The Race Is On

September 1st, 2005 | by Heather Boyle |

Thank God all the crews got through the reps no bother. This means that everyone will be placed at least in the top 12, but of course we are all aiming a lot higher..

The first Rep yesterday was Niamh’s in the single. She qualified easily behind the Austrian in a blistering time of 7.30. It was so exciting to watch the racing in such fast conditions, and great for Niamh’s (extended) family-who we all have adopted for the week-to see…Unfortunately the pace was just a little too fast for her today in the semi finals, where she came 5th in a savage race, won by the Cuban in a world Record time of 7.23.

I will be interested to see if this record will stand, as at the moment an incorrect record is standing. There is a funny story behind the 7.15 that is being hailed as the world Record. It was recorded in Lucerne World Cup one year, by the Dutch girl who is racing this year. The timing system broke in the racing (very un-Swiss!!!) and one of the 500m splits missed half a minute!!! It has not been rectified yet, and for the past few years it has caused heartache for LW1xs around the world who cannot get a good percentage of World Record time!!!

The next rep of interest was the Lightweight Men’s Pair, of Richard Coakley and Siaghal Mc Colgain. This has only been together for a few days really, since Siaghal’s brother Diramaid got injured. Richard had sculled in the World U-23 A Final a few weeks back, and had no stroke side experience until they sat in the boat just before we flew out here! Well it’s not going that bad, if they can race in a time of 7.28! Apparantly Siaghal took care of the first half of the race and Richard took it home… Sounds like a good plan…Myself and Sinead are thinking of doing the same. I will push it hard til the half way mark and let her take over…Hmmm….

Anyway…Next up was the Men’s Heavy Four of Alan Martin, Sean Casey, Sean Jacob and Cormac Folan. They were really unlucky in their heat, drawing savage crews, they are such a good crew. Stroked by Alan, they really know how to row efficiently.. I wish we had as good a rhythm in our boat.. They still haven’t even come close to the speed they are capable of, but have progressed nicely into the semis…ready to give it socks in…Aaghh…a couple of minutes… Fingers crossed for them…This Four won a medal in the Munich World Cup, and seem to have come on quite a bit since then too…

As for our crew and the Lightweight Four…Well we are just itching to get on with it. It’s quite strange watching everybody race, and getting nervous, the adrenalin pumping, world records being broken, and we are just out paddling, eyeing up the oppo out on the water…just paddling too… Everybody has their mind set on the top step of the podium, but there are a few steps to take before then.

Every morning we take the bus to the course (yeah over 45min each way!!) and do our session… every morning wishing it was race day.. but you just know that on race day you are sitting on the same bus wishing it was just a paddle… Racing… the reason we row, and train so bloody hard… you hate it and you love it….

Our draw is out for the Semi. You can look at names and analyse them to bits and try to figure out if you have a good draw or not. The way I look at it is, if you want to be at the top every race is the same….hard…. and fast… so we got the Germans, Australians, Greeks, Italians, and the Spanish. I have listed them in the order of the speed I reckon they’ll show… So it is up to us where we will slot in our “Irish”…

And the Lightweight Four… well they are veterans at these A Finals… they really know how to race!!! It is Paul’s birthday today… I reckon he won’t mind getting his present a little late….

I’d better head and follow this race on the tracker now…


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