Monday, February 23, 2009
Going to Seville for the first time has left a deep mark of memories. Not only the experience of racing a semi-international regatta for the first time, but getting the experience of so many things that are going to be part of my life for the next couple years. What it means to go to a competition and get ready to give your best.
Some crucial experiences for me was going through the weigh-in two hours before your race. Another crucial experience was just being in a new place and learning a new course. But more than that, feeling like you are so comfortable in this new environment that you can dominate it. This took a beating on me, and I felt tired and slept so much more than usual. And then of course racing, and racing under a country banner.
There are some very big highlights for me about Seville. One was that Marit van Eupen was there. And I got to speak with her. It was an honour to meet this olympic champion. WOW. Deep breath.
Then on Saturday afternoon I rowed passed the start of the 2000m, and saw Seville from the river. It was so beautiful passing the bridges and architecture and enjoying the sun and just seeing the city while rowing. It gave me such a calm and peaceful feeling. It was very meaningful. My parents also planned a Spain holiday to coincide with my time here, and were in Seville to cheered me on. My dad got to see a bit of what my rowing life is like, helping carrying oars and boats. It was great to have that love and support. On Saturday evening there was a dinner and show for the rowers. I got to experience a bullring show, which was very cultural. The High Performance Center was also quite good for training, and I enjoyed what comfort is brought me to help with racing well.
So finally on to the racing.
Saturday the 1000m in the single was interesting. Being 1000m only after so many 20km rows, was really a change. And I spun a little on my wheels. Lots of effort but not moving the boat that well. Especially with the starts. As the boat got momentum I then only did I get going and was able to secure gold in the single, and together with partner Teressa Mas Xaxars we took gold also in the LW 2x. The Sunday we raced 500m, and there I ran out of meters before I could get going. So I placed 3rd in the LW 1x and Tere and I took 2nd in the double. As Tere told my father, we are diesel. And luckily the real thing is 2000m!
says: Ursula Grobler