Are you secretly convinced that The Beatles, The Stones and the rest represent the absolute peak of pop? And that everything since has been merely an exercise in derivation and decline? Do you hurt in several places when you wake up, even though all you did last night was watch ‘Midsomer Murders’? Are you wearing reading glasses to look at this page? And did you used to row – and were actually pretty damn good, even though you say so yourself – and have always meant to give it another go? Retired now and with time to make that dream come true? If so – you may have come to the right place.
The InVeterEight crew is a collection of (mostly) OAPs who refuse to admit they are embarrassingly slow and still, perversely, nurture the dream that next year could just be their year in racing terms (After all, last year wasn’t, nor the decades before that, so that’s got to narrow it down a bit, surely?).
They meet weekly for outings in an eight and assemble together in random, self-selected smaller groups to take out fours and other smaller boats as the whim takes them. Nobody coaches them, because a) they know best and b) they are physically incapable of changing their technique on a coach’s request. They don’t even row from the club’s boat-house, preferring to hide themselves away at the CRA’s Kimberley Road shed, where they can avoid the wearing presence of younger, less-important folk.
They are big fans of the principle of Managed Decline, rarely seen off-Cam and enjoy the apres-row as much as – and, on some cold February nights, much more than – their actual rowing.
So – if you fancy the idea of an aquatic Gentlemen’s Keep Fit regime, can meet our strict membership criteria and live anywhere within a thirty-mile radius of Cambridge, get in touch – you have nothing to lose but your illusions.
*InVeterEight: A play on words, greeted by one member with the faint praise: “Oh – I see. It’s like a joke, only not as funny.”