The senior women’s squad recently returned from this year’s training camp in Portugal, where they spent a week getting in some quality training off the Tideway, in conditions that, whilst not as beautiful as hoped, were certainly better than the freezing cold and snow “enjoyed” by those left behind in London over Easter…

Gemma Peck has kindly provided a short write up – thanks!:

“Meat or fish?”
“Meat or fish?” The most commonly asked question on training camp: posed at dinner time when being served a choice of traditional Portugese dishes for our evening nutrition. The setting: the chilly, concrete-paved basement of the Portugese town house which served as home to around 25 MAA members for a week’s training.  The basement dining room was not immediately appealing but the addition of a glass of red wine and jazz tunes gently flowing out of some temporarily erected speakers transformed it into an  trendy East London-esque eatery (well, sort of). 
Meal times were well earned after putting in hard miles on the rowing course at Montemor o Velho.  Slightly blustery at times, but with the benefit of being quiet and away from the perils of launch wash, it provided a good site for our preparation for the summer season.  Training was mostly in singles, pairs and doubles, with one coxless four and quad, plus Clive in his kayak.
Back at base in Figueira da Fos, the local custard tarts provided a high point (usually around 3pm every day) and at around 80 Euro cents a pop, they were readily consumed (Joy can tell you where the best ones are sold). The Boat Race offered an inspirational interlude during an afternoon off and reminded us all of why we had taken a week of annual leave to row up and down, up and down in the Portugese drizzle.  A time trial followed by side by side pieces on the final afternoon led to some hard fought races and gave us all a taster of what’s to come.  All returned to Mortlake feeling fit (if rather tired), positive and looking forward to summer racing.