Spring Training Camp in Rostock

On Saturday we met at the early hour of 8:30 am, and would have been on time if Lukas had sauntered a little faster towards the vans while wearing his Ipod pillow and Indian pyjama pants. We also forgot the seats, but eventually managed to leave around 9:00. After four hours of sort-of-peaceful sleeping on the bus, we arrived at the training camp in Kessin, Rostock. Not wasting any time, we (Johannes, Ben, and the Big Ones) unloaded the boats, and we had our first very cold and rainy outing on the water. That night was our first buffet in the canteen, and we discovered that the food was quite good, but that by the end of dinner nothing was left and all of Steve’s juice and dessert (he came on Monday) was divided amongst not-quite-hungry rowers. That evening we began the first of countless one hour erg sessions, but Lukas, Johannes, and Peter were lucky enough to row for only seven minutes on the erg… though they were doing a 2k test! That night was also the first of many times Lukas walked around in his shorts and sunglasses at eight in the evening looking for any hot water left but ended up taking a cold shower anyways!

The rest of the days the schedule was fairly similar: up at SIX in the morning for a jog through the local suburb, the resident of which most likely thought we were crazy, then thirty minutes of stretching by the water, where everyone was in awe of how much more flexible Anika was than them, and then a nice buffet breakfast at seven. Then we had our first outing on the water, lunch, and then later in the afternoon our second. The boys usually, for better or for worse, took out the eight, and the girls rowed the quad Lotti, sometimes taking out Forelle and the double Pollux. We had some exciting video analysis by our Hollywood directors Lars and Uli, who always looked fashionable in their yellow motorboat. Also keeping our outings exciting was the angry swan at the last turn, which, if you came too close, or even close at all, would charge out of the marsh and fly with all fifteen kilos toward your boat with the full intentions of defending its eggs and toppling your boat! We learned to row a wide circle around this point, but were always provided with countless entertainment watching the boats that didn’t know.

On Tuesday after lunch, we had the honour of taking a picture with members of the German national rowing team: Ulrike Sennewald, who was stroke in the female eight last year at the world cup, and Nina Wengert, who was on number 7. We were already impressed when we had seen them rowing before on the water, and when we met them we were also quite impressed that Ulrike Sennewald with her 1,94m is in fact taller than everybody in our team apart from Johannes ;) Afterwards was our first afternoon with the much needed free time, and most of the rowing team drove into Rostock to see the sights (though mentionably after an outing and a gruelling session on the ergs, because Lars didn’t want us to have too much energy). This was probably the guys’ highlight of the week because after walking through the harbour of Rostock, we found snacks and a theme park inside the city, where they all played the bumper cars game and crashed into each other as they had been wanting to do with the boats all week. That night we had club night, and over a drink from Mr. Lürssen we discussed the team, uniforms, and the upcoming events. Lars seemed to have a hard time with “Miscellaneous”, but he managed to remember it after a while with his other favourite word, “Dinner”. “Miscellaneous, miscellaneous, miscellaneous, miscellaneous, dinner!!!” Which is probably a good thing because otherwise we would have been eating Lunch all week!

Steve had brought a projector from Jacobs, so on Wednesday night, we all decided to watch a movie. The boys had highly recommended Inglorious Basterds, a Tarantino movie which had won an Oscar, but we quickly discovered it was more of an 80’s splatter movie. Never in our lives had we seen so many people scalped in two hours! The next day we had our last outings, and in the evening, the boys had a really great outing, and came back very proud of the progress they’d made over the training camp. We all celebrated with beers and another movie in the evening, and prepared for the last day of getting up at six am.

Friday we woke up at six again to get on the water by seven, and had a very, very cold but beautiful last row, swan included. Afterwards we attacked breakfast and then had our last session on the ergs, where all of us felt the work we’d already done during the last seven days. During lunch, we made sure to take pictures of our hands, or more specifically, our blisters, which had required around forty Euros worth of sports tape over the course of the training camp and a lot of pain! After Steve and Dragos had some fun with the chocolate bunnies provided for dessert at lunch, we all piled in the vans and headed back towards Bremen, after an exhausting but very enjoyable week, which made us yet more confident for the upcoming races in Hamburg.

For pictures, visit the gallery section of the website.

Sarah, Savannah and Lukas