Captain's Log: Issue 11
31st December 2021
Good afternoon Cygnets, this is your Captain speaking
I very much hope many of your have had a peaceful and festive Christmas with your loved ones with a well earned break from work and training and I hope without much Covid related disruption to your plans.
As we approach the end of 2021 and the start of a new year, I look back on the year that we have had as a club, as individuals and as a community. 2021, much like 2020, has perhaps served as the clearest reminder that life is very much a Head race and not a Regatta sprint.
At times this year, like last, we have faced real head winds, conditions have been tough and perhaps for each of us a moment or two of wondering quite how we’ll make it through these choppy waters and difficult wash.
Like many, however, I have also come to notice and recognise, more so than ever, how like the crew of a hard working VIII our Club and community is in battling against the toughest of races on the Championship course.
It has been great to see how, despite the conditions being against us, Cygnet has pulled together, been there for each other, sharing the load and rebounded from the most difficult waters. Never has it felt more important that the club, our community and the sport has been there for us all as we’ve battled our way through and found our way out of lockdowns and restrictions to be together again, on the water again and enjoying all that rowing gives us once more.
In 2021 we’ve had our summer races, Henley Friday, Sculling Camp, End of Season Celebrations, Learn to Row, Squad Training, Head Race Crews, Head Race Hosting, Christmas dinners, tea in the lounge, Thursday suppers and (many) drinks in the bar. Being a part of Cygnet and enjoying all of these things has been all the more rewarding and enjoyable having come from such challenging times. Perhaps not unlike that raceday feeling, having turned the corner and pressed through the choppiest waters together.
That we have been able to enjoy these things has been down to you as the Cygnet crew, pulling together to make them happen, getting through those tougher moments and putting in the effort when it counts. To all of you, thank you: for making it happen and for making it so worthwhile. Because like the VIII we are so much stronger together, when working as one, supporting each other and knowing that each of us has a role to play in moving the boat and guiding it on its course.
Thanks to all of you who have helped along the way, to our coaches, to our volunteers, to those who go out of their way to go the extra mile, for doing your bit to make things better for those around you, for training hard and for showing up when it matters. For all of that and more, thank you for making 2021 the year it has been and continuing to make Cygnet the place we love.
A very special thank you to those of you in the club and in our community who have gone beyond in other ways, for your service during these difficult times on the frontline and behind the scenes beyond all that is rowing. Many of you will have made contributions that have gone unseen but for helping us, our communities and the country through the challenges we have endured, we are grateful. I particularly appreciate those who have continued to play such important roles both in that capacity and for Cygnet as a club.
And so on to 2022.
Uncertainty remains but there is hope of better water to come. We’ve got much to look forward to, plenty to prepare for and to strive for. Head of the River (26th March) is now just 12 weeks away and beyond that what we hope will be a fulsome regatta season and I remain ambitious for Cygnet success on the tideway and beyond. And so in the meantime there is training to be done, races to enter (Quintin and Hammersmith to name two) and much behind the scenes to keep us on track. There will be sculling camps, recruitment and learn to row courses and much more besides to use the momentum we’ve found this last year to continue to build and develop as a squad and as a club.
After the Christmas and New Year break squad training will resume in earnest if we are to make the most of those twelve weeks, so prepare those resolutions and get yourselves ready for an exciting and busy year ahead.
There is much to look forward to, some exciting celebrations in 2022 and I hope plenty of opportunities to make up for lost time on the water and off – but this year, like last (and each before that) our successes will depend on you and our collective efforts. That you in advance for continuing that hard work and for your contributions in the year ahead.
But for now, I shall raise a glass to Cygnet and to each of you. Wherever and however you are celebrating your new years eve, I send very best wishes. I look forward to sharing the year ahead and all that 2022 has to offer with you, as we continue to press on through the Head Race of Cygnet history.
Happy New Year and very best wishes from the Captain.
PS: Squad training resumes Thursday 6th January on the ergs, Saturday 8th January on the water, Monday 10th January in the Shed.