Due to an injury following the Hump a Ridge walk (just tired leg need a new knee syndrome I think, it’s ok now, I rested it for two weeks) I missed the Legion regatta last week. This was to be my third race of the season, first one proper, as Bluff was short course and Clyde was an Ultra. Of course, I can no longer be a novice, so nowhere to hide!
I was only down for two races, women’s masters quad and women’s masters double, becoming women’s masters 4’s and women’s masters double on day two.
The quad contained one girl from the Bluff club, (Awarua) and three from Invercargill. It is characteristically windy at Clyde, so today’s still dry warm weather with cloud over meant there was no sun glare on the water, perfect for rowing.
The water couldn’t be better for race one. But by golly I certainly felt the lack of on the water training so far this season (due to the weather) because I thought my lungs were going to bust out of my chest! I barely had the breath for the three cheers at the end! After all these long slow sessions I have been doing in preparation for challenge Wanaka, 1000m at RPE 10/10 felt like 1000 miles!
We came third, which we can’t complain about really, but wow, it was hard work! I couldn’t even blame the weather!
The doubles race later in the day was a different story. The wind had whipped up by then, just like the forecast had said. Much more the normal choppy wind tunnel experience you expect on lake Dunstan, nestled in a valley between high rugged hills.
My partner wasn’t too keen on the chop, so we agreed to row it rather than race it. I also had to shorten my stroke to match her too, as she was having a few issues with the boat, not our usual one.
It was quite different water the second time through, some large white caps that were breaking over the rigging, up my back and across my legs. The wee boys going past in their singles for the next race were very brave, I am not sure I would have wanted to be in a boat any smaller!
The rest set off in race mode, we simply played it safe. Their were some hairy times where I continued to row when my partner was less confident, usually in large swells. But it’s ok, we made it. Every race is an opportunity to practice and learn. Although she didn’t want to ‘race it’ I did manage to squeeze it out a bit at the end. The thing with rowing is confidence and a strong core, or you’re going in! Not that I would have minded because the water was a wonderful blue colour and crystal clear! Very inviting!
The wind in fact got stronger later in the afternoon. I hope it dies down by tomorrow, we have to do it all again! (Well almost, 4’s instead this time!)
It’s not unusual to not finish a regatta at Clyde due to the wind, so we will just have to wait and see.