Day 34: Southland champs regatta

Chicken salad Eating back on track, mindset back on track, training back on track which is just as well, because today was race day: Southland Champs! People are also starting to comment so the loss must now be much more noticeable. 


Breakfast: home made porridge, with jumbo oats
Lunch: flatbread and humous, orzo pasta salad with Kumara
Dinner: honey and mustard glazed chicken with salad

Exercise: 3 x rowing races & 1:10 hour ride.

Weight loss this week: 2lb/ 0.9kg
Weight loss total to date: 12lb

Southland champs Regatta

I was entered for the women’s quad and singles races. When I arrived I discovered I was also in the fours as well. It was a relatively still day, but the wind was against the tide, meaning a slight chop on the river. Still ok for singles for the moment.

Women’s Masters Quad

My first race was the women’s quad. The problem was we didn’t have a fourth female rower, so we borrowed Hans from Wakatipu rowing club. The race ended up being started off at the same time as the men’s quads, and there wasn’t just us with an odd gender combination! We rowed well, considering I didn’t know Hans and he didn’t know us, although I did end up doing some of the bough seat work for him and shouting the steering. Still, we rowed well, I must have been working hard because 1000m felt like a long long way, and I was gasping by the end, but we came third! The only two boats ahead were an all male crew (Invercargill) and a 3 male 1 female crew (Waihopai). Excellent result, I would say, with our three women and one man! Technically a win? 😉

Women’s Masters singles

My second race was a singles race. I have only raced in a single once, and that was as a novice. I have only been out in one single from our club regularly, and that was buster, and I wasn’t given him today. Dammit! I was given another boat belonging to an only boy member. I was a little scared tbh, rowing someone’s private pride and joy. He told me the boat would do well, I should pray for some chop (hell no!) because that was when it performed best! I would later learn (after this race was over) that this was in fact an Olympic standard boat, the lightest in the shed and therefore the most difficult single to row of them all. No wonder the coach was cross at the boat allocation! Anyway – off I went and immediately knew this was going to be very very different. It felt incredibly less stable than buster, I almost tipped myself in before I even got away from the shore! Truth be told I realised I had precisely 1000m (down to the start) to do some rapid learning!

After some ‘ack’ meltdown moments, I got used to this really twitchy boat, and was eventually able to lengthen my stroke. Down at the start line I realised it was only 3 of us, all Invercargill boats. Oh well, top 3 finish then hahaha!

I decided I wouldn’t race start, this boat was way too unstable compared to buster. I started nice and gently. Each time I tried to pull some weight though, like I do in buster, I found things become really tricky. I had to keep it more steady than I wanted to. When the course boat asked me to correct my course, the positive was I actually could respond as they requested (a skill it has taken me a long long time to master in a single) but in this boat, way more twitchy, a little correction sent it way off course further than I was used to. I was catching second place, but this problem meant she got away (in my beloved buster!) so I came in a solid third.

To begin with I was pissed off. Then I reminded myself, the goal, Mel – was to finish the race without mishap. I managed that, so I should be happy. I mean for goodness sake, it was my first singles race out of the novice category and only my second singles race ever! I am actually proud of myself and I felt a lot less panicked than I expected. In fact I felt in control throughout, even when I needed to make corrections and so on. Master singles third place 🙂

Masters mixed Fours

This race was almost scratched. It was meant to be two women and two men.I almost went home before hand, but with no one to replace me I stayed. Our other woman wasn’t able to row, leaving us one short again. Hello Hans, thanks for stepping into a ladies shoes again!

This time I had the youthful strong Robert (rower when he was younger) Ian (ex president, bound to be super fit!) and Hans. Sheesh I didn’t realise what I was letting myself in for!

I was sitting in 2 seat (I am usually 3) with the bough side oar. (One oar rather than two sculls, which you have in quads/singles.) I don’t row fours much, so it always feels funny at first. Our ‘cruise to the start’ pace was at quite a lick, so I knew this would be a hard race!

We had a good few boats including a good strong master four from our club. Ian was in for the win though, and right from the star the set a very high stroke pace, which made me panic! Sheesh, can I really keep this up!?  We had taken the lead really early and were pulling away from our other fours boat with ease. Which really surprised me. The only other boat that was contending us was Waihopai. We stayed a clear boat length ahead, despite my damn shirt tangling itself in the seat runners! I effectively managed to get it our with one hand while rowing with the other twice, but the third time Ian had upped the stroke again for the final sprint, so I didn’t dare, and just put up with it. Robert back in bough was amazed I had managed to referee it twice without losing the stroke! Hans behind me caught a crab close to the end. Wow. I was really surprised that I could do such a pace, more than I expected of myself. We won by 1.5 boat lengths, a good strong win to end the day. 🙂 last year I was women’s fours southland champ, this year mixed fours Southland champ 🙂

Nutrition changes

This week we are stepping up the nutrition experiments. We bought a magic bullet, some chai seeds, flaxseed, kale and a few other goodies. We are going to try more experimental smoothies, as we are both inspired by Rich Roll’s plant diet ideas. So much goodness to be had, and it makes it easier for the body to digest if it’s blended into a smoothie. Besides, it seems I can make humous, basil pesto, soup and all sorts of other wonders in it too!

I will keep you posted on my experiments!

One Comment on “Day 34: Southland champs regatta

  1. Pingback: Queenstown sunshine and rural games | Journey to New Zealand

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