Posted December 23, 2017 by Hillingdon Rowing
HOAC shuts down for two weeks over Christmas which we react to with ever increasing ingenuity to get some water training in. This year the alternative to our home venue involved two consecutive days of rowing at Dorney Reach. The first session was the day after my works’ humungous Christmas Party in Battersea Park. Knowing I has a ferocious bout of rowing the next day kept me wary of drinking too much alcohol. This meant I spent the last couple of hours sober whilst all my workmates were completely off their faces. Smug feelings of satisfaction at my self-control didn’t last long in the boat at Dorney. I soon realised I had actually drunk enough to have an effect. For anyone who hasn’t experienced this it feels like your muscles have stiffened up and you have to will them to function. And they don’t function very well. If you could row uphill it would feel like this.
But the Dorney rows were good fun and exhilarating, especially as we had some of the GB squad there to keep us company. But must admit the best part was the baked camembert and beers in the pub afterwards (yes, I know I’ve just been banging on about not mixing rowing and alcohol but it was Christmas so we were obliged. We had no choice).
The rowing before Christmas was nicely rounded off by a good HRC showing at Goring Gap’s Santa Row. We impressed our hosts with our exuberant interpretations of the wear festive dress rule. We also put in a good showing in the event itself, which involved rowing a heavy coxed four up and down a course doing various actions, such as spinning the boat twice, backing down and picking up a yule log lobbed in front of your boat and placing it on the bows. Mulled wine was consumed with the same determination, so much that HRC members became a mainstay of the carol singing. By that time it was pouring with rain, which turned the song sheets into illegible papier mache and meant we all had to jam together under a small garden marquee. Yo ho ho.