Thursday, August 20, 2009


Well my first full day of training on the World Championship course in Poznan is now securely under my belt, and it feels good to be here and have survived 24hrs without collapsing into a jibbering wreck as I expected. So far, so calm. I know the nerves will come - this is what it must be like to be a wanted man as I'm walking around constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for them to pounce!

I suspected that seeing the competition would help them kick in. So far I've only seen the USA crew - they're all shorter than me (which obviously means nothing) so I'm fairly unworried about them (Steph logic for you!). The ones to watch are Germany (winners of the World Cup in Lucerne - we didn't go - we did Henley Royal instead) and Poland (historically one of the best and they're going to be on home water, obviously). Germany arrived yesterday but I haven't identified the Wlwt 4x yet and I haven't yet seen Poland who I suspect might turn up later than most as they have least far to come.

Today we get a chance to practice starting out of the clogs; the plastic thing you see holding the bows at the front of the boat on international races that disappears when the start sounds - they prevent anyone jumping the start. Not really necessary for the other 3 girls in my crew who are all experienced internationals but essential for me as the new girl, especially as I'm at bow and therefore will be closest to the clog and therefore prob most aware of it. I'm really relieved that they use them for international races as, in domestic races, it's the bow's responsibility to make sure the crew is lined up in the lane. A pretty big responsibility as not going straight can cost you precious seconds as - obviously - you have to take a longer line. It might only be a matter of inches but races are won and lost by tenths of a second, sometimes less. And, worse than that, hitting a buoy can be disastrous. Losing a blade in a race - certainly an international one - would be game over.

I'm not going to dwell on that tho! Right now I just need to focus on doing my job. Next outing is in 60mins so best get ready to head to the course.

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