Hi everyone, this may be my final email from Europe. We fly to Belgrade tomorrow morning (monday) at 5am and I am not sure if there will be any internet cafes there. In fact all we know about Belgrade is that they trade in Euros for currency, that

the women are deadly with knives (no more shouting out to hot chicks on the street), that we arent allowed out in public unless it is in a group of 4 or more (girls must have guys around) and the whole American and Croation teams are too scared to come and compete. Sounds great huh?

The last week has been spent at Sarnen. It is about a 45 min drive from Lucerne and is a smallish town set on another lake... which we train on. We are living in the Swiss National Rowing Centre. It has been really hot (about mid thirties) but thankfully there is a beach where heaps of people swim about 100m from the boatsheds. So we train, take the boat off the water, then go for a dip.

It was good to get a break from the stress and excitment of racing at the World Cup, but it is also a little boring. We were all ready to race at Belgrade about 5 days ago and the last 5 days have felt like we are killing time. Having said that, our goal for the last week has been to find an extra 3 seconds of boatspeed from our B Final Result (ie. 5:34 down from 5:37) and think the recent improvements we have made will do the trick.

We have two days off now. The excitment is starting to build now as our training is all but over, and it is time to race. We have singled out the Canadians and Germans as our major threats at the World U23 Champs... but we would have to be the favourites going into this regatta.

So what about the extra curricular activities? We have gone out once since we have been here - after the World Cup. Alot of the A Team got hammered and swam down the rapics which go through the middle of town. We were well behaved as usual. It is pretty amazing to see the world best rowers on video back home and then to see them race over here... but it is even more amazing to see them at the after party getting pissed and tuning chicks. Each year, all the rowers from all the countries go out to this one pub... fun times.

There is no goss from our team though. The mens eight, quad and four have been shipped off the Sarnen and the rest of the team (including all the girls) have stayed at Lucerne. Tim nearly picked up a Canadian girl last night though. She

was pretty awesome, and a nice person too. He fell at the last hurdle though... I guess he missed all the subtle hints that she was giving him (like when her friends were shouting at him to go for it)...

To be honest, so much has gone on recently that I have forgotten most of it. But whenever we have done stuff, there has been a video camera there, so I can show it to people if they want to know what we really got up to.

We still arent shaving. I have some cool facial hair happening (if I do say so myself). We??re going to look pretty feral when we get to Belgrade... going to be cool.

 

Cheers,

Mike.