Learning to row at DRC
Ed English, who took part in a Learn to Row course at DRC earlier this year, reports on his experiences:
'My general thoughts are that the way that Deben run the LTR course is very good, with a high standard of beginner boats, which enable new rowers to find their feet without the risk of capsizing.
'Working up from very stable 'tub' boats to Explore singles allowed me to continue to work on my sculling technique whilst also getting a feel for the river. The coaches were also flexible about when the 8 sessions could take place – this helped enormously, allowing people to fit in rowing around other commitments and complete the course in our own time. The small numbers of people on the course helped as it meant that more one to one coaching was available (many thanks to James, Tim and John for their patience with me), and I could consistently get in the same boat whenever I was going out on the water.
'There were some extra challenges that I had to overcome when first navigating on the Deben: wind, tide, mud and various other types of boats. This was quite a challenge whilst also learning to scull in single craft, however, long term it has made me a much better sculler/rower, and other rivers seem relatively simple to row on in comparison. For example, I have now moved to Norwich and although I have been rowing for 6 or 9 months less than many of the novices there, it is quite rare for them to get out in single sculls, so I have found myself the senior man in a double on more than one occasion, desperately trying to remember what the guys at Deben taught me. Therefore, post LTR, my number one piece of advice to anyone would be to get into a fine single as soon as possible, as it has improved my balance and confidence immensely, despite the odd impromptu swimming lesson!
'Overall, Learning to Row has given me a new lease of life and real get up and go. The only issue is that at the moment I can't seem to be on the water enough. I don't mind what boat I'm in, be it a single, or an 8, just as long as those I'm rowing with do it with a smile on their face.'