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08/25 2011

Getting Settled: T-minus 3 Days

Okay, three days left before we race our heat.  This is an exciting time for every racer out there, including me!  Tomorrow we will go through our race day routines to ensure we have our timing down pat, including a short pre-race row before breakfast.  It’s great to wake our bodies up with a short, sharp row before we eat.  We then can focus on our race, preparing our bodies and our minds.  The transitions between the hotel and the course are fairly easy here because of how close everything is.

The course is beautiful.  Nowhere else in the world that I’ve raced has castles and churches everywhere you look.  Riding back from the boat enclosure (yes, I have a rental bike – no, I will not hurt myself) I was thinking about the history of this area, and how little I know about it.  I decided to read up a bit, if you’re interested check out this site.  I can’t help but reflect on Dee Brown’s book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee because I am reading it again on this trip.

How often do Canadians travel to Europe only to be awe-struck with the depth of history around every corner; reading about the castle in Bled that dates back to at least 1000 AD is inspiring.  We have an amazing history in Canada though, that dates back at least that far.   The only difference is that from 1492 onward we’ve decimated that mainly oral history and it is all but lost to a few.

The course is a little bumpy.  The lake is similar in size to the lake we train on in Victoria (Elk Lake).  That said, because the whole rowing world has descended upon Bled there is never a time when we are not rowing in the wash of another boat.  It is easy for a small boat (say, like a pair) to resent a big boat (hmm, like an eight) in times like these – this morning we were doing laps along side the German men’s and women’s eights.  The assumption (as a rower of a smaller boat) is that the wash feels worse for smaller boats.  The reality is that it’s challenging for every boat out there to adapt and adjust and find comfort again rowing in that bounce; especially crews that have just traveled from Erba where the water is dead calm all the time!  Ha, our own worst enemy!

No matter – when races start there won’t be the boat traffic out there to kick up the water.


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