Cambridge-based Sam Champion started rowing at the age of 14, with Cambridge 99s. After a year of rowing for fun, Sam was encouraged to pursue the GB Rowing Team Start Programme. Sam went through the Programme, winning races, setting records, and going through GB selection in his Swift Racing Elite Scull, while based at Isle of Ely Rowing Club.
“I hadn’t done any competitive sport at all before I started sculling. I liked running and cycling, but trying sculling changed all that.”
When Sam joined Cambridge 99s, there were lots of boats available, so he got to try and test different brands and designs. Sam felt that most of the boats and equipment available were of a similar standard, but found his Swift particularly easy to set up, in order to achieve his ideal catch and finish positions.
“I found the Swift easier to row and more stable than all the others, and ultimately I preferred it.”
“When I joined GB Start, I couldn’t really take the club boat with me – GB Start only had one make of boat available, so I asked if I could use an alternative – what was great was that unknown to me, Cambridge 99s had arranged for me to have my own boat to use for GB Start – a Swift Elite (carbon/kevlar) boat. This is my boat of choice to train, compete and trial in.
Sam’s Swift Racing Elite scull served him well on the GB Start Programme - he made the Coupe de la Jeunesse Team. Sam was also in the GB Quad for his age group and set a few course records at Peterborough Spring and Summer Regattas.
“My main thought has been that the Swift boat has served me well so far…so why not also at elite level? If something is good, why change a good thing?”
“Personally, I like the wing riggers…..they feel more solid. You also feel more connected to the boat, so I guess a solid feel with little flex is my preferred style. To me, colours and looks aren’t important – function and form are. That said, the Swift boat looks great, and has a clean design. Ideally, I’d like a reverse-wing rigger which Swift now offer – it’s nice to sit in a boat and see nothing in front of you!”
Finally Sam concludes “the website is a really good place to order parts and accessories off. Ultimately, Swift are good boats – that’s all I can say!”