Joshua Bowesman-Jones

Club: OUBC

Height: 185cm

School: Radley College

International rowing record: Coupe de la Jeunesse 2017 GB JM4+ stroke

Year you first started rowing: 2012

How have you coped this year?

It’s been tough but setting my sights on making the Blue Boat, and then holding on to that has helped me get through as I have a clear goal. I think just going with the flow of all the twists and turns this season means there’s less stress as well.

Could you build a strong team culture while training virtually?

We’ve had weekly meetings, talks with lots of OBI and have been training together over Zoom. It has helped to bring us together more and hype us up, but it could never make up for the lost time with the squad this year.

Were the isolated ergs better or worse than expected?

Training alone in my garage has been quite fun. I feel it has helped shape a tougher and more savage mindset that I can fall back on when racing.

What was your lockdown training set up?

In college, I had my erg in my room looking out on to the street. I was not the most liked person in my corridor for this. At home, I did my erging in the garage in between the lawnmower and a car. There wasn’t enough space for weights so I would do that in the kitchen.

How do you cope with race day nerves?

I focus on how I want to turn up to race and stick to the process we’ve been working on as a squad with Stephen Feeney which helps keeps things simple and clear.

The biggest challenge?

Having such a short time to come together is challenging. It means we must get the most out of every session we have.

The toughest session?

Other than the hour test: 5x4min at 5k pace

The best day, so far?

1st December going sub-16 minutes on a 5k for the first time and taking over 20s off my PB having been unfit because of illness when the season started.

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

I think it is harsh and such a shame for the rest of the squad that they can’t train on the water or race on the same day but unfortunately, I think it’s a necessary evil.

Is it strange to train without the reserve eight?

Having such a small group is very strange indeed. It would be much nicer to have the wider squad back as well especially having not seen them in person for so long. Having said this, it is also nice to have a tight knit crew for the next few weeks.

How did it feel getting back on the water?

Just amazing. The weather was nice, the water was flat. So much better than erging twice a day.

Why do you want to beat Cambridge?

To make up for losing to Goldie in 2019. There’s unfinished business: I want to make them feel the pain I felt and more. To beat them at Ely would be an historic victory and something they would never forget. It would be awesome.