Well we have now begun the final stage of our preparation towards national selection this year. Duncan and his family have arrived in Melbourne and will be here for the next two weeks. Already we have had a few rowers and the genuine excitement I feel is amazing. We have discussed the situation that we are in with the pair and although we want to keep our options open, I sense that the amongst the head coaches of the men’s team would have involved focusing the men’s sweep team toward the pair and eight. I have a few thought on this as it assumes that last years worlds result dictate the best pathway going forward. That’s fine, but for an athletes view I like the idea of getting the opportunity to perform and then based on the most recent form as a guide for the best pathway going forward. It is clear from our National championships that many of the men’s pairs will be very keen to be the best at the trails and it would seem realistic that at least 5-6 crews could have a good crack at realising that goal. Does this mean they want to be the pair overseas? Well that is far less clear, but I would think any crew who can succeed in our pair competition would have a great chance overseas. What’s exciting is the physical presence of many of the athletes in the competition. From the ergo scores and the standard on the water it is obvious that we are coming into a period where the level of expectation and output by athletes is being challenged. History would say that Australia has achieved some amazing results over the last 11 years and with the current crop athletes I believe we can continue to improve. These trails will be an opportunity to see that and then the key will be how individuals and crew can learn to perform when it really counts. We get few of these opportunities and that is why it is a challenge, but from what I have seen recently the wave is building. The better performances, results, confidence and belief are indicators of the gaining momentum toward a pinnacle that will mark the end of a journey.