Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Home with the hardware

When you think of Bled, the word wellness follows closely. The beauty of the undisturbed town holds its breath as I did before the light changed from red to green at the start.

The racing started on Friday with heats. We were in a good heat, heat 3. But we had the Greeks and were worried about them. With a fast start they went ahead, but we worked on the middle 1000m, and moved ahead sending the rest to the reps. That afternoon, Abby and I watched the reps and Abby enjoyed watching the reps for a change.

Saturday the semi's dawned. The weather was changing and lightening and thunder threatened us as we were putting hands on. But nothing was canceled and on to the warmup we went. The semi was technically our best row. With our newly painted oars, Croker S4's we moved ahead, again with Greek and GB in our race. Our semi was like a final. We would meet these top boats again on Sunday.

The finals were moved earlier for wind was predicted later that day. I took a few deep breaths and waited for the light change, once again. With all the push I had, I wanted that first 500m. Not normal for me to get out in front from the start. We worked our magic in the middle of the race, and Abby called, "we're moving". Together we pushed on towards the island that would signal the last 250m. The buoys changed from white to red and knowing these are our last strokes, I pushed and held on as much as I could. We crossed that beep. Good. We achieved our goal. To win and qualify the boat for New Zealand in November.

Some great things of Bled are the swans that are like ambassadors on the course. One announcement said "We have swan behind you, so we will a little bit wait". Another said, "don't worry girls. We wait, swan passing by". Another is the pumpkin seed oil that was a surprised delight dressing for our salads. The people walking the lake with ice-cream cones gave a wonderful summery delight. Most people spoke english, and I felt very well accepted and it was easy to familiarize ourselves with the environment.

I'm back in Seattle, greeted by rain. Training will continue in Bellingham on Lake Samish. June 26-27 I have the opportunity to race in the Holland Beker. Then I go watch some soccer World Cup back home in South Africa. I haven't been home for three years and so excited to see how things have developed.

Thank you again so much for all your support and donations and help in this world cup. We are ready to keep working hard onwards to doing the impossible and achieve great things, every day in training, and then in New Zealand.

Watch the race here >  LW2x. Our awards ceremony is at the end of the LM2x. (These British commentators have got a mind of their own :)

More photos here >

USRowing says >


  1. well done Ursula. Congratulations on your win and good training for the upcoming races!

  2. Congratulations to both of you! And enjoy the World Cup at home!