With just less than 1 week to go to Rock the Boat 2016, we thought we’d ask some of the crews who have truly rocked this event over the last few years for their take. Book your spot now to be part of the 2016 event on 6th February…. and we will see you there!
2013 HPC High Performer – Byron Sprat
What was it like racing the first John Waugh Rock the Boat?
Racing the first Rock the Boat was a great experience. It was fun but a really tough race. It’s a great idea and I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so!
Did you know how it was going to work?
No, at first we had no idea what was going on so our strategy was just to come down the course with a smile and a then empty the tanks in the sprint.
Did you expect to win the HPC High performer?
We honestly did not expect it but that finals race was good. I think that the absence of large amounts of pressure meant that it just came easy to us.
2014 HPC High Performer – John Smith – Batman and Robin
Having raced and won regattas all over the world, have you ever raced anything like Rock The Boat before?
Rock the Boat is a unique regatta and the race format is nothing like what I have ever raced before. To race purely on speed and not in boat class is a great idea for everyone in rowing.
Making the #JWRTB final in the double is quite an achievement, then you went head-to-head with some varsity 8’s to win the overall. Tell us a little about the race?
We were chuffed to make the final and we knew the eights would be a bit quick for us but our heavy men’s pair was close on their heels. With a lot of banter before the race we knew it was going to be a close one. So we focused on putting down a good race and going out with a high tempo. This we did and found ourselves fighting to hang on to a coxless four. If you’re fighting then you’re winning. We were on the limit and what we thought would be a good race with the men’s pair on the far side was now one way traffic for them. We were in the mix with a four and coming home strong; a big sprint lead by Sizwe and backed up by me. We finished knowing we had a good race but to come out on top of the pile always makes us happy.
We believe 2014 Rock the Boat is the last time you raced with Sizwe? What is the plan now for you two going forward to the Rio Olympics?
I don’t believe it was the last time we raced together as I think we raced in the combination at an international regatta in Italy. Sizwe is involved in qualifying a Heavies men’s four for Rio. I am currently rowing in the LM2x with James Thompson. Not the tallest man but very strong. We have qualified our double and are currently training like slaves with one thing in mind. One goal…
2015 HPC High Performer – Reitumetse Mokgele, Cox of the Watermelons
What was the best part of the 2015 Rock the Boat Regatta?
The best part of the regatta was that it was not only competitive but fun as everyone was dressed up in hilarious outfits. It was quite funny to see the photos of us rowing in our brightly coloured tutus.
Your quad dominated most of the 2015 season, did you enjoy the chance to race against some first quads?
It was exciting to be able to compare ourselves to first quads especially because everyone in our crew is very competitive. We raced next to a sculler who pretty much kept up with our quad the whole way down the course so we were very surprised with our final win. During the race, it was weird to call a push 10 to my quad so that we could pull ahead of a scull. It was quite interesting to see where we placed against other boat classes.
So there’s a taste of the action for you, folks. Enter now and come and be part of the action!