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08/29 2011

Heats from the Worlds

Yesterday marked the opening of the 2011 World Rowing Championships.  Scott and I drew lane 4, with Cuba(1), Australia(2), the Czech Republic(3), Spain(5) and Hungary(6) in the other lanes.  The warm-up area was very bumpy with umpire, announcer and camera boats ripping up and down the course.  Races were on 6 minute centers, so there was simply no time for the wakes to dissipate.  We knew that was the case before we went on the water though because we were able to collect intel from the other Canadian crews racing before us.

Scott and I agreed not to worry about taking rough strokes in the warm-up area – we needed to get sweaty – and if we could string a few good ones together than that’s all we needed to do.  Our attitude was the right one to have – the warm-up area was laughable at times.

Once we were in the starting gates we had a water bottle float into the space I’d need to take my first stroke.  A bit of a distraction – but by then Scott and I were calm, focused and ready to race.  In training we have found the buoyed course difficult to see depending on where the sun is in the sky.  We also discovered that there should be two more buoys in each lane in the start area.  It is challenging to line up centered in the lane when the buoys don’t start until past your bow.  The starter pulled the lanes and we were off and running – most small boats are taking about 150 meters to find the center of their lanes – we were no different.

Only the winner of the heat advanced directly to the semifinal, so it was important for us to get things right.  We managed to get out on the field and carry that all the way to the finish line.  Just as the warm-up area was rough, the race course was terrible.  We only had one 250 meter stretch that we felt the water was calm.  The Australians and the Hungarians got into a strong battle for second place, with the Hungarians coming out on top – but only by 0.2 of a second.

In the other heats of our event the Kiwis, British and Italians won.  The Italians and the Greeks faced off against each other in their heat and exchanged the lead a number of times before the Italians pulled away in the last 500.  The rep-recharge of our event runs tomorrow and the three start lists are posted on World Rowing already.  I’m sure we’ll head down to the course to have a look.

For other Canadian results from yesterday and today please check out Rowing Canada’s website.  The entire team has raced now, and we are each on our own track towards our 2011 rowing destinies!

Check out our post race interview with row2k.com:

Dave

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