Wow what can I say the week had everything. I have been making video updates which I will load up at some stage, but for now can I start with how impressed I was with some of the racing in SA.
A few stand outs and mainly because of the times rowed were the light weight state fours and the NSW Kings Cup row. the womens single sculler from QLD, Sally Keoho really took the risk and came up with the win in the fast conditions. The boys youth eight was a classic with NSW going for it early and only through an outstanding last 1000m by the Victorian crew were they overhauled the early leads to show case the young talent coming through. A time of 5.30 is huge for a youth crew.
The lighty boys from Tassie were class with a row only 2 sec outside a Worlds best time. With the middle distance speed at 35 strokes a minute it was great to see the boys from Tassie and WA showing why they are heading for something special in 2011 and 12. It also shows that the result in NZ at the Worlds was just an initial step along they way to what will be a light weight period which is very exciting.
The KC race was both frustrating and exhilarating. Personally I am disappointed and will regret a few things in retrospect. But and I need to make this clear. What the NSW crew did was World class and I had suspected that the group have great confidence and boldness and would require us to have a great row to even match them. For them to do 5.22 in the fast conditions was huge. To see the guys after the race, as much as I was pissed off at out own performance I felt very respectful of what the NSW crew had done. It’s hard when you feel your crew can do better but at the same time I was extremely impresses with how the others rowed their race and the standard of the race.
The conditions were fast and at time tricky and looking back over the week we had it all. To be able to come away being part of success in the pair and four with Josh, Duncan and James was very satisfying. Understanding this is a long way from what we are all working towards is a reminder I have had. Trials are still to come and then and only then does the season really begin for the long term target of rowing fast come the World Championships.
Listen to me I am now talking long term. What a turn around. Just back in Dec I was still very much hooding back my imagination about what might be ahead. Then in Jan at National camp I had a couple of days where I found myself really questioning what I was doing and if my back would hold up to the demands of rowing. I am still cautious but feeling positive.
The four was a very good row and I think gave us a sense of what can be possible. The pair was exciting as it really did take me back to years ago. I have been so fortunate to row with guys like James Tomkins and Duncan Free in long term pair combinations. Both different but truly enjoyable partners to team up with and rowing well consistently helps. The willingness to explore how to go fast was also the strong reason for why I loved those combinations. Last week with Josh gave me that same sense of joy. Racing with freedom. Racing freely and flowing. Josh was great and to be able to jump in a work on our partnership over the last couple of months was enjoyable.
The standard in the pair with many of the crews within a boat lenth or two shows how competitive it is. Being back amongst it all was great but I was reminded of some things I enjoy less about rowing competitions. For me the years in the sport have been long and I guess some old habits die hard but I do find myself wanting less hassle with how we go about preparing and performing. Competition does strange things to people some time. Once in a race I become a different person. This is what I use to go deep and perform. Off the water though I like being strategic but dislike some of the bullshit people carry on with. It’s easy to get caught up in and I am susceptible like the next person. But over the years I have seen many thing and realize somethings just don’t matter.
For me this last week it was about staying focused on what matters most to the crew I was preparing for. Focusing on whats important and focusing on looking after myself to ensure I was ready to race each race. The week mainly was a success but I guess a big focus was have a great row in the KC and this was not achieved. It does overshadow the other performances somewhat, but when you go that fast and have a crew a length in front and know you have made some major mistakes then with out liking it, it requires and commands humbleness, respect and excitement for the future.