Today I had the great honour of taking some strokes in the double with Laurien Vermulst.
Laurien was among one of the first women to experience the introduction of Lightweight Rowing, and further more, the first entry of the lightweight women double scull event into the Olympics. Her coach, Ans Rom Colthoff is connected to the South Holland Talent Center where we are training and so the threads of great dutch sculling is woven thick. Further more, Laurien raced a great a race in the 1991 Vienna World Champs against New Zealand sculler Philippa Baker. I had the great pleasure of meeting Philippa at the Billy Webb Challenge that I rowed in last year after the 2010 New Zealand World Champs. Philippa named Laurien's boat, Kia Khaha which is a Māori phrase for "Be Strong". Hillary got the hnour of rowing in the boat for the camp in Belgium and for racing in the Hell of the North in Groningen, which was cancelled due to high winds.
I just love how the stories interview and touch down on us so many worlds apart. Rowing really is a small world.
If you have a european isp you can view the race here >>