How are things back home? I am having the time of my life over in Europe at the moment. Last week, as you probably know, we raced at Lucern. We didn't start too well coming last in our heat, about 6 seconds down on the two crews we were hoping to beat, the Austrians and second German crew.
In the rep we improved slightly but still came in last about 3 seconds behind the Austrians, which put us into the B final. Racing down the rep next to the unchanged Russian Olympic Gold Medalists was an eye opening experience.
We also raced the Czech Republic with Vaclav Chalupa. These were some of the biggest men I have ever seen in my life.
In the B final we finally found our rythm and knocked off both the Austrian and second German crew that had beaten us by so much in the heat. This was great because that German crew, while not their U23 crew this year, had one member from last year's world champion U23 quad and one from the World Champion U23 double.
All in all we were very pleased with how we had improved during the regatta, and were one of only three Aussie crews not to come in last. We were also only 12 seconds off the eventual winners of the A final so were in no way disgraced.
Since them we have moved into a training camp in a town called Tilburg (remember it Marty) just outside of Amsterdam. Training is going well and our times for some racing are improving as we start to freshen up.
Our first race in next thursday and, with 15 crews in our event, we then have to go through semi-finals before the final on Sunday.
Ian and Fergus are enjoying their time in the VIII who I think are starting to really get some form as well. The Canadian VIII is training out of here at the moment and I think our boys will have a real shot at them.
Stay well and I will see you all in about 3 weeks.