After missing out on racing at the Europeans, I was very hungry to race in Poznan at the second World Cup Regatta. I don’t normally get that excited before racing because I know how much its going to hurt, and even if you completely bury yourself in a race, at this level theres no guarantee that that’ll be anywhere near good enough.
That said I was super excited for Poznan. We had a little rearrange in the quad and Pete Lambert was returned to his spiritual home in the Stroke seat with me backing him up and Jonny calling the shots (Jack just sits quietly up in the bow). This new order started off a bit ropey and I wasn’t so sure, but every session we were taking leaps forward. We started making some very encouraging speeds in training and we started to relax and really find a sweet rhythm.
Turning up in Poland we were all very confident. We opened in our heat with a solid (but not too tough) race. This was the fastest I’d even been in a quad, and I didn’t have to kill myself to do it! That really let our confidence grow and in the final we set off with calm heads and strong legs. We didn’t lead from start to finish but we knew that it was going to take a pretty special crew to hold off our cruising speed. We sailed out in front in the second half and cruised home clear for the gold! This was another personal best time in a quad and better yet my first gold.
This has given us a real hunger to get to the top of the podium again and we’ve turned the screw on the intensity of how we do things.
This Sunday we race at Henley Royal Regatta against the Kiwi quad. This will be a good test to see if/how much we have stepped on by and its an event I’ve never raced before.
Henley Royal is an event that I absolutely love. Such intense emotions and the contrast between the glory and swagger of winning versus the bitter shame and disappointment of losing. I’ve experienced plenty of both, and as you race just a couple of metres past the people in the enclosure they can see the pain or elation in your eyes clearer than your own crew mates.
It’s also a great opportunity to put things in place for the third and final race in the World Cup series in Lucerne. If we manage to make it to the final there we’ll be donning the yellow jerseys as World Cup leaders and that is a title that we very much intend to defend. It would be the perfect way to round off what has been an incredible World Cup series.