“Self-belief is probably the most crucial factor in sporting success. The bodies are roughly equal, the training is similar, the techniques can be copied, what separates the achievers is nothing as tangible as split times or kilograms. It’s the iron in the mind, not in the supplements, that wins medals.”
– Sir Steve Redgrave
After months of hard training, racing is a chance to put your skills to the test; to put it all on the line, and push yourself harder than you thought possible. There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush at that moment when you’re sitting on the line and hear the starter shout, “Attention, GO.” Win or lose, it’s the thrill of competing, of giving your all, that makes it great.
At the races, there is a common bond and respect among competitors, as in many ways we are all a part of the same club. It’s the club of people who week after week put in hours of training, after work and on weekends, who feel the burn of the lactic acid, and then come back for more out of a pure love of the sport.
We encourage members interested in racing to train a minimum of three times a week, more if feasible. Rowing requires both technical accuracy and physical fitness. With four clubs in Southampton alone, it’s essential to train hard in order to be competitive. We provide a comprehensive training plan to aid in the development of rowers.
Racing is key to improving your overall rowing technique. By racing, you learn about your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and a crew. After a race, you can analyse the areas that could be even better, and go back to practise with a greater insight and focus. This process will only make you a better rower. There are races for all ability levels; we encourage new members to race. Remember, every rower at some point had their first race!
The race seasons begins with head races (5k time trials) in March and April. These races provide the foundation for racing for the remainder of the season. May–September is regatta season, with head-to-head competition on a 2k course. In general, races are held once a week, usually on Saturdays (sometimes Sunday). Once crews are formed, members decide which races they will enter together. In addition to racing in a four, some members also challenge themselves by competing in a pair, double, or single. A crowd favourite, some regattas close by the popular mixed fours race. When racing, all competitors must wear their club colours. Racing vests and all-in-ones are available to purchase.
The racing day itself is a fun day of competition, of cheering on your fellow rowers, and being a part of the local rowing community. There’s always plenty of food and drink for sale, including homemade cakes. We welcome family members and friends of rowers to come along and support the team.