Lake Windemere Training Camp a great success


Well done to Chester-le-Street Amateur Rowing Club on a fantastic training camp at Lake Windemere between between Saturday 23rd and Thursday 28th August. Despite truly awful weather on many days (they have to say the rain is warm in Cumbria – there’s so much of it!), three outings a day were the norm for most athletes with senior and junior crews going out in an eight, coxed fours, a coxless quad and an assortment of pairs, doubles and single sculls.

The club stayed at Ambleside Youth Hostel where they were admirably catered for by the Hostel kitchen; the massive and truly all inclusive breakfast must have been designed for rowers and on the rowing front, the trailer was conveniently parked literally feet from the edge of the lake meaning boating was a knee deep, but simple affair.

[img_assist|nid=2036|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=187]Twenty plus athletes attended the camp, most of them being 14-18 year old juniors looking for the chance to row longer stretches of water in preparation for the coming  Head season; many were also using the experience to prepare for the rigours of Junior Trials later on in the year. Despite the weather, the club found the water ideal on the North West side of the lake where conditions were often absolutely beautiful, especially at 7am.  If there was sunshine I’m sure many would have believed they were part of a GB training camp in the Italian lakes! Even the large ferries which occasionally passed left little wake, allowing single scullers to continue paddling in the wash.

Evening sessions included video analysis of the days proceedings so athletes could work on technical points for the following day, a cinema trip, a meal out, a nutrition lecture and football in the park (weather permitting!) and by 10pm most people’s thoughts turned to bed in preparation for a pre breakfast paddle the next morning. Everyone slept pretty well I gather.

Steven Thompson ably assisted by his wife Nicola, Sue Garrett, Patrick Wright, Wayne Curry and Mark Ashcroft need to be congratulated for running such a tight ship, complete with weekly itinerary, risk assessments, walkie-talkie and megaphone communication and constant launch cover for outings; anyone considering a similar trip to the lakes or elsewhere could do worse than to speak to Steven for advice at [email protected]

Rob Cree
ARA Team Leader (North-East)