Having trained well in the Michaelmas term, having attended Boat Ball

and having been officially accepted into DUBC during Commons Dinner –

the Blessington training camp was the next Novice milestone.


The group of 28 strong descended on Blessington, full of anticipation and

enthusiasm. With us was two eights, a quad, coxless four, double, single

scull and essentially our three eager coxes. We took advantage of the

calm and flat conditions and huge space to do some long stretches of

rowing – a treat to row uninterrupted for the first time.


During the week, on the glassy parts of water we could do some

technical work such as roll up’s, strikes and rowing with squared blades.

On rotation each person could row together as an eight as well as

practice in smaller boats such as the four and the quad. Having varied

boats gave us the chance to focus on things we had learnt in the eight, in

smaller groups, and to discuss what we learnt. The improvement of our

collective intelligence and team reliance was evident from the weeks

start to its finish.


A fortunate and opportunistic double even took the chance to bathe in

Blessington’s remarkably fresh water, though – despite Mike Ryder

having to fish them out – they maintain things were quite under control.

Following the progress of our technical rowing, came the racing,

probably the favoured part of the trip. During the races, the squad

channelled its testosterone and turkey fuelled strength into powering

across the lake with surprising speed and an evidently improved team



Our final race against the DULBC’s Senior crew, ended in success as we

managed to keep the Ladies’ boat in our sight (and not the coxes sight!)

for most of the race.


The camp was a greatly positive experience and very motivational to an

eager and hopeful crew. All came together to contribute to definite

improvement and progress which marks the potential of a smashing



The squads twenty eight ego’s were very well managed by our ever

willing coxes, Julie Davis and Conor Keogh, who remain essential to our

crew. Thanks also to visiting senior cox Hailey Mulvaney, and Jeremy

Dover who also gave up their time.


Speaking for the crew, I give huge thanks to our coaches; Charlie

Cunningham, Mike Ryder, Collin Daly and Colm Butler, who embraced us

from the start and without whom the week and indeed the year would

not be possible. The crew is very grateful and feels incredibly supported

by their continued work.


Written by M.Badger.