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How the 20/21 Rowing Season was Saved

With a new season just around the corner, we thought we would restart our blog and fill it and the forum with tips, training advice and other general rowing chat to give you something to look at through winter training. Where better to start than a recap of the 2020/21 season?


Key Events in 2020/21

Despite the impact of Covid-19, last season was still able to play host to a lot of exciting rowing events, albeit mostly towards the end of the season and in many cases behind closed doors. See a list of our favourite events below.


Rowing From Home

The start of the 2020/21 season was not the most exciting for rower's in the UK. After the cancellation of all summer racing in the previous year, many rowers were likely in two minds as to whether or not training alone away from clubs was going to worth the potentially unrewarded effort.

Thankfully, many of you did train through and we got to witness the creation of home and garage gyms all over the country!


The First RP3 Virtual Racing

With everyone cooped up indoors for the winter months and the usual head races cancelled, we decided to try and run a virtual winter racing league using new and, at the time, largely untested RP3 Racing software.

The league was successful with RP3 owners from all over the UK and abroad getting involved! It proved a great distraction from boring solo winter miles and is something we would love to run again so keep your eyes peeled for something similar this season!

If you already have an RP3, all you need to is an android monitor (we can supply these) and an internet connection to get involved!


The Long-Awaited Return of UK Regattas

After restrictions eased, events which we'd all missed the previous season were allowed to run again. Sadly, all of the Dorney favourites were run "behind closed doors" meaning no spectators (or exhibitor stalls!) but as this enabled the events to run and do so safely, we can't complain too much.

National Schools Regatta

Nat Schools saw a lot of extremely close racing, the boys side saw Eton win in the Ch8+, followed by KCS and St Paul's in a final which saw RP3 representation in 7/8 of the schools racing. The Girl's Ch8+ saw a win for LEH, also users of RP3s.

Henley Women's Regatta

Henley Women's Regatta was our first (and only) opportunity to run an RP3 stand and we also had the pleasure of supplying new RP3 Model T machines for the competitor warm up tent. It was great to see so many rowers competing and to get feedback on the machines in the warm up area! We will definitely be returning next season.

The racing saw strong performances from UL, Headington School and Tideway Scullers - all clubs with RP3s.

Henley Royal Regatta

August saw Henley Royal Regatta return later than usual but not without all of the thrills of a normal HRR. The competition saw the inclusion of 3 new women's 8+ events and competitors was that they had to quickly familiarise themselves with the opposite side of the bank. Sadly no boat tents meant no warm up area for RP3 but we hope to be there for HRR 2022.

Henley again saw Eton better St Pauls in the Princess Elizabeth while Headington continued their domination from HWR of Junior Women's 8s. At University level, Brookes beat UL in the Women's event (the island) while Nereus from the Netherlands won the Temple. At club level, Thames RC were dominant once more and Brookes and Leander took the titles in most of the remaining events.


The Olympic Regatta

2021 saw the Tokyo Olympic games go ahead after a year's delay and uncertain run up resulting in a spectator free event. This however didn't remove any of the thrills for the majority of the British Public who were still able to enjoy the events on the TV.

The regatta was, at first glance, a disappointing one for team GB who claimed just two medals across all events. However, team GB had taken a relatively young squad and achieved more 4th place finishes than any other country. Baring in mind that other countries had different rules for water training over the course of the pandemic and the fact that GB suffered many retirements from athletes in the years preceding the Olympics, the future still looks bright.

As far as RP3 rowing is concerned, the Tokyo regatta was an incredible success - see below for the last day of racing. Countries who train on RP3s performed exceedingly well in what were, on the whole, tough conditions. Rowing well was incredibly important and races saw a number of "crabs" caught - highly unusual on the international stage. The results perhaps demonstrate the benefits of indoor rowing (something everyone has done a lot of during the pandemic) on an RP3.


Looking ahead to 2021/22

While we enjoyed the summer racing on show at the end of last season, we look forward to what the 2021/22 season will have to offer provided the vaccination programme can keep Covid at bay!

Here's a list of what we are most excited about:

  • Club training back to "normal"

  • Head races returning

  • More RP3 e-Races!

  • Exhibiting RP3 at UK Summer Regattas

Is their anything in particular you enjoyed about last season or are looking forward to seeing next year? Get in touch and let us know - we'd love to hear what you think!

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