A crew story – City of Bristol’s womens rowing eight

10 weeks to go until Women’s Henley

With Women’s Head of the River Race having taken place only a few weeks ago, it doesn’t look like a lot of time is left before possibly the main race of the season.  The only race for many that really counts.

I joined City of Bristol Rowing Club four years ago after moving to the UK from Italy; at that time if somebody told me: “Diego, one day you will cox a Women’s crew at Henley“, I would have laughed. Fast forward four years on and I’m in full preparation for my fourth Henley campaign.
That is the beauty of British rowing: everybody can compete at major events alongside Olympians past and future.  Cheesy, I know, but true.

In these last four years, I have seen the organisation of Women’s Henley improve significantly, and I hope, one day, to see those river banks filled with as many people as you normally encounter during the week of Henley Royal Regatta.   Undoubtedly it remains one of the most prestigious races in the Women’s racing calendar, if not the most prestigious one – and Bristol has always taken it very seriously.

In our last three attempts we didn’t get the results that we wanted, well, that we hoped.  So this year we are trying everything in order to go as far as possible in the competition.
This is the reason why I contacted Rowperfect UK.

I am myself a bit of a gadget geek.  In my spare time I like to run and I bought one of those accelerometer foot pods so I can be in constant control of my run, including my speed, distance (km or miles), time, lap time… I like to know everything because that is the only way I can compare my session with past sessions thus being able to monitor my progress.

One day I thought: “I want to be able to do the same when I’m in the boat, I want to have all those objective performance measures at my disposal”.
As a cox I’ve always used NK cox boxes which are great but limited in the feedback they provide.  But then I remembered testing a couple of years ago a new type of cox box: a Coxmate, and I recalled that there was a version that could measure speed and distance with a GPS.

I contacted Rowperfect and I was pleasantly surprised with their friendliness and availability: in next to no time I received a Coxmate SCT with GPS [Editors note: Diego received this as a demonstration product with our agreement to keep it until HWR].
It was very straightforward to mount it on the boat and it’s very easy to use it. I had it now for a week and I’m just starting to realise how valuable it will be in these last 10 weeks.

So I’ve decided to write a short series of posts on our experience with the Coxmate SCT and on the City of Bristol Rowing Club Women’s Squad campaign to Henley.
Hopefully to a very successful Henley!

Diego Colantoni
City of Bristol Women’s Squad – Cox

Next: they go on camp.

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