching tool. The group also benefitted from some coaching on indoor rowing machines, and finished with a group 2000m relay race.
The weekend was rounded off with a presentation of prizes, which went to the winning gig racing crew, ergo relay team and also a special prize to Bauke Burma of Flushing and Mylor, who won a bag of rowing goodies for having the best attitude of the weekend.
A big thank you to all involved including Coverack, Cadgwith, Caradon, Penryn and Greenbank rowing clubs and South West Lakes Trust for lending equipment and also to Paul of Falmouth photos for the video analysis which was, for many the highlight of the weekend.