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For non-rowers watching this year’s Boat Race, I imagine it’s all a bit confusing, with talk of ejector crabs, blades, and straying into other crews’ water, so thought I’d do my best to explain. The first thing to understand is that to get the fastest bit of water, both crews try their damnedest to get […]

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It’s the time of year that makes it all worthwhile. All those cold outings with frozen fingers and icy blades. The endless ergs. The floods and clean-ups and more floods and more clean-ups. The biting wind. The dark mornings. The thought that there are so many warmer things you could be doing. And then suddenly […]

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Much has been said about how it came to pass that the Monmouth RC men’s Vet C crew came to win the Vets’ Head this year. Some have gone so far as to suggest that their victory might not have been solely the result of their innate strength and talent, but was attributable to an […]

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From sit-up to slip-up

So, then. March turned out to be the month when the Sit Up Challenge 2014 really became a proper challenge. Until then I’d been a bit impatient, longing for it to be a bit more, well, challenging. And now it is. The month started well and I was still complacent… until about a week in […]

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Time was that Girl on the River was quite the Girl about Town. More than a decade of living and working in our fair capital city meant that I knew the tube map like the back of my hand and could scowl at strangers with the best of them. 11 years have passed since I […]

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Some guys buy a sports car. Others take a lover. Quite a lot get into triathlon. Most content themselves with drinking for Britain. When it came to his own midlife crisis, though, none of those was quite exciting enough for my husband. After all, he’d survived 21 years of marriage to me – he’d proved […]

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The Vesta Vets’ Head

The smell of Deep Heat is filling the air, and up and down the country men and women of a certain age are popping ibuprofen like it’s going out of style. This can mean only one thing. It’s time for the Vesta Vets’ Head – rowed on the Tideway in London. A bit like the […]

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Most people, when faced with a lifetime in a wheelchair and a dependence on intravenous feeding, would resign themselves to a life of relative inactivity. They certainly wouldn’t contemplate a sport as demanding as rowing. Claire Connon, however, is not most people. Far from bowing out of sport, and despite suffering from what she describes […]

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The best sports bras for rowing

Boobs! Breasts! Knockers! Higgly jigglies! Oh, for heavens’ sake! You there, sniggering at the back. See me at the end. Seriously, though, why is everyone so shy about talking about sports bras? When I sent an email on the subject to my female clubmates – not normally known for being the quiet, retiring types – […]

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The rollercoaster that is rowing

Ah, what a difference a day makes. On Saturday I was the world’s worst rower. Really, I was. We had an outing where every stroke was an effort, my technique was all over the place and the balance was dreadful. I seriously wondered if I should just give up rowing altogether. The only thing that […]

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