Zim M2- Report – World Cup 1 2013, Sydney
We are extremely appreciative to have been given this opportunity. Thanks Miles Trustham and Rachel Davis especially, for all their correspondence and efforts to get us there. We must also mention Matt Draper, the Australian Organising Committee and Singapore Airlines for playing a major role.
Preparation – We had a week after SA Junior Champs before our flight to Sydney. We camped at Roodeplaat Dam and made good use of the time and location. Jamie Croly from St Stithians lent us a boat for the week, which we used to row 35-40km a day.
Once we arrived in Australia, we were based at The Penrith Valley Inn Motel which was opposite the Nepean Rowing Club on the Nepean River. Neil Holmes, the Club Captain, and the Madden family were extremely generous in helping us out with transport, equipment, towing and all aspects of our stay down under. The river was a great place to train, a 16km stretch of water, which allowed for longer sessions. We teamed up with the Korean National Team for morning sessions, where we fitted in sprint work to prepare for racing.
Racing – we raced in two regattas, the first of which was the Australian Open Championships followed by the first World Cup, 2013. Definitely a step up from any other form of regatta we have raced at in the past, an open age category proved extremely daunting. In both regattas as we lined up against Olympic medallists. It was rumoured that many crews pulled out of the Australian Open due to the star studded line up. You can imagine how that may have played on our minds, we blocked everything out and went out to race our best. After never having raced the pair together before, we didn’t know what to expect. Our first race did not go well, but we had the opportunity to take lots away from it and rectify parts of our race plan. Our next two races only got better, taking 40+ seconds off our time. We were placed 12th of 12 entries.
The World Cup started on Friday the 22nd of March and we had our first race at 18:00. By that stage of the day, the weather had worsened as a storm was predicted for the evening. This would prove to be yet another test and first experience in this boat class. We struggled and did not post a very good time, but were given confidence by the fact that other boats also struggled with the poor conditions. The final followed on Sunday morning, again with a star studded line up of London 2012 medallists, we set our goals to race well and produce a personal best, which we accomplished, we were placed 4th of 4 entries.
To conclude, we are happy with the knowledge that over 5 races together at a single venue, we were able to improve our racing time by 9.1% and that we were racing a prognostic of 90.6% of Olympic medallists. We feel that with more time, funding and opportunity in the boat, and perhaps a chance of some coaching, we are confident that we could move the boat much faster and be more competitive in the future.