mcshane's bladesAs a kind of history of my own rowing experiences, here are all the different blades that I have ever rowed or sculled with.
I started rowing when I arrived at Kings College, Cambridge UK, as a first year undergraduate student in October 1994. A few times I've subbed for various friends in their crews, these include Corpus Christi (who I have also coached a few times) and Selwyn. I've also trialled for Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club and hence rowed with Cambridge blades. I've also rowed (and raced) with Newnham college blades, which aren't pictured here.
Since my first summer at Cambridge I've rowed every year in the Town Bumps. Since this involves a large number of crews; more than the town clubs have equipment for, they tend to borrow of various college clubs. My first three years I rowed for Cambridge 99's, picking up their blade a few times, and also using LMBC & Trinity's blades a few times. My next 3 years I rowed for Rob Roy; the first year we used Magdalene blades and the 3rd year we used Christ's blades in the blade winning 4th eight.
I've twice been on a week long camp with Kings College, in April 1996 and 1997 to Wurzburg in Germany. The main club we used equipment from was ARCW - those stripes really make it easy to do slow motion replays of the catch! In the boathouse were a pair of German painted blades, from a pair at the club who had in the past competed for Germany, which we used when pairing sometimes. In October 1999 I was working in Harlow for a week and went down to London twice to go pairing with a friend of mine, Martin Harris. He subbed into the last day of our 2000 Town Bumps crew, but for a few years has been rowing for London Rowing Club and been in the Scotish pair.
I started to learn to scull in the summer of 1995. Kings has an equipment sharing agreement with Leys School, with whom we share our boathouse. Since Kings doesn't have much sculling equipment, when doubling or singling with cleavers I used to use Leys blades. In Jan/Feb 1997 Kings was in London for a training camp, one of our coaches, Kieran Jennings, had his single there - he was sculling for Wales at the time. Sculling along the Putney embankment - very badly - using Welsh blades must have raised a few eyebrows. Later that year I left Kings, and actually bought Kieran's boat and a set of his blades off him - that set were painted in Leander colours, since he was also a member of Leander. I quickly painted the blades (after the odd outing in Cambridge) one side purple and one side white - to mark the transition from college rowing to singling. I later on painted them the same as Rob Roy blades, but purple instead of maroon. Since I was a member of Rob Roy I've used their blades quite a lot. My girlfriend at the time was a member of Tideway Sculling School, so I used to go down there at weekends and use her boat and club blades. And finally with more people sculling for Robs, we haven't quite got enough equipment to go around, so occasionally we have to use a set of quad sculling blades from St Catharine's as one member of the quad is also at Catz.