Three members of Sudbury Rowing Club journeyed to Portugal in mid August to take part in the Portugal Rowing Tour, hosted by Ginásio Figueirense Rowing Club, and joining other participants from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, UK and Portugal.
This year’s tour was in mid Portugal; a rugged, hilly, forested area through which runs The Zêzere River. Rising at the highest point of Portugal, it is their second longest river and in general is wider than the length of the River Stour that Sudbury Rowing Club is able to use. The scenery is stunning.
The weather was sunny and hot for the duration of the tour and on occasions it was also very windy. Crews were put together prior to the morning and afternoon sessions, mixing nationalities and clubs in what is loosely termed ‘leisure’ rowing. How leisurely it was depended on the personalities within the crews and on the weather conditions. During one outing, the three Sudbury Rowing Club members along with two from Bewl Bridge Rowing Club in Kent, battled in a coxed quad at firm pressure against the winds, sculling as if they were in a race. With a great feeling of achievement at the end of the session, they congratulated each other on how hard they had worked and how well they had done!
The group of 60 participants mixed well together socially during ‘down’ periods when they took full advantage of the hospitality laid on by the host club. Superb three course meals were provided to fuel the athletes and there was plenty of fun and conversation amongst the various nationalities.
Many vowed they would return the following year.