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Nationals 2014: Wrap Up

I thought I should do a closing post. We picked up our boats on Thursday and unwrapped them all thismorning so it is definitely all over for this year (for me at least).

Sunday (Day 8) involved a sleep in, packing, checking out of our hotel then heading to the course to load the last few parts on the trailer. We also watched some World Cup races, including seeing our lighty womens doubles come 1st (Maia and Hannah EH) and 3rd (Ella/Nes) with NZ slotting in the middle. It was a pretty impressive performance by Maia and Hannah who pushed out in front to clear water by the middle of the race and just kept going.

We also all made a big effort to watch (and yell for) Rhys. He did a fantastic job, pushing into second and up towards 1st through the 1000m mark (about where I was watching from – photo below), but he just couldn’t hold everyone off at the end and came fourth. Still pretty amazing, and better than the other Aussie sculler, who came 6th. Rhys (along with Tom Fairclough and Alex Murphy) now have to keep training to go to selection trials at the end of April.

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Then it was off to Sydney, with a stop off at HJs for frozen cokes, ice cream sundaes and all manner of bad stuff. Just half a sundae for me – my binge on Saturday night was perfect so I didn’t really need much more. Most of us were staying in Potts Point at a pretty interesting, and suprisingly nice (for the price) hotel called De Vere’s. Some pre-dinner drinks then off to wherever the ‘after party’ was (I’ve forgotten the name!!!). Wherever, it was pretty nice. Got some fantastic dinner and chips and aioli, and lots, and lots of drinks. Everyone had a lot of fun (I think). One of our boys got thrown out for being too drunk, when he wasn’t (he has a lazy eye) but luckily coach Joe stepped in and fixed that. I got a midnight kebab. Yum. Amazing. So long since I’ve had one of them. We eventually tried going to the next after party destination, at which I was very much in demand as it was a 1 guy to 1 girl ratio to be let in (and there were only 2 girls in our group!), but decided that it was too packed and crazy anyway and just went home. Had a pretty good sleep, . . . except when I woke up being squashed after the biggest guy from our squad had stumbled out of the bathroom and into the wrong bed! A little disorienting, and rather humorous (especially the next morning, when he couldn’t remember me pushing him off the bed!).

3 of us were leaving on the same flight the next morning so were up at a respectable hour.  I was feeling much better than I thought I would (expected a massive hangover), and one of the boys was very fragile! We drove to the airport through Monday peak-hour traffic, which caused some concerns but in the end we got there in heaps of time. There are some amazing old buildings in Sydney – that’s one thing I miss in Perth.Image

And I didn’t have any troubles with my luggage – I was over-weight on the way there and had picked up a fair few clothes and bits and pieces! The flight home was completely full, but still fine for me. Not so great for the two heavyweights sitting next to each other behind me!!

It is great to be home and eating and drinking normally again. Well, I wouldn’t exactly call this normal, but it is not as bingy as most lightweights go post-season. I think my Saturday and Sunday nights gave me enough excess that I’m actually happy with just ‘normal’ food now! I have had a cupcake though! And a bottle of wine!

While my results this year were disappointing, I really enjoyed the Nationals week and will even miss my squad a little when we all disband and go our separate ways (at least some of us are). I’ve learnt a lot, I’m really happy with how I raced and coped with things and in general it was a very positive experience.

’til next year!

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