Thursday, 25 November 2010

Exclusive! I talk to the CUWBC President!

Get me! I'm doing an interview!

(Basically I asked Lizzie for some stupid questions to expand my very substandard F.A.Q. bit and she replied with questions AND answers, so I had to do virtually nothing! Woo!

Lizzie Polgreen - CUWBC President 2011

Bit of background: She's done a couple of boat races now (2009 - lightweights, 2010 - Blondie) and has returned this year as CUWBC President, bringing obligatory bad kit days with her. In her spare time, i.e. when she's not trying to organise a squad of 30 girls, she does a bit of electrical engineering. (She tried to explain her project to me - it was something about a radio link and a mother board and resistors and then I got lost.) She is the proud model of The Blondie Leggings in my leggings poll and a small portion of her rear end was once the 'featured photo' on the British Rowing website.
Fame! Glamour! CUWBC lycra!
She was also one of the first members of CUUBC (Cambridge University Upside-Down Boat Club), which is the most glorious of all the Cambridge University Sporting Clubs. Seriously, you don't NEED a Blue, if you're a member of this club. To join you simply need to have capsized your boat while racing as Cambridge University. Including wearing full on minty kit.

I managed this at St Neots a couple of years ago crashing into a stationary 8 on that stupid corner they have in the middle of their course. (I later caused MASSIVE CONTROVERSY in the ARA by just getting back into my boat, paddling to the start, starting the race again and winning and losing my Novice status. This apparently is BAD. Especially when you weren't even a novice in the first place because you won something in Ghent (in BELGIUM!?!?!) even though you'd have thought that didn't count, with it being in BELGIUM and all. Yeah. Some people weren't happy with me.... Oops. Sorry ARA.)

But yes, there's even a crest:
See what I did there? :-)
 Here's a nice picture of the first members of CUUBC.
Apologies to Matt Lawes for his very bad orange highlighter hair... :-s

I should really get on with this interview thingy though, sorry. STOP PISSING AROUND RAILTON.

Soooo, in no particular/logical order....

What was the most enjoyable race you've ever rowed in?
I was going to say mixed doubles with Ian Watson (the Downing college boatman), but it turns out rowing with someone a million times better than you is quite stressful because you know if it goes wrong it's entirely your fault. Also I kept hitting him in the face with waves of cam water due to my ...interesting... catch-and-over-reach technique when sculling.

So probably final of novice singles at Kingston, I raced while the band played "Play That Funky Music White Boy" (no, I'd not heard of it either...) and I got warned by the umpire "Cambridge! The river is straight!" and then when I got the boat out at the end found that the stern was full of water. And I won.

Best erg song ever?
"National Express" by Divine Comedy. Seriously. Hit that song on shuffle in the middle of the second 3 x 6k and life will just be magic again. (Seriously?!?!?!?!? I was not expecting that.... Pendulum all the way....)

I have cried in Ely because...
I lost my seat races and was made spare. Standard.

There's a reason many ex-CUWers own one of these

Queens Ergs score? 2:01 I've got a lot better since then, promise.

Training fuelled by: If I'm lightweighting then couscous. Don't ask.

Ok, you asked. I can't keep cereal in the house because I consider half a box to be a reasonable sized portion if I'm moderately hungry (join the club!), so cous cous is a good alternative. It's quick to make (pour water on it from the kettle and it's ready in the time it takes me to get lycra-d up) and I can't snack on it raw from the packet. If I'm not lightweighting CEREAL.

Favourite kit: Genuinely, the piece I'd be most upset if I lost, is my Downing College JL unisuit. Bet you didn't expect that? But a close second is the thermal socks with frog faces on the toes. (Not the blondie leggings :-( :-(    )

CUUBC Entry Requirement: Molesey regatta IM3 singles. I decided it was best to demonstrate my beautiful ability to rotate around the longitudinal axis whilst I was ahead, so the crowd got the best view of it.

Best Coxing Call: "Put their dreams on your footplate and CRUSH THEM!"

Preferred drawing/writing tool: A bright yellow plastic propelling pencil. Because having a pencil sharpener is too much hassle, but I'm too cheap to buy a proper mechanical pencil.

Thing that annoys me: People SINGING in the electronics lab. Someone whistled and hummed The Birdy Song for a solid hour in there the other day.

Engineers, uurgh.

(You've never been to the maths department, have you?)

If you weren't a rower...? 
 I would be a better accordion player. And able to use the command line on Linux.

Top life tip: Wear a bike helmet. Seriously.



  2. Haha, awesome stuff.

    Did you win a regatta at St. Neot's where you had to get back in? That's embarassing for someone!

  3. Everyone in my gym knows that T-shirt. I can only assume many, if not all, are very confused.

  4. I am DEFINITLLEY uing that coxing call. Whose was it?

  5. No idea I'm afraid... :-(

    But loads of other great stuff here:

  6. So I am writing this comment almost ONE YEAR after you posted it. Because I am a late-comer to the awesomeness that is your blog.
    But my sister was once the CUWBC pres (many moons ago) ... they made tshirts that say "I've cried in Ely"
    They also made shirts with Mole and Ratty (from Wind in the Willows) - "there's no greater pleasure..."
    This, to me, sums up the wonderous contradiction that is rowing :)

  7. Well Anonymous, I am very glad they had "I've cried in Ely" t-shirts back in the day :-)