Thoughts of a ‘never camper’
This was my first rowing camp. This was my first brush with a camping experience of any kind, period. I rocked up with a mind full of newbie questions: what’s it going to be like? ‘how remote is Nagambie if I forget something’? As a result, I packed like I was preparing for an apocalypse – gear for every weather condition and snacks for every hunger level. Also, someone please explain ‘box biting’?
Getting to Nagambie
The drive to Nagambie the one of the most beautiful experiences. I carpooled with the Hardys (Sarah and Matt) who knew the roads we were travelling so well. The conversation was lively, lolly supply generous and the drive itself was a super unwinding experience with views of endless canola fields and at one point, alpacas!
The first thing that strikes you on reaching the cabins is the spectacular view of lake.
I spent a good half hour on my cabin deck just taking it all in. The weather was surprisingly sunny and bright for most of the weekend, and a glimpse of the summer to come. That evening, we got ready for our first row, which for me was a quad. This row helped me get a feel of the lake with its many buoys and weeds.
We ended the day with a drink at the pub followed by a box-biting demonstration from the reigning champion himself, Keith, back in the cabins.
Saturday started super early with a view of a gorgeous sunrise from the cabin deck.
The first session of the day was a quad again but this time, we went up the Goulbourn river with Kathy coxing us (thanks a ton!). We had a shaky start to begin with, mostly because our crew hadn’t rowed together and we all brought our unique styles. But we kept at it with our cox and Michael coaching us from the ‘tinny’ through the second and third sessions that day. All the hard work was made worth it by the carrot cake at lunch (I still get dreams of it). The last row of the day was a highlight because it was my first time in a single skull. Though, the looks of trepidation on Barry and Michael’s faces while I almost tipped the boat getting in were priceless. I had a constant mental record of “hands together”, “oars feathered”, “DON’T FALL IN”!
Saturday night BBQ left me in a food coma. I unapologetically went for a second round, it was that good. Then came box biting. I would still like to know the origins of the tradition; if you know, stop and share. We had 2 rounds of everyone trying until it came down to the final round. Of course Keith won, but I think we also spotted an emerging talent in Pippa who gave him some tough competition. The general strategy seems to be picking the highest edge of the box. Until next camp, my strategy is going to be practicing Yoga to maintain develop the balance and flexibility!
All the coaching and practice from Saturday came to head on our Sunday rows. By now, a few of us from DS had been working as a consistent crew. If Saturday was shaky, Sunday was strong and sturdy. I count them as one of the best rows I’ve had. We had a moment going up the river when we held the boat still to just take in sounds of the birds and look at the giant pelicans. A far cry from the urban sounds and sights of Melbourne.
Can’t thank everyone who organised, coached and coxed for the weekend enough.
All in all, here are my somewhat helpful ‘pro tips’ for first-time campers:
- Bring snacks, lots of them
- Don’t skip the cake
- Bring Beer (or your poison of choice), you’ll need it after a hard day’s row
- Nearest good coffee is at a café called Foxhole, but be prepared for a 20-minute wait (resulting in a missed session on water!)
- About 50% of people at boat loading/unloading are as clueless as you but acting super purposeful. You’re not alone!
Its been a few weeks since Camp now, and I can feel the change in my technique. Looking forward to next year.
Rowing Victoria have recently released updated Yarra river rules following work with Maritime Safety and the Commercial Operators. Check out this document for detailed river rules including Yarra River bridge navigation guides from the Bolte to Dights Falls.
Yarra River Maps
RRC’s Spring Training camp date has been locked in over the weekend of 13-15 September 2019 at Nagambie.
Consistent with last year we have booked accommodation at the Nagambie Leisure Park on the nights of 13 and 14 September. For those attending we will have on water sessions on 14 and 15 September on both the regatta course and river. If you can get the day off work on 13 September, there will be the opportunity for some additional casual sessions also.
Full details to follow soon. Lock the date in your diary – it’s a great reason to start your Winter training now !!!
BROs (Boat Race Officials) are an integral part of regattas. Without them, there is no regatta.
These are the people you see (usually in safety vests), spending a little time:
- directing the boat traffic at the launching places
- making sure the rower’s boats are safe (bowballs, shoe tie-downs)
- directing boats as they line up for starts, and then starting the races
- judging if there’s interference
- working out who’s come first, second, third and so on
Our club needs to provide a BRO at almost every regatta we attend. It can be tough for rowers to run between BROing and racing, and we want coaches actually coaching! So we’d love a rowing widow/widower, a supportive mum or dad, or your best buddy to get involved. The more the merrier, as BROs can share shifts.
BRO training consists of attending a lecture and then being supervised initially. Level 1 accreditation is obtained by performing 4 practical BRO stations: control, start marshal, bank umpire and judge. Also, Working with Children’s Check are now required. These are easy to get and free for volunteers. Apply Here
The club can also support a BRO’s education by taking them out in a boat (to get a rower’s perspective) and/or having them ride alongside a coach on the bike path. The club insurance will cover them for risk and accidents.
Next BRO course is on Tuesday 6 March 6-8pm at Yarra Yarra (a few sheds down from RRC). Register here to attend. What’s holding you back??
Doing some BROing is also a great way for those new to rowing to get to see what happens at a regatta (from the insiders view), so new members are also encouraged to BRO.
Any questions? Contact Chris or Kathy
I am excited to announce we are now actively recruiting for a head coach to join our team of volunteer coaches and work alongside the Head of Rowing to manage and implement a rowing program for the upcoming season.
Check out the attachment for the detailed job description and how to apply. Contact email@example.com for more information.
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The new season is just around the corner and there is no better time to begin forward planning. So please check your diaries and sign up to upcoming Rowing Victoria courses.
At RRC we require all members to be accredited coxswains to help assist with training but also to ensure everyone is aware of the river rules and safety requirements of our sport.
- ACCREDITED COXSWAINS: it is compulsory for all coxswains in Victoria to be accredited for racing AND training. This year, coxswains will be ineligible for regatta entry (through Rowing Manager) if they have not acquired Good Coxswain accreditation.
Take a look at the Events Calendar http://www.rowingvictoria.asn.au/events/ on the RV website and sign up for an already scheduled course. You will find that we are hosting one at the RRC boathouse on Monday 22nd August, so it couldn’t be simpler to attend.
Pre-season is also the optimum time to complete a coaching qualification if you have any interest in volunteering to assist with coaching or just want to improve your skills and knowledge. In 2016 this can be done without course attendance and without dedicating an available weekend in a busy life. It is also cheaper; down from $220 to $180. It can be done on the computer in your own home at your own pace, at a time of your choosing.
- ACCREDITED COACHES: beginning in season 2016-17 all coaches are required to be National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) accredited (minimum Level 1). This will guarantee compliance with RV Members Protection Policy and provide crews with a Maritime Safety Victoria exemption from wearing PFDs.
To complete the on-line coaching course: Click here to access the Online Level 1 NCAS Coaching Accreditation Course
As a club we have been successful in securing grant funding to help support anyone wishing to undertake coaching accreditation (the grant is only valid for one year so I advise you to think about whether you would like to do the course sooner rather than later).
If you have any questions or concerns in regard to any of the above, please contact Tim Evans our head of rowing.
See below for great opportunities in Melbourne for anyone wishing to improve or extend their coxing skills/knowledge.
Wednesday 10th August, 6pm: Beginner Coxswain Workshop Beginner Coxswain Workshop
Wednesday 17th August, 6pm: Advanced Coxswain Workshop Advanced Coxswain Workshop1
The Beginner Workshop is for those who are just starting their coxing careers, but experienced coxswains or coaches who would like a refresher of the basics are welcome too. We will cover everything necessary to safely and efficiently cox training sessions, and basic ways that coxswains can assist their coaches and ‘add value’ to their crew. The Advanced Workshop will cover a number of communication techniques, as well as ways in which coxswains can continue to improve on their own. Both workshops will be interactive, with plenty of opportunities to practice and ask questions. For more information and booking details see links above.
U21 Australian Team Coxswain
Have you ever wanted to help others improve or develop their rowing skills?
But didn’t know where to start? Didn’t have the confidence? Didn’t have the time, but now you do?
Rowing Victoria is offering the last face-to-face Level 1 Rowing Coaching Theory Course at Richmond, before they move to online testing from July 1.
The course will run over 2 nights – from 6.30pm – 9.30pm Monday March 7 and Wednesday March 9.
Continue reading “Helping Others Develop their Rowing Skills (with the bonus of personal skill development and feeling good)”
Thanks to everyone who helped clear out the boat bay to assist with the new racking install today. Whilst we have limited access to boats this week we will be using the time wisely to get some good theory and land session training.
All rowers are advised this Wednesday, 4th November at 6.30pm we have a camp video feedback session which we would like as many people to attend as possible. It doesn’t matter if you went to camp or not, if you are competing this season or not, anyone who is interested in learning more and improving their rowing skills and knowledge should come along.
Our coach mentor, Sue and other coaches will be in attendance to critically review some of the recent video footage of training crews to help people see practical examples of what what we are hoping to achieve or improve upon through training.
Hopefully see you all there.
Our next learn to row starts on Sunday 14th June and runs for four consecutive Sundays at 12pm.
We have between 10 and 15 people signed up so far, but it won’t be possible to run it without coxes and coaches to help. It would also be useful to have a couple of rowers available in case we need to make up numbers or demonstrate technique.
You don’t need to commit to them all, but if you are able and willing to come along for a few hours to help out, please email Cat Hardie on firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify which dates you could help out with (14, 21, 28 June & 5 July).