School: Thomas More College (South Africa)
International rowing record: n/a
Year you first started rowing: 2010
How have you coped this year?
I haven’t found the situation too adverse to be honest. Training from home made managing my recovery and work easy. Although, I did miss the boys.
Could you build a strong team culture while training virtually?
It has been harder than normal but having a communal training spreadsheet helped keep the excitement and internal competition alive. We still managed to foster a good vibe.
Were the isolated ergs better or worse than expected?
It was pretty much what I expected. It is quite similar to the offseason training for me, so I have not minded that too much.
What was your lockdown training set up?
It was a bit of a change to normal. I have been erging in a doorway with half the machine in the kitchen and half in the hallway to make the most of some cooler conditions.
How do you cope with race day nerves?
I normally try not to think about the race outcome. In reality all you can do is deliver a process. The process usually hurts a lot, and you can’t change that so it’s best not to think about it too much.
The biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge has been trying to make technical improvements in a very short period of time.
The toughest session?
I find the 30 minutes rate 20 max effort test pretty tough. I am not a big guy and find the rate capped pieces pretty challenging to fight the bigger boys on.
The best day, so far?
Winning the Trial VIIIs was a highlight.
Only the Blue Boat races on the 4th April 2021: What’s it like splitting the squad?
The decision to cut the training numbers was a bit of a blow to morale initially but I feel like the team as a whole has bounced back with a heightened focus on an even more singular goal.
Is it strange to train without the reserve eight?
We still have a 2nd coxed four training as the reserves so that group is able to bring a bit of Goldie energy to the set up by challenging the top boat and generally keeping up a good atmosphere.
How did it feel getting back on the water?
Getting back on the water was awesome. It has made the race feel a lot more real suddenly and that has definitely got the boys pumped up.
Why do you want to beat Oxford?
I feel like it is rooted in some deep-seated sporting tribalism. In sport it doesn’t really matter who your adversary is, it’s just important that you have one and that you want to beat them at all costs.