Full of carefully planned and totally intentional Christmas gainz, the TSS women’s squad schlepped North - North/South jokes were made, Game of Thrones references were missed, I discovered that Middlesbrough is not Newcastle and Dexter went on an unexpected northern tour.

Our first full day was not as productive as we had hoped; we made several attempts to push off the pontoon but the gusty 70mph winds pushed us straight back in again.

Coach Kieran eventually relented and we contented ourselves with land training. We managed to boat later in the day, when cox Zoe Davies faced the “hardest coxing session of her life”, making up her own rowing sign language off the cuff and steering round unknown sharp corners in semi-darkness and strong winds, all with a small rudder and a broken coxbox. To describe the session in the words of 2015, ‘coxing on fleek’. 

Fortunately, the river and local area had avoided the Christmas flooding. Aside from the driftwood-icebergs, the river Tees was calm enough to allow the crews to improve the front end of the stroke, which was the focus of camp. As we were largely alone on a 16km stretch of river, Kieran also seized the opportunity to develop his self-stick skills. A mention must also go to Meg, who broke the Junior Women's 60 Minute ergo world record by a split of ten seconds while on camp - finishing with an average of 1:57.9. 

The hotel provided much solace and comfort from the trials of rowing in the form of a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. A contingent from TSS also saw in 2016 in Yarm, which has a new number one fan in Marlie (“I WANT TO GO TO YAAAAARM”). Many thanks to interim cox Chris from Imperial for agreeing to spend his New Year with us. 

We rounded off camp with a final 4 x 1km sprint pieces alongside a Tees men’s crew, which made for some exciting racing, a good opportunity to put into practice our new faster catches (except Rowi, who is already supersonic) and a terrifying steering experience for Jenny. The Tees men were as good sports as they were hosts, and we extend our gratitude to all at the RTWC and Tees Rowing Club for being so patient and welcoming.

Side note: Overall we ate three tubs of peanut butter, 1kg of Nutella and drank over 160 cups of tea.

A few short instagram videos from our camp can be found here:





The Women's Tideway Scullers School