Erica Thompson for Women’s and Overall Captain
I started my rowing career with the multi-talented Second Novice Women in
2003, progressing to the successful Second Lent and May VIIIs of 2004, and
the First VIII thereafter. I have rowed every term so far because I enjoy the
friendly yet competitive atmosphere in the women’s club, and so I hope that
I am a familiar face to most current members of First and Third. I am now
in my third year of Physics and will have plenty of time to commit next year.
Novices, Lower Boats and Casual Rowers
The Women’s Captain must support and encourage the work of the WLBCs.
I intend to do this to the best of my ability, when and where necessary, in
particular helping communication and co-operation with senior rowers. In
addition, I should like to see those who wish to row less frequently better
catered for within First and Third. For this reason I would establish a casual
rowers’ email group, with the aim of getting people in boats every week
or so, also providing a pool of possible subs for other boats.
There is a great deal of upward momentum in the Women’s squad, which I
would maintain and build upon throughout the year. To this end, I would like
to see more integration between the upper boats, in terms of subbing (in
both directions), coaching (where possible) and land training, making transitions
between boats more fluid. Many people have no access to ergs or boats
over the vacations, so I would continue the tradition of pre-term training
camps. A focus on smaller boats during the first half of Michaelmas
term (including sculling) will allow people who are in Cambridge over later
holidays to train on the water. I would also institute vacation training diaries
for those trialling for the first VIII, maintaining baseline fitness. The
detailed training program, as well as crew selection, I would leave to Iain as
Head Coach, with input from the other coaches.
My focus for the upper boats would be on racing to win, consistently. We
have a strong squad and should be aiming realistically to win the University
IVs, Fairbairn VIIIs and IVs, top the College table at the WeHoRR, and
dominate the Small Boats races, as well as giving the Lents Headship our very
best shot. The whole squad from the first VIII downwards will be involved
in racing at some level every term, and in particular I would like members of
both the first and second VIIIs to race in the Cambridge Small Boats Head
(Michaelmas) and the CUCBC Small Boats Regatta (Easter). Recognising
the benefits of involvement with other boat clubs and the University triallists,
I would like to see as many as possible of this year’s Second May VIII
participating in the CUWBC Development Squad this summer. I would
also like all coxes to consider CUWBC or CULRC Dev Squads.
This would consist of 1 compulsory session per week, most likely circuits
or weights, and a further session which can be chosen from a list of
possibilities. Other activities could be counted for this (e.g. running, football,
cycling, karate) and I would encourage members of all crews to take up
other sports complementing their rowing. In addition, there would be erg-tests, to be used for monitoring fitness rather than as a crew selection
tool. However, land training in general would be negotiable depending on the
commitment level of a crew and personal goals of the rower. I believe that
general fitness is something we can all work on that would give us an edge
in longer Head Races and more closely fought bumps. My knowledge and
experience of optimising rest and recovery as well as training, since
combining my own training for the London Marathon and the Lent Bumps
this year, will help us achieve a more professional standard of rowing.
My main intention is to make the club a respected force on the water. However,
there are administrative issues which contribute to the upward rise of
First and Third’s boats and if elected to this post I would carry out these
duties to the best of my ability, in close co-operation with the rest of the
Committee. I would assess possibilities for purchase of new boats and
equipment according to our funds, with the general philosophy that it is
better to spend sensibly now than to be overly frugal, since money is not
in itself an asset. In line with the spending plan laid out earlier, we will be
replacing the Men’s and Women’s First VIIIs in the coming year. If it were
possible to replace the sculls at the same time, which are in deteriorating
condition and weighted inappropriately for women and lighter men, then I
would be keen to do so.
In both roles I would like to be fully accountable to the Committee and to
all members of the club, and would always be open to constructive criticism.
I believe that my commitment to First and Third has been demonstrated over
my three years here and that I would be a responsible and well-organised
Captain capable of leading the Women’s Club to even dizzier heights and the
whole club to a further successful and enjoyable year on the River.