Sunday, November 6, 2011
We arrived on Sunday and was immediately immersed into the course with the compliments from the Cerea Club launch and our wonderful host Vittorio Soave (the man who started the Silverskiff). This 77 year old is filled with vitality and logistical persistence. And a heart filled with love and dedication. As the week progressed he treated us to lunch, dinner, another dinner and a movie showing of their voyage rowing from Torino to London; a 1500m feat.
I rowed and mapped the course daily in the Cerea Club single, and enjoyed the calm water. It was in direct conflict to surfacing weather reports mapping out disaster. I felt this was impossible, and a false weather report (who believes the weather reports anyway.) However rain came. Then an update that we were now racing on Saturday. Filippi boats were to be arriving on Thursday, and in true Italian style, arrived Friday!
Friday was rigging in the rain. Went out for a row in the rain. And then rigging again in the rain, and dampening cold. The first boat rental from Filippi didn't work for me. Luckily there was another boat available. However 4pm now, Friday- race tomorrow. This has got to be training in overcoming adversity.
Saturday morning I went out early for a row in the other boat just rigged late last night. There were gushing river inlet flows. I left the last 500m as my cherry for later that day's racing. On my way back a Police vehicle were riding alongside the course. Funny how I noticed that, when I don't usually see the cars driving by. I guess a sense of something to come. Back to the hotel, and resting waiting for my start which would come at about 1:20. Then it happened: an email from Hillary: race cancelled. And indeed on the Silverskiff site, there it said: Race cancelled, determined by the Police.
Well, later we walked over to the course to scoop out what cancelled looks like. Walking umbrella'd under pouring rain. Looking over the course, it didn't seem that bad. And knowing that I had rowed it that morning... it wasn't that bad. These guys should come row an NSR on Mercer sometime! So now you had people scrambling looking for earlier flights home. Then Enzo came by and said, we are going out at 2, want to join us? Now Enzo and I battle paddled each other earlier the week. So I was up for the challenge. Just had to check in with Filippi if I could keep the boat a little longer. Yes, with a beer in hand, they would wait for me. So at 1:15, little earlier than scheduled, we embarked. I was not quite geared to race, no stroke coach and garmin, so estimated by time as 45-46min. There were a ton of tree branches. One branch that was perfectly in a v-shape hooked my skag caused a complete stop and backing and swerving to dislodge it. I guess I didn't have the difficulty of steering around competitors, but the tree branches gave me something else to overcome in fall head racing style.
So that is my Silverskiff report 2011.
I have some more photos here: Flickr
says: Ursula Grobler