Hal Frigaard

Club: OUBC

Height: 194cm

School: Glenunga International High School

International rowing record: n/a

Year you first started rowing: 2014

How have you coped this year?

It has been tough not knowing if the race was going to happen or when it was going to happen. It has been important to enjoy the training knowing that a race might not even happen. Lots of Zoom sessions talking with the guys has been useful to stay focused.

Could you build a strong team culture while training virtually?

We were all doing it together and talking to each other regularly. The alumni have been great to talk to and very inspiring. We’ve had a few fireside chats with a few of them and listening to their stories keeps me motivated.

Were the isolated ergs better or worse than expected?

It wasn’t too bad. We made sure to have a lot of Zoom erg sessions and watch old Boat Races whilst we rowed.

What was your lockdown training set up?

In college, the only space I had was outside my accommodation. It was great when it was sunny but when it was below freezing and windy it was not ideal. Luckily, I was at home during the coldest months and could erg inside. For a bit, I kept a static in my tiny room much to my neighbour’s enjoyment. I watched a lot of Netflix to keep me entertained.

“It has been tough not knowing if the race was going to happen or when it was going to happen . It has been important to enjoy the training knowing that the race might not even happen .”

How do you cope with race day nerves?

I look back on what we’ve done in the boat and draw confidence on that. I know that I can trust the other guys in the boat to deliver.

The biggest challenge?

Training alone was tough. It was hard to stay focused especially when you are very fatigued.

The toughest session?

The 60-minute test. The tendons in my hands started cramping up from holding the handle.

The best day, so far?

Getting back on the water. It felt like the start of summer and everyone was in a good mood.

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

I mainly feel bad for the other guys in the squad whose race is still uncertain. I wasn’t keen for a race later in the year.

Is it strange to train without the reserve eight?

Yeah, it is odd not seeing them every day.

How did it feel getting back on the water?

It felt great. After the second lockdown it felt very foreign but this time it was a lot more natural.

Why do you want to beat Cambridge?

I’ve been training to beat Cambridge for three years now. I was pretty confident last year and to be denied the chance to show what we had was extremely disappointing.