BRIC 19: Callum Dixon
Entries for the 2019 Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships close on Wednesday 27 November at midday. Rebecca Charlton talks to 2018 silver medallist Callum Dixon
On Saturday 7 December, thousands of competitors are set to do battle on the rowing machine at the 2019 Mizuno British Rowing Indoor Championships (BRIC) in the spectacular setting of the Lee Valley VeloPark.
Last year was 19-year-old Callum Dixon’s first foray into BRIC and it all went rather well, with him not only securing the second step of the podium in the U23 2km but eventually a spot on World Class Start.
“Tennis, climbing, swimming…” says Callum as he reels off the sports he was into before he tried sailing for the first time at the age of eight. “It was the most fun I’d ever had,” he beams.
He and his flat-mate entered as a fitness goal for the winter, the aim being to go sub six minutes for the 2km
From that moment Callum had his sights set on going to the Olympics one day as a sailor, but fast-forward to 2018 and his Finn category was removed from the Games, meaning that the call from the British Sailing Team never came. What he didn’t expect at that moment however, is that the call would come from British Rowing.
The whirlwind journey started with BRIC 2018, when he and his flat-mate decided to enter the Championships as a fitness goal for the winter, the aim being to go sub six minutes for the 2km. But he almost never made it to the start.
“There was supposed to be a sailing training camp at the same time so I wasn’t going to go to BRIC,” explains Callum.
But as a result of the wind, the camp was literally blown off and just two days beforehand he decided he was back in.
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“I’d never really done a proper 2km before, so didn’t really know what time I was going for – we’d just worked out the splits for six minutes and went for that,” he says with a laugh. He set a time of 6.01, good enough for second place – and a result he says that came as a surprise, against the competition.
Since then Callum has spent four months abroad in Europe – sailing every day including training and five major regattas – finally returning home in late summer.
Wondering what to do after his event’s ejection from the Olympics, he was invited to test for World Class Start. He heard the very next day that he had been accepted.
Callum who describes the feeling as “incredible,” entered full-time training at Twickenham RC in September with the big aim to go to the Olympics. Watch this space!
This story first appeared in the October/November 2019 edition of Rowing & Regatta. Join British Rowing and receive Rowing & Regatta in print and/or digital formats. Find out more here.