Cambridge Rowing Tank to transform rowing in the city

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2018

Rowing tank at Downing College Boat Club with Ian Watson, director of rowing at Downing College Boat Club, and, behind, Charlie Slaater DCBC Tank Officer. Picture: Keith Heppell

Rowing tank at Downing College Boat Club with Ian Watson, director of rowing at Downing College Boat Club, and, behind, Charlie Slaater DCBC Tank Officer. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

New facility at Downing College Boat Club

Ian Watson believes the new Cambridge Rowing Tank at Downing College Boat Club could be transformational for the sport in the city.

In a project that has taken two years from the initial concept to opening, a rowing tank has been installed at the club on the banks of the River Cam, which is the first in East Anglia.

It can accommodate eight athletes each rowing behind the other, as in a traditional rowing eight.

The facility has two 50ft pools, each holding around 10 tonnes of water, with eight video cameras and two 65-inch high definition television screens that allow athletes to watch themselves while they row.

The project has been funded by philanthropic giving.

Cambridge University Boat Club has a smaller indoor rowing tank at its Goldie Boathouse, but that can only cater for two rowers at one time.

“The tank will be truly transformational for rowing in Cambridge,” said Downing College director of rowing Watson.

“It will go a long way to making rowers technically more proficient and consequently faster.

“Developing rowing technique in a controlled, safe, environment is a brilliant opportunity for beginners and experienced rowers alike.”

And current postgraduate student and Cambridge Rowing Tank officer Charlie Slater said: “The tank will provide rowers in schools and clubs across the region with an opportunity to develop their technique faster and more efficiently.

“Better still, it will encourage even wider participation in the great sport.”

The tank is open to all rowing clubs and schools in Cambridge and beyond, with users being offered a free first session.

After that, normal bookings can be made via the Downing College Boat Club website at a cost of £40 per hour.

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