On the 3rd of January 2020 SSBC ventured to Portugal for a training camp in Figueira da Foz alongside Corpus Christi College for four nights. Our journey ran smoothly, despite our morning flight being delayed by a passenger grounding the plane at Stanstead, by the afternoon we had arrived at the lake ready to start training.
Fuelled by Pasteis de Natas, we trained three times a day at the Figueira da Foz facility (home to the European Rowing Championships in 2010). To fit these world-class facilities, we trained predominantly in Empacher boats, which was a surprise to our ex-novices, having trained in Tomminox and LP400 for the past term. We enjoyed the lack of chaos and traffic on the lake as compared to the Cam, and got some fantastic water time in.
A real highlight of mine was the opportunity for integration between ex-novices and seniors. Our ex-novices did fantastically well and benefitted greatly from the extra training, work on technique, and coaching from the launch. By the end of the week huge progress had been made! In the evenings we watched go-pro footage and footage from the launch from all three sessions of the day, and lovely Tim gave us some additional personalised coaching points. This was another fantastic opportunity for development which isn’t possible to the same extent on the Cam.
Aside from rowing, we enjoyed many a trip to Pingo Doce (“Pingo is the best supermarket I’ve ever been to” – Georgina Gledhill); a lovely trip to the beach; eating countless bread rolls; and on the last night drinking €2 Sangria on tap.
We had an absolutely fantastic time, and despite the sore legs and blisters (which we all had LOTS of) I can personally say I didn’t want to come home! I would like to thank the College Accounts office and the Development Office for assisting the planning for the funding of the trip. Our biggest thanks go to a generous alumnus, who’s donation allowed us to subsidise our members and ultimately allowed us to take the opportunity to go on the camp.
As we had such a positive experience in terms of both development and enjoyment, we aim to repeat the success in coming years.
— Anna Kelsall, Junior Treasurer 2018-2020 and Women’s Side rower