Regatta of Death

4 days and racing kicks off with the heats of the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta (colloquially known as the Regatta of Death). 6 days and we will know our fate and will either begin preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games or …not… 

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I mean let’s be real, Adam and I will either cross the line in 1st or 2nd and effectively earn our ticket to the Rio, earn our NZ Olympian number, earn the right to add those 5 rings to the fern that is emblazoned proudly upon our chests, or we will place anywhere from 3rd onward and gain an immense feeling of disappointment, of shame, of dishonour. I know, regardless of the result, our support systems will be proud of efforts because we put everything out there, and we will indeed be putting absolutely everything down that can possibly be mustered, but our goal is clear, a goal that outdates the naming of the team to the moments spent on the couch watching NZ’s sporting heroes on TV as younglings. To fall short of that, to be defeated, will be failure in our eyes. Basically instead of eating a heap of chocolate in celebration like a true lightweight, it will instead be in remorse.

Do you know what separated 2nd and 3rd in the Lighty Double at last year’s World Championships? 0.47 seconds. In the semi-final of the most recent world cup it was 0.01 seconds. It will be a fight. You put 12 skinny, hungry men on the start line, all the same weight, all practically of the same physiological state, all with the same goal, it is always going to be a fight. The difference is going to be upstairs. Who has put in so many miles that the rowing stroke is habitual, even through the most instance pain imaginable? Who wants it the most? Well I can assure you, we want it pretty damn bad.

The last month has been about putting in solid work with a slight taper for good measure. Also throw in the mix a move to a time zone almost completely opposite to that of home while also managing weight loss to make sure our campaign doesn’t end at the scales when we go to weigh in. Sounds easy enough but you try honestly say you don’t want desert when you are told you are not allowed any. It suddenly becomes a whole lot more appealing. One of the most common questions we are getting at the moment is "what are you planning on eating afterwards?" Twiggy has been talking about a toasted croissant with a stick of chocolate through the centre. Adam almost had to lift my jaw back into place when I first heard her mention it.

If you're keen on following the action (well you’re crazy because we are racing at rather uncivilised hours NZ time) a live tracker with commentary can be found on the World Rowing website.

Heat - 11:03, 11:10, 11:17am Sun 22nd local time – 9:03, 9:10, 9:17pm Sun 22nd NZ time
Repechages – 4:42, 4:49pm Sun 22rd local time – 2:42, 2:49am Mon 23th NZ time
Semi-Finals - 4:42, 4:49pm Mon 23rd local time – 2:42, 2:49am Tue 24th NZ time
Final – 4:30pm Tue 24th local time – 2:30am Wed 25th NZ time

You can also check out the World Rowing website for the results when you do wake up. At this stage I don’t think there will be a live stream but I will post on my Facebook profile if I hear otherwise.

Rowing Celebration will be on-site to capture stills of training and racing that will be shared on their Facebook page.

Lets do this.

Captured by Rowing Celebration at the 2016 Rowing New Zealand Media Day