So after my last entry, a lot has happened. Gb u23 and Senior Final Trials and BUCS Regatta have come and gone and I can safely say it has been perhaps the most successful period for Surrey University Boat Club ever!
Trials was a brand new experience for me and one that proved to be a big learning curve. As the only race of the year that all athletes are required to weigh in below 70kg, this presented a more challenging tasks for the taller members of the lightweight contingent (of which I happen to be one). Performing under normal circumstances is one thing, but to weigh in at below 70kgs two days in a row with only 2 hours between weigh-in and race time and still perform to the best of your ability requires a huge amount of planning. Not only did I have to know my race plan and warm up strategy inside out, but I also needed to plan my nutrition over the last couple of days leading into trials. The focus shifted from a healthy, fruit-filled and vegetable dense diet to a calorie dense diet (which means peanut butter!!!) with the idea being that the last few hundred grams of weight can be lost through reducing the physical volume of food you eat and emptying your gut. Anyway, the weigh-in proved to be fine in the end, and I managed to walk away from the weekend having placed 4th out of the u23’s and more importantly learnt a lot about racing the single scull. Having performed well at the crew formation days after trials, I was delighted to hear that I had been selected to race at Essen regatta in an u23 lightweight coxless four.
After a day or two of recovery, Haz and I managed to get out in our double and we were both pleased to see that we produced some good speed pretty quickly and this stayed with us through to the start of BUCS Regatta. The Saturday of BUCS saw Harry, Sherry and Myself racing in singles. Racing kicked off with some encouraging results in the time trial, Sherry and I managed to progress through our semi-finals to the final later in the day. Harry had a tough race that frustratingly would have qualified him for the A final on time in the second semi-final, but provided some vital fuel for the next day’s racing. Moving into the A finals, Sherry had a stormer of a row and powered his way through in the middle kilometre to come away with a win and GOLD MEDAL in intermediate singles, I also managed to put together a good row to win a silver medal in the champ lightweight singles. The next day saw myself and harry racing in the champ double. We knew the race was going to be close from the time-trial results but we had no idea how close they really were. Between 1st place and 4th place there were only 1.7 seconds, with 0.04 seconds between silver and bronze and just 0.2 back to fourth place. Some big last strokes from Harry and me attempting to hold on saw us just on the right side of that margin. Silver medal in the championship double and a great way to finish the day. Monday saw a more relaxed event in the championship pair, with myself and Harry having never been in a pair together before the Regatta. We set our sights high of making the A-final and amazingly we managed to achieve this. Also a shout out must go to the Intermediate and Beginner Squads, both Men and Women for producing some really encouraging results and showing that our new coaching set-up is working.