First Day of Racing…

August 30th, 2005 | by Heather Boyle |

Well thank God the first day of racing is over…it is good to open the lungs, get the nerves out the system… and of course to qualify straight to the Semi… We came third in the heat in a PB of 6.57min… Only the second time ever breaking the 7 minute mark.. We probably slightly underestimated the speed of the USA crew, who lead out of the blocks…But we are happy to see that about 2 seconds only seperates the top 6 crews… and we are included in that..

I think the hardest part of a race is the two minutes that you have sitting on the starting pontoon,waiting for the roll call…It is the only chance you have to take a deep breath and realise that your 11 months of training 4-5 hours a day has been for this moment…daunting…Yep!!!

Once you hear them start calling out the Nations, you bury your blade and wait for the traffic light to turn green…and then go like the clappers…At least that is the plan.. I think we hit the water a bit too hard and consequently rowed a little short for the first few strokes… this costs quite a bit of time in the first 500m, and that is where we let the Germans and USA get away…

However, once we settled the rate, we found a wicked rhythm, and slowly started to reel back the leaders… we were overlapping the two boats for most of the rest of the race, occasionally getting our bow in front of the US crew. But our finish was a bit ropey then, and we had to settle for third. Top three was all we needed to get to the Semi anyway..We just need to really polsh off the two ends of the race…do what we have done properly so many times in training…simple!!!

Half an hour after our race the lightweight four won their heat easily…I reckon this is their year…all they need to do is fight off the French and Italy, who always put in a great challenge.

The pair of Richard and Siaghal have only had a few paddles together, so will definitely have the best improvement curve by the end of the Championships. They will join Niamh and the Heavy Four in the Reps tomorrow. An extra day of racing is never a bad thing…

As for my impressions of Japan so far..what polite nice people!!! While I was waiting for the computer a girl was showing me how to make a paper box out of a sheet of paper… watch out Grafton Street, I will be showing off my new talent when I get home…and make a bit of money while I am at it!!!

But seriously, they are so trusting…they give out free drink to anyone at the course, they supply little bungees to tie down the boat (so boat tie swiping won’t be an issue), and they give free posters, so stealing them isn’t a thrill… However, I am still trying to figure out if the parasols, which are free to rent, will fit in my gear bag…hardly….

So I think it is time for my siesta…

Heather…

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