Home » Rowing » Nationals 2014: Day -2

Nationals 2014: Day -2


The trailer arrived thismorning, a little later than our 9am prediction but still early enough (9:45). Here is a picture of them as they pulled up (the white ute in the background, . . . and the trailer is kind of hidden behind all the boat racks.Image

I got some more of the actual story. They left Perth on Sunday morning but there was not much fuel in the car so they refuelled somewhere just out of Perth. Just before Northam, the car just stopped. Somehow they’d managed to put the wrong fuel (it is a diesel) in it and it had got as far Northam before the new fuel came through. They were stuck on the road until some lovely soul in a 4WD towed them (and the massive, fully loaded boat trailer) to a safe place. Then they waited until the RAC came and towed them to the Toyato repair place in Northam. Being Sunday though, nothing was open! It was midday by the time the Toyota guys got to looking at it but luckily it was just a matter of draining the fuel, and not replacing valves and whatever else the wrong fuel can damage (which would’ve been horribly expensive as well as a lot more time).

They headed off that arvo at about 3pm and drove until midnight to get to Norseman, where they had a house to stay in. Up at 5am the next morning and another 17(?) hour day. Luckily it was a full moon, mild weather and not much traffic. They were tracking pretty well until they hit Balranald, in the middle of the Hay Plains, where they got a puncture on one of the trailer tyres. This was fixed easily enough, but it looks like at this point something was knocked loose in the new electronic brake system. It blew a fuse, which locked the brakes on. They saw the autosparky in town and got the fuse fixed and headed off again.

They were happily trucking again when all of a sudden the fuse blew again, jamming the trailer brakes on while they were travelling at full speed. Not good. This is when we started getting updates yesterday and got all panicky. Eventually the decision was made to disengage the brakes and continue on carefully.

So, that’s the full trailer story (so far!). The driver I spoke to (Jamie’s dad) was still in good spirits, so that is good.

Now let me tell you about the fun we’ve had at the course today. We drove up and were told we all had to individually sign in and out to get onto the island (where all the boats and infrastructure are). Annoying, and by later in the arvo they’d given up on that idea. Once the trailer got there we did a super awesome job at getting it unloaded incredibly quickly and then rigged all our boats up (again, very quickly – we are a pretty efficient squad when we need to be). The official documentation said that we weren’t allowed even on the warm up lake until 2pm and wouldn’t be allowed on the course until tomorrow, however we thought we should be able to get out early, especially as there was a crew coming down the course as we drove up! Apparently not – there were marshalls stopping crews from getting on the water. So, at ~11:30 we headed off to the Plaza for some lunch.


(The warm-up lake early thismorning. Photo from Nick Wakeford – I haven’t asked his permission so hopefully he doesn’t mind!! Thanks in advance Nick!)

Back to the course at 1:30, to get on the water at 2pm. The marshalls told us we couldn’t go out and everyone was starting to get pretty angry. Luckily, either because the marshals realised they were wrong, or because Rhys was yelling at people enough, they changed their tune and let us on the warm-up-lake, but with strict instructions not to go on the course. Our plan had been a short paddle (~5km), back in and stretch, then full race warm up and out onto the course to do a 1km and 500m race piece. This was looking less possible and, after our paddle, we were tossing up options of possibly doing the race pieces on the warm-up-lake (which is about 1005m from one end right to the other, with a bend in the middle!) or doing them on ergos (which there weren’t any set up yet!).

This decision was taken off us as they announced that the warm-up-lake was now closed to all rowers as well because there was a storm coming in! I’m pretty sure it still hasn’t come in so think maybe they were just sick of people asking to go on the course so they just found a reason to close the whole lake. No, just kidding, there were storm clouds and they were telling all the site people to pack up / tie down their gear too. But I’m serious about the fact that it still hasn’t come in yet!

Again, we were getting pretty angry. We’re racing on Sunday afternoon and we’re not allowed to train on the course until tomorrow late morning?!?!? It’s pretty ridiculous. It was important that we get the high intensity pieces done so luckily we found a bunch of ergos in the Rowing Australia (RA) tent and borrowed them (we did ask, but probably not the right people, and they certainly weren’t keen to help us out).

I did have a bit of a complain to one of the RA guys (Dipper), but he was entirely unsympathetic. His only comment was that it won’t be as bad next year because there is no world cup so the races will start on Monday like normal. Grrrrrrrr.

Anyway, that’s all done for the day.

(OK. . . so maybe there was a storm coming in! Photo from Nick Wakeford again)

Rowing felt OK but not great. It’s been so long since I rowed that I’ve now got the start of blisters (after 5km!!!). The 1km and 500m erg didn’t feel that great either . . . but at least they’re done. My weight was looking a little better, but now is back up again. I talked to my doubles partner’s coach to warn him about my weight and they’re not upset if we have to scratch it because I don’t make weight, so at least they’re chilled out about it. I had a brief moment of excitement today when the coach thought on of the doubles had scratched so we were down to 8 in the race . . . .straight final on Thursday!!! Unfortunately not, so I’m still having to weigh in at 57 on Monday.

On the up side, I had some fun buying low-residue food today – chocolate sustagen drinks, creamed rice and baby food(!!!) were some of the highlights. Breakfast tomorrow is my last real-food meal, so I’ll get started on the hard-core instant weight loss after that then I’ll have a better idea of how hard 57 will be.

On a side note, I went for a 1hr run last night . . . .around the 3 sports fields here (2 joined together and one off to the side), which took about 7 minutes per lap. I kept trying different configurations (figure 8s, different directions) to keep it interesting but there were heaps of soccer and rugby teams training and I’m pretty sure they were wondering what the crazy girl was doing running past in different directions all the time.

I think that’s quite enough of a novel for you all now so I’ll try to find some more pictures (from someone else’s facebook page because I forgot to take any after the trailer got there!) and leave you for now. Jamie gets in tonight, we’ll be at the course tomorrow, don’t know what rowing sessions we’ll do, and no idea what the rest of the plan is.



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