In mid September there will be a UCD sports expo. This gives all students the opportunity to sign up to any sports club within the college. Of course, UCDLBC will be there, to answer any questions you may have and to give you the chance to become a member.Rowing is a great sport to make friends for life and to get fit. Do not be concerned about your current fitness or strength level! If you're not fit, we can make you fit. If you're not strong, we can make you strong.
Our first objective is to familiarise everyone with the absolute basics of rowing and create a team bond. Generally, training will not only consist of rowing on the river. There are many gym sessions involved, including circuits, indoor rowing and some light runs. Apart from training, we do some pretty crazy team bonding sessions, which I am sure you will all enjoy.
Boat Ball is one of the first major events of the year. This year we decided to have it in the middle of October and we hope to see as many of our new recruits as possible. The Ball tends to be a great ice breaker for our new rowers that our just starting out to mix with the more experienced ones. It is a great excuse to get dressed up and have a nice meal, many rowers are unrecognisable out of their Lycra.
Autumn/Winter is Head Races time. These races tend to be that bit longer. Rather than testing the crews mental strength, that is seriously tested when you are against other crews of the same standard. Head races test your fitness and your general strength as you race only against the clock. The fastest boat in each category is announced the evening of the event. Heads are a great way to measure the progress you have made throughout the cold winter months.
Dublin Head, held in February, is a great chance to show your friends and family what it is you do at the weekends. The course runs along the Liffey, through the City Centre, starting at O'Connell Bridge and running underneath the Ha'penny bridge, past the Four Courts and Heuston Station, right up to the weir.
All these Head Races are listed on the calendar with their lengths. Try not to cry.
The Inter Varsity Competitions against Trinity are often the first experience of side-by side racing for Novices. It is generally held the St.Patrick's Day weekend. The traditional course runs from O'Connell Bridge to the Guinness Brewery, passing through the centre of the city. This is a very exciting event to be a part of. The banks of the river are lined with UCD and Trinity supporters for the full 2.2 kilometre stretch. This is a chance to represent your University and carry on the tradition of those who rowed for the Boat Club before you.
The Novice Women race for the Sally Moorehead trophy, and the Seniors for the Corcoran Cup, while the Men Race for the Dan Quinn shield and the Gannon cup, respectively.
Unlike the Head season, the regatta season consists of short races (usually between 1500 and 2000 metres), where up to 7 boats race side by side. This gives rowers a great opportunity to travel around Ireland and compete against boats of a similar standard. The exciting thing is that you could be in Belfast one weekend and Cork the next.
Another important event for UCD Boat Club is the University Championships, where the results of different events are translated into points, and whichever University accumulates the most points is the overall winner. There are also trophies for the best performing men's and women's clubs in Eights. Last year UCD won both The Bank of Ireland and The Wiley Cup, as a result of winning the most Men's and Women's eights.
As racing season gets more competitive, the weather begins to improve and our exams come to an end, we tend to spend a lot more time on the water. We begin to spend most of our time on the water and happily leave those long erg session days in the gym behind us.
The Dublin Club's host Metro Regatta at Blessington Lake, with clubs from all over the country attending to strike a little fear before the final run towards National Champs in mid July.
There is a tradition in the Ladies Boat Club of attending international events. This allows us to keep up racing fitness when there is a lull in the Irish calendar, to experience a change of scenery and to race against unknown competitors outside of the Irish field.
Reading: A regatta run over the course of two days, this event is used by many international crews as a warm up to Henley Women's Regatta, as well as local crews getting in some good summer racing. The Saturday's racing takes place over 1500m, while Sunday's course is reduced to 1000m. It is a great event which our novices seem to make a habit of attending.
Henley Women's Regatta : Henley-on-Thames, a little town in southern England, is known for being the centre of rowing, at least for a few weeks in the summer. For the past 23 years Henley Women's Regatta has been held there, as a counterpart to the Royal Regatta in the following weeks. While HWR has yet to reach the same prominence as HRR, the regatta is growing and has offered UCD crews a chance to race crews for the UK and the US on the prestigious Henley stretch. UCD crews have been successful here in the past, with crews winning the Intermediate, Senior and Elite Eights in consecutive years. As a result of this a rule was brought in that overseas crews must race at least at Senior level.
Henley Royal Regatta: In early July, the town plays host to Henley Royal Regatta, which for many rowers is the pinnacle of the rowing year. Crews come from all over the worls to race, with men's events for juniors to novices, students to Olympians. There are three events for women: Eights, Singles and Lightweight Quads. Due to the nature of the event, and the limited range of events for women, crews who qualify for these events are generally of a national standard, if not the national team. UCD Ladies have never yet qualified for this regatta, so let's amke that something for every member of the club to aim for. The men's side of the club regularly send crews over to compete, and have had two wins, the Ladies plate in 1973 and the Prince Albert (student fours) in 2010.
National Champs takes place every year in July. This is the event that everyone wants to win. All Irish clubs will put out their top boats in an effort to win the Irish Championship. It is the one event where you are guaranteed to meet all possible domestic opposition. This is our chance to prove that we are one of the top clubs in the country.
At the 2014 Championships UCD managed to win a total of 6 All Ireland titles. The UCD ladies won the Intermediate 8+ and the men won the novice 8+, Club 8+, club 4+, senior 2- and the intermediate scull.
Join us at UCDLBC and you could be lucky enough to stand on the podium at the National Rowing Championships of Ireland