Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The outcome of 2 days at the Holland Beker
Day one, Saturday June 25th > the weather was 'Seattle' at its best. Rainy, grey, cold, damp to the bones kinda thing. Abby and I took on the heat with angst. One lane next to us paced Canada (the World Champ winners) and on the other side, GB (multiple World Cup winners).
First time racing in the new line-up of Abby in stroke position, set us off the line with too much excitement. Almost, a false start by us as the red was like a green. We were ready to go! Quick adjustment to actually wait for the green, hold blades and off we went. The rhythm of Abby was energetic and sent us down the course building every 500m. We finished just behind GB, and Canada behind us. In four hours we would meet again for the Saturday final.
That afternoon, we lined up again, and added from other heats was The Netherlands crew and the Danish true openweight 2x. The rest of us were all LW2x crews. This time we were ready for the green and got off to a better start. Through the race our pace, expectations, speed was amiss. And GB, Canada and the Netherlands finished ahead. Home with a fourth in the final meant we might lose our housing with Frans Göbel, who is known as a racer to win!
We awoke to Sunday where we were scheduled for three races in 2 hour gaps. The schedule updated and we had a heat, top 2 direct to final. We lined up with mostly Dutch club crews and this Denmark openweight 2x. This 2x and me already met in the warmup area where the chaos of when to go and what lane to be in, did not match, resulting in stink eye from the blond bow girl. In the warmup you need to stop when crews are racing, and you have one lane up, and two lanes down, but one of the lanes down you need to not use, unless you are clearing a crew, or doing a piece (I thought).
So here we sit waiting for the green, Denmark to the right of us, and the Dutch crews all to the left. This Denmark crew was ready to kill us. They took us on the first 500m, by a lot. We knew they would. They did it all yesterday. So now we get to work, and take on the rest of the 5min of the race. 'Moving', I yelled. 'Moving' again, and into the last 500m we had them just on bow ball. But they took first and split seconds later LUC.
Abby and I went to recover and restructure and reframe what we wanted. In four hours, at the final, we made it clear that we are on our way to making our comeback. We had the fastest first, second and third 500m, over GB, Canada and the Netherlands. It came down to that last 500m, and GB pushed through us in 250m. We took a silver in the Sunday finals. Full Results here >
On a side note, there were a lot of South African juniors racing. It was great to hear the SA accents and talk to the development coaches. There was even a girl from my highschool there! Go Willowridge.
says: Ursula Grobler