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Club money by just out of interest - Tue 12th Apr 2005, 11:23pm
Is it the whole comittee who decide what the moeny for the year's going to be spent on, or the overall captain/both captains?
Only because it occurs to me we are quite in need of some new boathouse equipment, ergs [of which 3 of which have some kind of fault/weirdness, four of which are pretty unusable] & sliders? And how about another [even secdon hand] scull [maybe one designed for slightly lighter people :)?] or just magpie being fixed. Oh, and some clams. They're approximately £2 each.. :)
And, further to a conversation I was having the other day, what about some women's croker blades? Also, wouldn't it be worth saving our money and investing in new men's/women's 8s [especially with the demise of bp3] rather than novice shells?
Hope this doesn't start too much of a fight, it is largely out of curiosity, just wondering what the thinking is behind our latest boat buying spree?
by Dan - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 8:20am
1) Decision making: The whole committee has some say over what equipment is purchased, as do all members of the club and the steering committee. More weight is typically given to the thoughts of the mens/womens captain, boatman and senior treasurer. However ultimately the decision rests with the overall captain.

2) Equipment: I agree the current ergs are not in a good state. I investigated the possibility of trading the old model Bs in. They are collectively worth about £150 i think. A new erg is worth £1000 therefore this is not a trivial expense. I think it would be much more economical to repair the model Cs. I am not convinced we really need more than 4 ergs. If people actually cleaned and maintained the ergs a bit better, didn't stand on or pick them up by the runners etc I think they would last longer.

The issue of clams (and spanners!) basically comes down to crapness on the part of the students. Last year there were 2 complete sets of clams (ie 16). There now appear to be about 10. You can ask Iain where the rest are. Personally I am in favour of taxing all current students for the cost of these sorts of things but I dont think anyone else agrees.

3) Boats: Both Denys and BP1 are in very good shape at the moment. Most of what people complain about with these boats is due to fittings rather than the hulls themselves. These Iain fixes fairly regularly.

Typically the mens squad can put out 1 or 2 crews of a sufficient standard to warrant a boat like BP1/BP2 and the women 1. Where as we tend to get 4 or more mens novice type crews and 1 or 2 womens (maybe 3 or 4 this year?). Therefore it was felt that (particularly with the demise of BP3, Mary Tudor and effectively BP5) the lower end of the boat fleet needed updating more.

The idea of the coastal IV is to aid both novice and senior tubbing. It is much easier to get a tub or IV out than an VIII. However our tubs are nearly useless as a tool for training people to row in a shell. The coastal IV is a closer approximation to an VIII set up and therefore should aid basic technical development in a stable environment. Theres a moderately epic discussion of this subject somewhere on this website.

The idea of new womens blades was not raised last year so I have not thought about this. Its not a ridiculous suggestion. However a set of blades is worth approximately £2500 so it would need to be justified. I doubt whether we could buy a set before next year though.

If you want to discuss this sort of thing then bring it up at the AGM.
by Martin - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 8:30am
It sounds much more democratic than it used to be. In my day I got Kingsbury to buy two new ergs without telling anybody so it would be nice surprise :-)
by RTT - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 8:33am
Martin said: It sounds much more democratic than it used to be. In my day I got Kingsbury to buy two new ergs without telling anybody so it would be nice surprise :-)
And in my day we bought the sliders (and quad riggers) ourselves because Kingsbury wouldn't pay for them....
by jpd - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 9:40am
Dan said: Both Denys and BP1 are in very good shape at the moment. Most of what people complain about with these boats is due to fittings rather than the hulls themselves. These Iain fixes fairly regularly.
Agreed. New boats would go maybe a second faster than the old ones over the head course. New blades would make an even smaller difference.

The main way to go faster is to row better. There are two primary things to do this: attitude, which is free, and good consistent coaching, which costs money. The women had both of these last term, with an "old" boat, and went very quickly last term. The men had good but fragmented coaching and weren't fast enough to get the headship, but were still faster than Downing and Emma in new Fillipis.
by Amelia - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 9:55am
I agree some new ergs would be nice, to replace the model B's which noone ever uses and simply take up space in the boathouse. A couple of times this holiday all 4 ergs have been in use when I've gone down to train, and they must surely be in greater demand during term time?

Not sure about whether we need new women's blades though, the lightweight ones we've got are fine I think.
by Dubya - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 9:57am
jpd said: The main way to go faster is to row better.
This is the meat of the matter, as long as we are defining 'row better' to include 'pull harder'!
by Dubya - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 9:59am
RTT said: And in my day we bought the sliders (and quad riggers) ourselves because Kingsbury wouldn't pay for them....
We should really have got the quad riggers made up for one of the real coxed fours, not for Rab. What a waste!
by jpd - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 10:05am
Dubya said: This is the meat of the matter, as long as we are defining 'row better' to include 'pull harder'!
Yes - since pulling harder can make the boat go faster, which is my definition of rowing better.
by Martin - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 10:32am
Amelia said: Not sure about whether we need new women's blades though, the lightweight ones we've got are fine I think.
This reminds me... I think the current set were the other thing bought in 2000. If I remember correctly after much deliberation Cass decided that normal ultralights would be a better buy than crokers. Which makes them about the same age as the men's croker set (which in my opinion are really heavy and naff).

I didn't really remember about the sliders or quad riggers. We certainly didn't have much cash because we'd only just paid for BP1.
by jpd - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 10:39am
Martin said: This reminds me... I think the current set were the other thing bought in 2000. If I remember correctly after much deliberation Cass decided that normal ultralights would be a better buy than crokers. Which makes them about the same age as the men's croker set (which in my opinion are really heavy and naff).
C2 ultralight smoothies every time IMO. I really like the feel of their new sleeves - precise yet light to feather/square, although it's easy to over-feather/square at first when you're used to the old clunky C2s or Crokers...
by Simon - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 11:12am
jpd said: C2 ultralight smoothies every time IMO.
Can't stand plastic handles though - need to make sure they come with wooden handles which can be replaced when they've been sanded down to nothing.
Or can we try these?
by Amelia - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 11:29am
I agree with Simon about handles. Plastic ones shred my hands to pieces and wooden ones don't make your hands sweaty. Plus they can be sanded down to make them smooth or roughened up, depending on what you prefer.

I would like the manky shoes in Denys and Sirens replaced though; they're designed for people with titchy feet (not me) and are more often than not falling to bits, and usually soaking wet (perhaps due to backsplash - Pia? ;-) ). Urgh.
by Tom C - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 12:28pm
We really need a new mirror and scales for the boathouse, I can't believe how long we've been without.

Also I think the weights room should have equipment to allow chin-ups, squats and bench pressing, that wouldn't be expensive.
by Amelia - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 12:54pm
Tom C said: We really need a new mirror and scales for the boathouse.
You can always 'weigh' yourself on the lats machine - Cath and I tried that the other day. I'm *sure* it overweighs though... ;-)
by Dubya - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 1:13pm
Amelia said: You can always 'weigh' yourself on the lats machine - Cath and I tried that the other day. I'm *sure* it overweighs though... ;-)
I was sure it underweighs... uh-oh.
by Dubya - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 1:17pm
Tom C said: We really need a new mirror and scales for the boathouse, I can't believe how long we've been without.

Also I think the weights room should have equipment to allow chin-ups, squats and bench pressing, that wouldn't be expensive.
Mirrors are very cheap. If you were prepared to make your own frame, there's a guy over by Newmarket road that can cut mirrors to any size requirement very cheaply (a suitable sized piece of glass would be only about 20 quid).

I'm not sure the expenditure on a rack for squats and bench press is worth the money when there is so much else to spend on. Chin-ups yes there should be a bar somewhere in the boathouse. Maybe not even in the weights room - could Iain put something up downstairs? Maybe two parallel bars, a couple meters apart, and an infinite supply of white bread?
by Ex-Captain - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 1:32pm
Pretty reasonable Parr Coefficient for this discussion!
by Richard - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 1:43pm
Dubya said: Mirrors are very cheap. If you were prepared to make your own frame, there's a guy over by Newmarket road that can cut mirrors to any size requirement very cheaply (a suitable sized piece of glass would be only about 20 quid).
Is the existing frame still ok to be used for this?
by mjb - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 2:08pm
Dubya said: Maybe two parallel bars, a couple meters apart, and an infinite supply of white bread?
With a square cross-section ?
by dw229 - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 10:46pm
Amelia said: I agree with Simon about handles. Plastic ones shred my hands to pieces and wooden ones don't make your hands sweaty. Plus they can be sanded down to make them smooth or roughened up, depending on what you prefer.

I would like the manky shoes in Denys and Sirens replaced though; they're designed for people with titchy feet (not me) and are more often than not falling to bits, and usually soaking wet (perhaps due to backsplash - Pia? ;-) ). Urgh.
No wayyy. Plastic handles are infinitely preferable to wooden ones as they are very grippy and don't smooth off and require resanding every week. A smooth wooden handle (90% of the time) is 10x worse for manking up your hands and giving you tendinitis as you struggle to get any grip.
by Tom C - Wed 13th Apr 2005, 11:05pm
They do get slippy when wet, but foam crokers are so much better than the ultralights. And i like the weight, feels nice and meaty.
by Simon - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 8:10am
Tom C said: They do get slippy when wet, but foam crokers are so much better than the ultralights.
Yeah, but from a finance point of view, the foam isn't great value for money - they haven't lasted as long as wood (which (if using the adjustable handles), can be passed on to the ladies/smaller people once the grip has been sanded to a smaller size) or plastic.
by mjb - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 9:15am
dw229 said: No wayyy. Plastic handles are infinitely preferable to wooden ones as they are very grippy and don't smooth off and require resanding every week. A smooth wooden handle (90% of the time) is 10x worse for manking up your hands and giving you tendinitis as you struggle to get any grip.
I always thought that you shouldn't be gripping, but shoould just hoook yoour ooutside hand aroound the handle ... etc. ?

I reckon Wood handles are better, although if, like me, the palms of your hands are a close approximation to sandpaper, then they do have a tendency to get too smooth rather quickly during the outing.
Plastic handles just give me blisters.

And I much prefer the feel of the ultralights to the Cro(a)kers, too.

Or does all this just mean I'm a natural second VIII rower ?
by rjn - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 9:25am
plastic handles are much, much, much worse for blisters. last summer i had about 1 week off between rowing for law school, and rowing for Reading. Reading have plastic handles, my hands were much worse than they have EVER been. Plus - when the blisters form, then burst in an outing, you find that your hand, plus puss etc is stuck to the stupid plastic handle and you have the slowly try and de-tatch hand. Horrible.
by RTT - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 9:36am
To be fair, it mainly depends on what you've used most recently. Spend a year with foam handles and wood will give you blisters. Same in reverse. I agree that the foam handles used to perish too quickly, but Croker have changed the way they seal them. I don't think the new type have been around long enough to see how much has changed, but having seen both kinds I suspect they'll last quite a bit longer. They now actually fuse the plastic together at the join (presumably with some solvent) so there is no longer a gap that you can catch and then peel.

Personally I think the foam handles are by far the best, but then maybe that's because I don't row in a New Zealand microclimate? I also prefer ultralight blades instead of superlight (Croker make both, the latter are what we have and are heavier).

Having said all that, the main thing to choose is the spoon style. Each one gives a very different feeling at the front end. I really dislike the ridged ones we have (2nd VIII downwards). Not really sure on normal smoothies vs. vortex - haven't used the latter enough. Smoothies make the front so much more fluid and natural.

JPD also has a good point re. collars. The Croker ones fare badly in UV light and thus become damaged quickly. I haven't much experience with the C2 ones but have heard from various sources that they are much better.
by is this the longest thread of 2004/5? - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 10:49am
I totally agree with RTT. I hated the plastic handles when I first used them but having done a term with them last Mays I now prefer them and by the end of term I wasn't getting any blisters even in the New Zealand microclimate. I also think the smoothies spoon shape to be better.

However, I do prefer the much lighter weight of the 2nd VIII ultralights unless it's windy or rough. If it is fair weather, I cannot see any (rowing) advantage to heavier blades.
by jmg - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 10:55am
RTT said: I also prefer ultralight blades instead of superlight (Croker make both, the latter are what we have and are heavier).
The decision to buy the heavier Crokers was made after talking to George Sims about the durability of the ultralight blades, and particularly their resilience to knocks and bumps. I'd be interested to know how they have compared to the C2 ultralights in this regard. I think at the time it made about 3kg difference to the weight of the complete set.

Clearly it's a matter of personal preference, but I like foam and plastic handles over wooden.
by Rupert - Thu 14th Apr 2005, 1:14pm
I'm going to disagree with all of you! I think the best grips are the composite ones like Dreher produce, where you get a smoother polished carbon grip for your outside hand and on the inboard, there's a grip much like you have for tennis rackets - i think it's called synthetic suede or something. It takes into account the different grips required by each hand and i've never got blisters from using them.

I don't know why no-one in Cambridge seems to use them, they're great!

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