Lucerne world cup
Friday, June 3rd, 2016
This was one of our biggest challenges yet. Lucerne is a tiny city, nestled in the foothills of the Alps in Switzerland. It was here that we flew to compete in the World Cup (the second one of a 3 series event) and face the best crews in the world.
The lake we race on is called the Rotsee, and is also known among the rowing community as the “Lake of the Gods” a perfect, calm, picturesque 2,000m lake, almost as though the rowing Gods themselves reached down and created it. It is also notoriously tough to win here at this regatta, every nation sends their top boats and it was a chance for us to line up alongside the World and Olympic Champions the USA.
We knew after becoming European Champions a few weeks ago that this crew was special, and certainly has some speed. We still knew we had our doubters however, and many questions were asked about our capabilities seen as though we hadn’t faced the top crews in the world yet, who all fall outside of Europe.
This was it, time to really test our speed and put ourselves under some pressure. The whole team was rather depleted after some illness, so by the time our race came around there was an unusually small number of medals in the GB camp.
The USA hold the world record, have won the past 8 World Championships, and 2 Olympic Games, they certainly weren’t going to roll over easily. We got off to a fast start and put our boat out there, just trailing to the Americans by a split second. Through the middle of the race the Kiwi crew, world silver medalists, were throwing everything at us and we were trying our best to buffer their advances. This allowed the Americans to slip out a couple more seconds, leaving a big mountain to climb if we were going to get back on track with them.
The final sprint for the finish line came rather suddenly and it was now or never for my crew and I, this is almost certainly the last time I’ll row down this course and gold was in our sights. We went with everything we had left, and never gave up hope of catching them, but in the end it proved too much, and on the line they had us by 0.83 of a second. Not too bad over a 6 minute race, but it wasn’t the gold we’d wanted.
I’m so proud of what we have achieved so far, this is another step along our road to Rio. Watch this space.