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Drew Taylor

Club: CUBC

Height: 197cm

School: Saint Mark’s School of Texas

International rowing record: Silver at Junior Worlds in the men’s 8+ (2016 Rotterdam)

Year you first started rowing: 2012

How have you coped this year?

Getting away from the strain of rowing and school with the guys that I live with has been the best coping mechanism I could’ve asked for. Messing around while cooking and decompressing after practice has been such a great way to kill time. Also calling friends from home is huge too.

Could you build a strong team culture while training virtually?

Yes. Being able to go on runs with people and making the most of the water sessions built a great team culture. It’s hard not to get close to a group of guys going through this.

Were the isolated ergs better or worse than expected?

Honestly, it was better than I expected. My house got into a good groove of training together. The ergs were a surprisingly great way to break up the day.

What was your lockdown training set up?

We had a little backyard that we set our ergs up in and did all our training in. We looked at our neighbour’s fence.

“Being able to go on runs with people and making the most of the water sessions built a great team culture. It’s hard not to get close to a group of guys going through this.”

How do you cope with race day nerves?

Getting a sense of perspective and doing good breathing exercises is the best way for me to calm down.

The biggest challenge?

The entire team not getting to be back on the water was a huge blow. It’s very energizing to see the guys on the team, even if they’re not in the same boat as you.

The toughest session?

60’ free rate.

The best day, so far?

Any day that the boys can get their shirts off on the water.

Only the Blue Boat races on the 4th April 2021: What’s it like splitting the squad?

Absolutely brutal. I think being able to get on the water would immensely help out anyone on the squad. It’s just such a necessary switch up. It’s a great reminder for us who are lucky to be on the water to use every session optimally.

Is it strange to train without the reserve eight?

Yes, it’s great to have two boats that are challenging each other.

How did it feel getting back on the water?

It felt amazing. Just to have a different focus and some things to look at was such a great switch up from lockdown erging.

Why do you want to beat Oxford?

A win against Oxford means that we navigated this lockdown, and all of the emotional and physical challenges that came with it, better than them. It would be a testament to the domination we have over our minds and bodies. Also being a part of rivalries is always fun. And this is one of the oldest in the world.


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