The final beckons

September 2nd, 2005 | by Heather Boyle |

…3…2…. ….

Heheh… I think we caused a bit of stress for everyone on the bank this morning!! We qualified for the A Final by coming second in our Semi to the Germans.. Beating the Australian crew into third..This will be a cracker of a final!!

The buzz around our camp is huge out here..About 40 minutes after our race we got to see the lightweight four cruising in to win their semi, securing a place in the A Final too..Unfortunately the other crews will be racing to win the B final…Still a position 7-12 in the World is not something to snub!!

During our pre race paddle at very early a.m. it was a roaring tailwind in the strong flow… in the space of three hours the wind managed to turn around, so all our races were in headwind conditions, nice and stable!!! This meant we took it out of the start pretty steady, while the other crews seem to have blasted away… suffering for their courage later, while we just got stronger. In fariness maybe we were a tad conservative!! Anyway, it caused some minor panics on the bank, and I imagine on the race tracker too… what’s racing without a little drama, eh?

I think at the halfway point, Harald, Mick and Conor (our Doc) started shouting in unison “Hands Heather” and I seemed to respond straight away… God I wish I heard them!! I mean, coming down the course in the Heat I heard “Heather Heather” the whole way down, and was really chuffed… It turned out the it must have been the voices in my head, cos apparantly nobody shouted my name at all!!! It’s a funny old state of insanity us rowers work ourselves into!!

Maybe the best preparation we did for the race was have a good old cry last night at dinner.. I swear it was the funniest meal. I mentioned it was Paul’s birthday, well Debbie organised a litlle (lightweight) cake to be presented to him… Obviously we were not prepared for the fuss Japanese make over birthdays… this really was his special day!!

When we went in the lights went out, they put on a slide show with photos of all the nations who eat there… ending up with a “beautiful” one of Paul… the cake came out, with a spotlight following it as it was pushed all around the hall… then came the singing, followed by the Mike being handed to Paul for a little speech… and this was followed by more music… We had tears in our eyes watching Paul cringe… thinking it would never end!! Needless to say we went to bed nice and relaxed!

So that’s pretty much my news from Gifu… good spirits… and let the real racing begin…

Heather

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