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. Rowing Hard
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.
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 !!!
After checking the percentage chance of rain every hour (possibly every five minutes) during the week before, the panic was over when we arrived in glorious sunshine. I got into a single and started to hesitantly row out from the safety near the shed onto the lake. I firstly thought I’d just head to the middle before getting a call from Tim on the bank to not go so far away (I assume due to the high likeliness of my falling in!), so I made my way to the very impressive 2km course. After bumping into a few buoys on my way in, I calmly splashed my way down to the finish trying to keep up with the other girls. Definitely the most professional course I’ve ever seen – I truly felt the Olympics were only a stroke away!
Had a lovely outing in a double which was more successful than my single (mostly because I wasn’t steering), before heading off to dinner at Nagambie Rowing Club. Had a great catch up with some new rowing buddies till they turned off all the lights which I think was our cue to leave. You know that you’re enjoying it when you don’t realise that everyone else in the pub has left! Back for an early night before an early start (which apparently was a lie in compared to last year!).Tim helping me rig a single
An impressive eight getting coaching
So 7amSaturday we got up, put some eights together, and got on the water to row up the beautiful Goulburn river. Mixing the crews up I got into another eight going up and down the course, and thanks to Kathy had my first experience lying down in a rowing boat! After munching down on a lovely lunch (thanks Zoay) and probably too much cake, we headed off in a four to take the course with Dave coxing.
Onto Saturday night’s AMAZING bbq and the infamous box biting championships (which I had being getting demonstrations of and tips for, including the importance of footwear choices and not wearing tight trousers, throughout camp). The aim of the game is to pick up a beer box with your teeth, having hopped at least three steps into the middle of a circle, while still standing on one leg. The box would then get slowly smaller being expertly cut by Michael. I was very proud that I made it through the first round but not even Charlotte and Kat could beat the human pretzel, aka Keith. Congratulations! So after a wild game of Exploding Kittens (thanks Amy), it was off for a not so early night but still early in the general scheme of things. Rowing is seriously affecting my body clock!
View of sunrise from our cabin￼Huddling round the fire at the bbq
￼Keith’s winning moves at box biting
Congratulations Keith!￼Playing exploding kittens in cabin 42
Two outings later we were taking all the boats apart again and packing them all onto the trailers to head back to town. After washing the boats and putting them all away it was off home for the earliest night of the weekend! Overall I am definitely a lot better at rowing, made lots of new friends and got to show off my very blistered hands to my colleagues on Monday (I’m still not sure why I did that – I’m not sure they appreciated it!)
Thank you to everyone who helped organise camp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take a look at the below schedule for camp to see just what our coaches have in store for you this weekend!
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There are many variables to consider when trying to plan for a weekend with more than 40 rowers so please be prepared to be flexible. This guide is to give you an idea of what to expect and times you will be required at the regatta centre (remember it’s a 5-10min walk from the cabins to the boats).
to be had at our Spring Camp in Nagambie on 12-14th September. If you haven’t already signed up to attend, complete the survey and organise payment of $240 ASAP. See the previous blog for all the details because we need to finalise numbers.
Please transfer the money into RRC’s Bank Account BSB: 633-000 Account No: 117078238 Reference: camp and your name
Now that the days are getting longer, I bet you’re thinking about getting back into training on the Yarra, if you haven’t already done so – well done to the 32 rowers who were out this morning!
No doubt you’re now keenly anticipating Spring Camp at Nagambie – a weekend of lots of rowing interspersed with social activities. Sign up for Spring Camp now
Pay by 8th August 2014 (we have to pay to secure the cabins) – email the Treasurer, [email protected] if you need to pay in instalments SUMMARY DETAILS Who: All Club members are invited; those competing in the Head racing season are expected to attend When: Friday 12/9 evening arrival at Nagambie through to Sunday 14/9 late afternoon boat unloading at the club (Thursday night boat loading) Where: Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park accommodation and the Nagambie Peninsula Rowing course and Goulburn River for on water activities What: On-water training sessions – 3 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday plus social activities Why: Improve your rowing/coxing skills; get ready for Head racing; have fun and make some new rowing friends Continue reading “Only 7 Weeks till Spring Camp at Nagambie (12 – 14 September 2014)”
RRC VP, Justin Thomas reports on last weekend’s training camp.
I hadn’t attended a ‘country ‘ camp for a couple of years but while I was looking forward to it some mixed memories came flooding back, not least my first camp at Bairnsdale which seems an eternity ago now. The huddling into a cramped cabin out of the fickle Gippsland weather, the long and exhausting final row and most unpleasantly being on a floor level bunk when the guy above threw up after a big Saturday night. However when I arrived at the spacious cabin with a balcony overlooking the lake I realised that things were going to be different.
I arrived at the trailer early the next morning I was met by a solitary but significant figure; it was Jane Robinson our new coach mentor. I had heard about her but never met her and as I chatted with her as others arrived I knew this was someone who could bring invaluable help to us. The first session though had its problems, the presence of single scullers on the course prevented RRC from going up and down the course in the respective lanes. While one aim of spring camp is to bring us together as a club the temporary and high speed union of the senior women’s eight and the coxless quad into a twelve was not what was intended. When the session ended and the video analysis begun we were relieved to see Gerry walk in, albeit with an ice pack.
Many commented on how useful the video analysis was, even if the analysis didn’t directly concern them. Some of the less experienced rowers found it a valuable lesson in seeing that even the most experienced rowers at the club had technical faults and everyone was trying to improve themselves as rowers. The next session focussed on the technical output from the video session but the wind across the lake remained strong. Partly because of this the final session on Saturday was on the beautiful Goulburn River and it was my turn amongst the coaches to accompany Jane in her boat. As we weaved our way through the RRC flotilla I picked up valuable insights as our boats powered upstream. But as our boats turned I heard shouting in the distance and a desperate paddle was being waved in the air from a stationary power boat upstream. Our reluctance to leave the rowers was (just) overcome by a sense of civic duty and we gave four members of the local intelligentsia a tow. When a jet-ski appeared with the petrol they needed they sped off and Jane vocalised a little frustration that their lack of planning had impacted our coaching but I remembered something from my upbringing, Matthew c7 v1 to be exact “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” and sure enough as we neared the women’s novice eight our engine spluttered and died. A Yelled conversation over 500 metres with their cox Jim Cooper informed him of our plight and he was eventually able to despatch some passing Bogans to our rescue. In the meantime I found myself being paddled along the heavily wooded Goulburn by a former Olympian sat on the bow of her power boat, with me carefully listening for the sound of engines…or banjos.
The evening saw an excellent club barby at the cabins in front of the lake with Peter Schouten a veteran of many such events at the forefront (thanks also to chef Charlie and Barry). It was the rowers turn to refuel and looking at the fridge in one of the men’s cabin a fair bit of refuelling was planned! I got to speak to my rowers individually (it wasn’t a confessional as some suggested!) but my evening ended on a low point when Vicki Brennan told me her cabin was having a party and I wasn’t invited. I trudged home and cried myself to sleep.
The next morning saw another long row up the Goulburn this time Derek was my tinny companion and it was great to get his perspective on the rowing we saw. The camp finished with handicapped races on the course, all in the sunshine that we had been lucky enough to enjoy for the whole camp. As we packed away Jane commented on how impressed she was with our club, how people like Barry, Dennis, Jim Nicole and others would row, cox, drive tinnies or do whatever was required to make the camp work. She was particularly impressed by the mid-stream cox swap in a bow coxed racing four! I have a feeling that her expertise and our fantastic volunteer spirit could make a powerful combination this season.