Monday, April 27, 2009

Racing in Piediluco, Italy

This weekend I had the opportunity to race in Italy outside of a small town called Terni. Where is this place? Map A lake tucked inside the mountains, made for some good introductions to the racing season.

The weekend brought interesting challenges, one being my first official lightweight double racing. No rower can weigh more than 59kg (130lbs) but the average of both rowers combined can be no more than 57kg (125lbs).

Saturday morning, racing day I weighed 57.0 kg!!! And we made the weigh in. Approaching the start line, two hours later, I felt strong and confident. I felt the other lightweight girls had no strength over us, and as we went down the course, my feelings were justified with a win of 27 secs!

The coach decided that this was no competition and changed our entry to the heavyweight double for Sunday. This meant I didn't have to do a weight control, and stronger competition. I was glad for both options. So Saturday was good lunch and dinner, and I did feel a little more replenished approaching Sunday's race start. But I was more nervous for I knew we were in for a fight. On the warm up, wind and rain doused us, but it was just a tease, because luckily as we started the race, it all seemed calm. At least in the surroundings, because inside the boat, or in my head there was nothing but adrenalin noise pumping. The Italian heavyweight double held our boat the whole way down the course, and at the end, they squeezed a second in front of us, to take gold. Those pasta-eating girls, darn them! I felt we raced hard, but not smart, and in the end we should have held them off better.

After racing a quick turn-around and we were in the airport again, bus and home. Never got to really see anything in Italy besides hotel, bus and regatta course. Luckily I have been a tourist in Rome before. Because I guess this trip was nothing.

Official Website

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Open Trials for Spain

The first weekend of April rowers from all over Spain came to Banyoles to show their stuff in the selection trials. Rowers have only small boats, pairs and singles to prove their presence in the eyes of the selectors.

Well, I hit the ground running hardly describes what happened in 2 days. A sudden, unprepared flight to San Francisco getting the visa... delayed on the runway, only arriving back in Seattle at 8pm... a call to say my boat had arrived... (Thank you to Carlos for collecting the boat while I was on the plane!)... taking the plane at 6am the next day to return to Banyoles... race the heat for the Open Trials.

The wind blew like crazy on Friday and the heat start was not pretty. But I won, and went through to the semi’s. The draw put me with Nuria Domingo, Spain’s only Olympic qualifier in the Open W1x. I was excited to race someone of her experience. The start went well, and I was off. At 1000m I was well ahead and won the semi to go through to the final. There I met partner Teressa mas Xaxars and Nuria Domingo again. This was the big one, where we were going to really show it all! The start was good. I felt Nuria with me longer than before. And I kept my head down and kept working. All the training from Carlos, this whole process gives me a confidence in my performance unmatched! And I was able to win this race by 5 seconds!