Aug 31 2015
As I wrote here, the organizing club registered a composite crew for the mix 8+. They wrote 8x N/A on the start list and it was our task to show up at the start somehow. When we arrived to Breclav on Friday, Slavka, the local trainer, immediately approached my wife Romana to ask if she would row the mix 8+.
“Only if I am in that boat as well,” I answered.
That basically secured my place. When I talked to Slavka later that day, she talked about exchanging some Breclav men with faster men from Ostrava, because the Breclav guys were not such good rowers. The ladies were secure, selected by secret selection criteria, but the men were selected by Slavka on boat moving qualities. I presume. Survival of the fittest.
Anyway, on Sunday noon we lifted the very old and very heavy boat and put it in the water. Our competitors, a crew from Hodonin who train on the mixed 8+ each Wednesday evening, were already rowing to the start. I ended up on stroke side in #6 seat. I prefer to row bow side, but I can row both, so no problem. Rowing to the start we did one practice start and that was our race prep.
We were in lane 2, our competitors in the faster lane 3. We were fastest out of the start and the 14 year old boy who coxed us turned out to be an excellent cox. He managed to steer the ideal line and shout tactical orders to us at the same time. Really a good cox. A good cox is basically the reason why I love to row the eight.
Despite the disadvantage of the outer turn we stayed ahead of Hodonin. They tried a few 10 stroke sequences but we reacted promptly. Turning into the final straight 300m we led by a length and in this head wind straight section we managed to widen the gap to two lengths.
We won a few bottles of wine and a nice big medal. Hurray!
Team pictures were made but they haven’t shown up in my Inbox yet, so instead I show you a picture of the beer mug I won, the first time I used it. On Sunday afternoon, after loading the trailer, driving it to our rowing club, and then finally arriving at home: