Friday, April 6, 2018

Seville so far...

So far on our mission to gain maximum speed in Seville we have: swept and slept, hiked and biked, sculled and scoffed.

The Guadalquivir river has provided some challenging conditions at times, however, the whole squad has powered through unfazed and tamed the white horses - only enduring a couple of casualties.

As well as all our hard work on (and in) the water we have have also exercised  our brains with revision and celebrated Isaac’s birthday in style with a Justice League cake and some pirate napkins!

We have also made some gains off the water when trekking (running) for a late night Lidl trip to satisfy our desires for apple/peach loopies, chorizo and Nutella.

The bike tour has definitely been a highlight for all of us. Admiring the beautiful sites of Seville, learning about its rich history and seeing Mr Beer in a scull and cross bones helmet was a treat for all!

And I would like to end this post with a special mention to Anna Marie for successfully eating her body weight in food at every meal as well as snacking and napping every 5 minutes... #weightisfreespeed #elyspeedlabgoesglobal

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Technique Thursday

It has been a big week on the Guadalquivir river for our students.  Collectively they have covered hundreds of kilometres in boats already, with many of these at mid to high intensity.  So as the sun rose once again over this amazing city, the students entered Technical Thursday.  The middle of camp brings tired legs, ripped blisters and aching bodies. Technical Thursday is therefore a day to reduce the kilometers covered and focus on the art of rowing.  The principles of a technical day can be related to two old Spanish sayings.  Si adelante no vas, altrasarás’ and ‘El mal escribano le echa la culpa a la pluma

Roughly translated the above proverbs read ‘He who does not advance, goes backwards’ and ‘the bad scribe, blames his pen’.  It is true that in rowing, to not strive from progress and improvement is to go backwards, and that one often looks to lay blame for lack of boat speed (and results) on the type or standard of equipment

Technical Thursday aims to allow our students boys to rest physically, whilst continuing to progress their rowing ability, confidence and skill.  All of which can generate further boat speed.  It also makes the student-athlete aware that there are many more factors that begin with themselves that they can change to alter performance, before even considering looking at equipment for advantagesSo today we challenged all our rowers to progress and seek personal betterment in the art of rowing.  For some, that involved removing their blades completely, standing up in the boats and performing drills that seem to defy the logics of physics, whilst for others it was a case of realising that less haste can produce more speed.

For many, today will be one of the sessions they remember, and so it should be. The confidence that today brings and the understanding of how an individual can affect change is not only empowering in sport, but a good life lesson as well.

Sculling skills with Y9

......lucky the weather and water were warm! All week’s photos can be found here

Seville cycle tour.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Shoulders of Giants

In 1675 Sir Isaac Newton commented ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants’. 

Today the 2018 Seville Rowing squad went on a bike tour of Seville.  This was a great way to explore one of the worlds most amazing cities.  Seville is a place where cultures and history from Europe, the Americas and Africa come together to create a truly unique city.  

We peddled past, and through the Plaza de España, Botanical Gardens, Golden Tower, Cathedral de Santa María de la Sede and Europe’s oldest Tobacco factory (now home to the University of Seville).  However, it was at Palacio de San Telmo (the city’s old school of navigation) that inspiration for this post was found. 

The building itself is a great example of Sevillian baroque architecture and on the facade of the grand entrance sits the bust of Sir Isaac Newton.  

It is here that I was reminded of the famous quote from Sir Isaac Newton mentioned above.  Although he was referring to furthering scientific discovery, the sentiment can directly relate to the organisation and running of a rowing camp.

The camp that our students are in the middle of enjoying, is a culmination of hundreds of hours work from many people.  There are the coaches that give up their time to tow boats the 1400 miles from Ely to Seville (and back), to the staff that give up their own time to come and coach our students in the art of rowing.  In truth there and many giants that make this week possible.  

Other contributors include the coaches that we have left behind (don’t worry there still alive), that turned up to help de-rig all the boats and load the trailer in Ely, without whom Myself and Mr Dale would have never made our 02:30 departure from Ely on Day 1.  Then there are our better halves that are back in old Blighty ‘keeping the home fires burning’ (or the kids washed, fed and entertained).  Rosie Evans, Liz Knibb and Alison Cree are just some of the back room Ely staff that contribute to the administration and paperwork side of the camp.  We have our man on the ground in Seville, Jon Carrazo (ESP National Team Mens 4- at the 2017 World Championships) who has been my go to guy for communications with accommodation, river management, launch and tour operators.    These plus many more have been vital in getting this camp off the ground and providing a platform through which your child can develop and enhance their rowing ability and pick up some cultural experiences along the way.  

It is no small feet, but when we look back in a few weeks we will know it has all been a worthy one.

So with that in mind, I would like to leave you with this thought:  ‘If your child has rowed further, it is by standing on the shoulders of the King’s Ely Boat Club Giants

Thanks Giants, you know who you are!

Mr Beer planning tomorrow’s schedule

....and forgot to mention it was Isaac’s birthday 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We've arrived and into day 2 already!

Le Shuttle
Seville Airport
A bit slow to get this blog off the ground, must have been the 1400 mile road trip which had its moments. The satnav directed us around Paris unfortunately via a low bridge which was thankfully spotted in time but meant a rather tedious route to get back on the right road. The following day, as a result of a dodgy chorizo roll, Mr Beer wasn't feeling too great but we were only stopped once by the police. I think they must have been bored on an Easter Sunday and asked us if the trailer had been stolen and other exciting questions. Although he looked a bit fierce with a gun in his holster, he did not arrest or fine us or confiscate the trailer, and we were back on the road and arrived in Seville in the evening.

The flight was more straightforward and, apart from a temporary lost bag, the students arrived in good time for an evening outing before supper.

More posts and links to photos coming soon!