The Boat Race season starts in early September before the University term starts with the squad at maximum size. The light evenings make it possible to row in the evening and make the most of the few weeks before the athletes’ academic commitments start in earnest.
Ergo tests at the beginning of term, reduce the squad down to around 40 athletes.
During term-time, training sessions are scheduled so that they fit around the academic timetables of the squad.
Although the primary focus of the programme is sweep rowing, attendance at GB Rowing Trials is encouraged and support is provided for athletes who need to continue to train in single sculls to attend trials.
Those attending trials are included in the crews that compete at the British Rowing Championships in mid-October. In 2014, the Club will also be sending a crew to race at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachussetts.
The Fuller’s Fours Head of the River Race is the first focus race for the whole squad. In 2013, the Club fielded seven crews (six coxed fours and one coxless four).
After the Christmas break, the squad departs for training camp in early January. This provides time away from academic commitments before term restarts, allowing a solid block of training for extensive on-water testing and selection. In 2014, both the men’s and women’s squads trained on Lake Banyoles in Spain, venue of the 1992 Olympic Regatta.
After the Boat Races, the athletes have a short break before training recommences for the BUCS regatta in early May.
Although imminent exams usually mean that some squad members reduce their training to concentrate on their work, those who wish to continue to train with the Club to compete at Henley Women’s Regatta and attend qualifiers for Henley Royal Regatta are encouraged to do so.
Those athletes who wish to row for their college in the May Bumps are also supported.