We’re back from Wimbleball!

Posted April 15, 2017 by Hillingdon Rowing

If some of we HRC rowers are looking a tad more tanned, bronzed and damn healthy than normal it’s because 14 of us spent 7th-10th April under blazing Somerset skies at the annual Wimbleball training camp.

It was so hot and sunny that the 2017 Wimbleballers had a daily dilemma of whether to cover up in tracky bottoms and long-sleeved tops and slowly poach out on the water or wear shorts & tee shirt and risk exposed flesh frying. A mental battle which was enough to take our minds off the utterly atrocious weather we’ve had to suffer at previous training camps (2015 was truly dreadful).

2017 was the first (there have been three others) where we were Kym Case-less, which meant we had to buy all the food and cook it, along with towing the boats down the motorways of the South West there and back. Matthias did the provisioning (with some help from me through raiding the Watford Tesco’s pizza cabinet) and his Volkswagen estate managed (just about – it was a pretty close thing) to wheeze its way up the hills and burn its brake pads on the way down. The road authorities also added to the joy of the journey by setting up a sort of fenced in chicane at some roadworks at a roundabout after Taunton, which tried, and very nearly manged to burst, Matthias’s patience. Rob Hale and Tom Werner jumped in to replace Kym’s mastery of the kitchen to keep us all completely over-fed (which we now expect and are used to). We had so much food the traditional last evening pub meal had to replaced by force feeding Wimbleballers the excess/leftovers. And as if all this wasn’t enough, Simon Miller supplied a ton of bagels and rye bread to sit nicely on each the gut-full of pasta.

Tom Werner also provided the coaching, along with Steve and Andrea of Wimbleball Rowing Club, which was fantastic of them and meant we all had a decent slice of coaching each when out on the water. Our new eight was the boat star of the show, well worth the complete pain in the behind that was putting the ruddy thing together. We did almost manage to write off one of the doubles with it by broadsiding it (the eight does build up quite an impressive ramming speed when it wants to!).

It’s a huge shame not more of us could have attended, but those of us who were there had a stupendous time and are a bit more prepared for the 2017 regatta season, which for us kicks off on Sunday 23rd April at Lea Spring.

Thanks in particular for Rob Hale for organising the whole thing, Matthias Koepp, Tom Werner & Rob Hale again for their initiative and input in running it and also to Steve and Andrea for their coaching. But ultimately, to everyone who went and made it an excellent, enjoyable success!