Team trip to Suffolk

With Trial Eights behind us, OUWBC took a quick break from training to travel to Suffolk for a few days of relaxing, bonding as a squad and learning more about our generous sponsors, Adnams, who are based in Southwold. 

We stayed in the gorgeous Wilderness Reserve, courtesy of our team doctor George, a grand manor house in the English countryside. As soon as we arrived, we were treated to a massage and had a chance to explore the extensive grounds, before settling down in the evening to get in a festive mood by watching Love Actually together. 

The following day, we set out for Southwold to visit the Adnams Brewery. The company has been brewing there for over a century, and it was a real privilege to be shown the ins and outs of how they produce their various beers and spirits. Our tour guides were able to explain the complex process of brewing, about which most of us knew nothing at all, and also highlight how Adnams manage to run an impressively sustainable operation. One of my favourite facts from the trip was that for much of the year Adnams is able to put more into the National Grid than they take out. After the tour, we had the chance to sample some of the beers and gins that we had seen being made, which if anything tasted even better with our new brewing knowledge. 

After the tour, we had a chance to explore Southwold – including its beach where one of the more intrepid squad members went for a dip in the sea – before Adnams kindly put on a delicious lunch for us in one of the hotels they own in the town. We then headed back to the Wilderness Reserve for a spot of clay pigeon shooting, which was certainly a change from our usual training! Talent was certainly a bit variable amongst the squad, but there were some surprise crack-shots in the team, and everyone, regardless of ability, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. In the evening, before dinner in the house’s grand dining room, we had a wine tasting of many of the wines Adnams produces and supplies, learning how to develop slightly more sophisticated tastes than our usual Tesco’s Finest fare. We then headed back to Wallingford the following morning to resume training – but certainly that bit more refreshed and ready to row thanks to the generosity of Adnams, the Wilderness Reserve and all of those who made our team trip possible.