Sunday – mix double and driving home

I had difficulty falling asleep on Saturday evening. The events of the day, winning the single, Romana winning the eight, the Masters Party, combined with the hot hotel room without airconditioning, and a few beers, made it hard to fall asleep. So I watched some German TV. Then I dozed off.

The best thing about our hotel in Dachau was the breakfast. There was a huge choice of fresh pastry, fruit, eggs prepared in different ways, and as we discovered, on Sundays there was free Champagne.

Not for us. We still had one row to row.

The weather had turned 180 degrees. From sunny and hot to rainy and gray. Temperatures had dropped to 17 degrees C, from above 30 the day before.

We cycled to the race venue, about a 30 minute ride, which we felt was a very nice way to start the body and prepare it for racing.

We arrived just in time, before the rain started.

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The boats area on Sunday morning

The boats area was quite empty, with only the boats of the participants to the singles finals (Munich Trophy) and the mixed events left.

We watched the singles finals (with mixed feelings), then went to the Salani booth to pick up our club’s new youth single. After that, it was time to prepare for our race, the mixed C 2x.

The mixed races were open for registration until Saturday afternoon, and apparently the event organizers were a little exhausted when they compiled the start list. Even though we had registered only for the C event, we featured on the starting list of the A event as well. Our friends Martin and Jitka were listed on two heats of the mixed C 2x.

At the pre-start, called our race exactly when we arrived. We found that strange, because at the start there were quads preparing, and we were the fourth heat in the Mix C 2x.

It turned out that two pages of his list had stuck together because of the rain, and he skipped three heats. When he discovered that, there was a lot of confusion, and some of the crews of the first three heats were quite far away, which caused substantial delays.

Our friends Martin and Jitka got started in their second heat.

Then some time was spent calling for them during the third heat. In the end it was decided they weren’t there and their heat was started without them.

Then it was time for our race, which was reduced to a race between three boats, I guess also due to double bookings.

There was a French couple with which we had had chatted at the pre-start. I had translated the confused German and English announcements into broken French.

Then there was a German couple from Hersfelder Ruderclub. I knew Andreas, the guy at stroke, because we had rowed a quad together at Masters Worlds in Duisburg, in 2012.

I also knew he was fresh. He hadn’t started a single race during the weekend. Anyway, there was not a lot of time to think about it. We were in the starting pontoons and the starter was calling us.

Ready – Attention – Go

We started off well and quickly gained … nothing. When I peaked to the side after then strokes, there were three boats in a line. The French maybe a bit behind, and the Germans perhaps half a boat length in front.

In the next 10 strokes the Germans rowed away. When they had a length on us, we managed to stop this.

Well, you have to be patient, right?

Just after passing the 750m line I called for a 15 stroke push.  We were a length behind the Germans and the French were half a boat length behind us.

 

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You can see the position of my first push quite well in this graph. The stroke rate stops dropping and goes up

We took half a length back on the Germans, but the French were still on our heels.

In the next 300m nothing really happened. Except that everything started to hurt.

Then I took up the rate again and I think we came level with the Germans. But I am not sure and have to rely on reports from people on the shore.

Everything hurt even more.

With 250m to go I didn’t have to call for a sprint. Romana knew. We took the rate up a little.

According to the post race reports from people on the shore, we came level with the Germans.

The French started a furious sprint. We responded. The Germans responded.

There were just 10 to 15 strokes left to the finish. I don’t know how many. I only remember I moaned and tried to increase the rate even more. I felt how Romana was pushing with every stroke.

Beep. Beep.

Beep.

After the finish, we only knew that the French were last. I didn’t have a good feeling, but when Andreas asked me who won, I answered I didn’t know, and proposed to row to the Finish Tower and ask.

Which we did, to find out that the Germans had won. 🙁

We did a 1km cooling down, then loaded the double on the trailer, went for a quick lunch and then it was time to hit the road.

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Traffic Jams and very bad weather

The first 30 km from Munich we drove in very heavy traffic and didn’t move a lot. Then we finally took the highway towards Berlin/Prague, which was quieter. At that moment, however, it started to rain heavily, and we couldn’t go any faster than 80km, driving our trailer through hilly country on a very wet road with very low visibility.

Made to to Prague by 7pm, where we offloaded two boats at rowing club Blesk, then continued for Brno.

We were at our local rowing club at 10pm. We disconnected the trailer and drove home. Tired. But happy. Although we were still contemplating if we could have dug a little deeper and perhaps won even the mixed double.

On Monday I went back to the rowing club to clear the boats from the trailer, put them in the racks, and assist the youth trainer in rigging the new single. Of course, there were a lot of volunteers to try it out:

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And, finally, some random photos from Munich:

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