Save the Date!

Power2Inspire is thrilled to announce the first ever virtual boat race.

Oxford v Cambridge

Saturday 13th June at 3pm

Sponsored by, this inclusive unique race is being hosted by Give As You Live, and supported by Small Films and GingerMay.

For the first time ever, on Saturday 13th June 2020, at 3pm, Olympic, Paralympic and club rowers, representing teams from Oxford and Cambridge, will compete side by side in the MCH.London virtual boat race to raise funds for Power2Inspire

The race will be available to watch online at Power2Inspire’s Give as You Live page at 3:00pm BST – with an option for viewers to donate to the charity – and experience the thrill of watching these fantastic oarspeople compete in a virtual sporting event.Rowers including World champion Oliver Cook, Rio Paralympic Champion Grace Clough, Olympic Triple Gold Medallist Pete Reed, Australian para rower Renae Domaschenz and Gold Medallist Tom Ransley, will all race from their homes across the world. Garry Herbert and Martin Cross – of the BBC – will be providing commentary of the event, in what promises to be a high action, inclusive sporting occasion online.
So SAVE THE DATEsupport inclusion through sport and CHEER ON YOUR TEAM!

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Thank you Sam!

Saturday morning saw Sam Hulston, captain of the senior women’s squad, presented with a beautiful bunch of flowers by the club to mark the end of the Lockdown League. We have all been kept fit (and nearly sane) by the online circuits, yoga, erg buddying and Sam’s seemingly endless cheery leadership across the whole club, with weekly ‘Lockdown League’ races to enter on bikes, ergs or on foot, taking the place of on-water rowing events that were cancelled during April and May. 
Sam has been a great motivator and it’s also great to see familiar faces on line and keep building on fitness achieved throughout the season. What a star!

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Champs Strava Club

At the start of lockdown Champs invited members to its Strava group to log training efforts and keep us training together albeit virtually.

We were determined to keep fit even if not on the river or erging together. It’s been a great success with 28 athletes recording 62 activities including runs, ergs, rides, weights sessions and circuits. We have been able to give each other ‘kudos’ and there’s been some healthy competition on split times and bike speed! Great for comparing notes on good routes and sharing photos. The weather has helped a lot. All our experiences of lock down have been very different- some have started new jobs, some been furloughed, some dealing with the logistics of working from home combined with children and other caring responsibilities and some working long hours as front line workers but it’s been great to have Strava to keep us motivated and in touch and training together.

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Winter League 3 Race Report

Champs rowers were REALLY pleased to race again today after many cancelled events recently. We had some wins too!

The Women’s Development crew won novice category (25.37), W2 won their Masters category (23.42) fastest out of 5 Masters crews.

On the sculling from Lou and Carole won in their Masters D Double (24.42) and Carole also won convincingly (26)in Masters E single.

We are all gearing up for the spring now with erg tests and squad meetings between now and Easter and looking forward to rowing fast in some kinder weather.

Champs W1 on the start line
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Junior Sculls Head : CANCELLED

Owing to forecast conditions, the organising committee of Champs Junior Sculling Head (Sunday 15 March) have taken the decision to cancel the event. The event secretary has been in touch with all entrants to inform them of this decision.

Naturally we are sorry to have to make this decision, but the safety of competitors is obviously our first priority!

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From beginner to first boat in a year, Laura’s story.

Laura Neild, from Champs women’s first boat describes how she got into rowing:

“Before getting into rowing I had run to stay fit, but had never done any competitive sport. A friend who rowed at Champs kept saying I would like rowing, but I was pretty insistent that I just wasn’t a sporty person etc. Then my kids got into rowing and I discovered I was running up and down the tow path yelling my head off, because I found the racing  exciting. I went to watch Bumps, again with my friend Belinda, and told her I’d realised I really should give it a go, and how would I go about it? 
I signed up for the induction course at Champs the next spring and was in my first race only 3 months later. We were pretty wobbly and slow, but I thought it was really exciting. I had caught the bug.  I was having a great time with my crew – such a lovely mix of people from all different countries and a real mix of ages and aspirations. I enjoyed being part of a team, as well as going for breakfast after an outing. At the same time, I was getting fitter and gradually starting to realise that I might be a slightly more competitive than I had previously thought… 
After a year I was fast enough to move to senior squad, where I got a lot of coaching and support, which I needed since I really was still fairly new to the sport and had quite a few kinks in my technique to iron out.  Last summer, after a few more months and some incredibly helpful coaching,  the W1 crew took me to Henley Masters, which was absolutely terrifying, but wonderful. Immediately afterwards came bumps – a crazy week of racing every night, and social events. Champs did really well this year, and I was lucky enough to be in one of the boats who won their blades. I would definitely recommend going to watch the bumps on Grassy Corner to anyone wondering if the might be interested in giving rowing a try. It’s definitely the best race on the Cam for spectators. 
My first two years of rowing have made me feel part of a community, have improved my health and fitness (my cholesterol is right down!)  and have been massively enjoyable.  I have spent 1 year each in the lower boats and senior boats and have met a  variety of lovely, warm and genuine people in both. This year I’m looking forward to learning to scull in a single, without feeling like I might go swimming at any moment! And I’ve signed up as joint inductions officer, so if you fancy trying rowing at any level, just get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you. 

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Winter League 1

A great showing from Champs for Winter League 1 on a sunny and still morning.  In total we entered 5 women’s VIIIs, 2 women’s quads -composites with Cantabs and Xpress, 3 men’s VIIIs, one mixed quad, 2 women’s doubles, a mixed double and 5 single scullers as well as a men’s double. A cold but crisp day and lots of good times. The mixed ‘Double Trouble’ with Steve and Trish, were fastest in their Mas D category, the Budapest composite quad were second fastest in their category followed by Quadrangle. W1 were second fastest in Club A category and W2 won their Mas E  category. Great to see the Juniors and Development Squad doing so well and look forward to seeing great things from them in future legs of the winter league

This month we have done a special feature on one of our men’s crews the Fearnoughts who are a new crew so great to see they had a good race and we look forward to seeing great things from the men in future as we also have the Argonaughts and Dreadnoughts so will feature them in future posts.

Willian Dulyea says: “We raced Division 1, start time 09:00. We finished 6th in our category. Interesting facts:
We were the second fastest boat in Champs, W1 were the faster if you consider unadjusted times. This race was first time the entire masters crew rowed together.

Tim J, our stroke seat, had this to say:

As a new crew we had rowed few more than 10 strokes firm pressure before the race start. The build up was good and the boat was running well on 29 SPM as the starting klaxon sounded. A spilt time under 2 minutes then was encouraging but even with great motivational calls from Charlotte at cox our boat speed fell off especially as we came out of Ditton Corner into the Reach. Overall stroke rate was consistent at 29-30 but we needed more cover to keep boat speed up. The last 200m was encouraging as we built both rating and boat speed which should augur well for WL2!

Crew:Cox: Charlotte S.
S. Tim J.
7. David L.
6. Will D.
5. Robert A.
4. Graham T.
3. Johnny C.
2. Gez
B. Squint

W1 got the new year off to a flying start with a swift first leg of the Winter League. The crew had been training hard over the earlier winter months and were keen to put all that training into practice. So, despite the bitterly cold morning, the crew dug in early on to deliver a set of punchy corners, having been set up with some beautiful lines by their cox Gemma. With the corners done, the crew settled into length on ‘the Reach’, before committing to a gruelling flying finish. The crew delivered an admirable time of 11:51.5, outperforming the Nine crews surrounding them and making them second in their Club A category, only 27.4 seconds behind the Cantabs second boat. Happy with their time, but never satisfied, the crew are looking forward to getting back into training ready for Winter League 2. 

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Christmas Head Race 2019

Saturday 7th December 2019, Champs saw another successful day of racing. At Scullers Head on the Thames Carole Mills won the masters E category in her single achieving her first win on The Thames at 24.48.

In Cambridge, Champs made the most of the opportunity to race and dress-up at the same time. We saw 5 women’s 8s racing and some good results. The Juniors were second in the novice category at 8.42 and W1 second in the Club category at 7.54 dressed as Vikings with shields and a dragon made from an old wellie.

Delighted to see Denise Williams racing again after an injury last year and she and Trish Reed, our captain won their Mas F race in a double in 8.17 adjusted time. 

The men’s crews included our ‘young’ Fearnoughts who were second in their championship catagory at 7.20 dressed as Hipster Lumberjacks followed by the elf Argonaughts at 7.49 adjusted time and the Dreadnoughts who looked very cool as the Blues Brothers with a nun Sister Lynn in the coxing seat (8.08 adjusted time).

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Our very own Champion of the Thames!

Carole Mills finishes the year with a fantastic win at the Scullers Head. Winning Womens Masters E category with a time of 24:48.20. Well done Carole! We are so proud of you.

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Sculling school novices

Sculling school takes places most weekends on a Saturday or Sunday. Will Kocur talks about his experience learning to scull with Champs in a double with Rowan Sugden:

We both had experience with sweep rowing before joining the sculling school at Champs, but it was the first time we’d ever sculled. Since we started, we’ve really enjoyed sculling with the club and being part of its fun and supportive community.  The school is informal, but supported by a team of very friendly and committed coaches who put in a lot of time to make sure everyone receives individual feedback throughout outings. We’ve been rowing together in a double for just under two months and are excited to start racing in the next few. Hopefully we can match some of the success of Champs’ experienced scullers (or failing that, just not fall in)!”

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