After a week that you wish upon no crew, we raced our way to a World Championship Silver. Like the old days of lightweight racing, it was a battle over a few metres all the way down the course. Great Britain not allowing Denmark and us to take all the limelight, each taking a bite out of each other seeking that advantage of being the leader. None of us too willing to give it up. The Danes pushing it up another level in the final 500m which none of us could join and taking the crown of World Champions for another year. Ourselves, narrowly holding off Great Britain to gain our prized Silver medal.
James Lassche succumbed to a season ending back injury in the Heat which brought in the green and talented Alistair Bond (brother to Hamish) his World Championship debut. It wasn’t an easy transition… The day before the Semi Final, we rowed in the morning with Linda Mathews (female reserve) then had a midday row with James Lassche which ended in agony. This was followed by a post dinner row with Alistair who had raced a Semi Final in the Lightweight Double only hours before.
This World Champs was not going according to plan. Rowing is not like rugby, we don’t bring in reserves for impact, reserves are there for plan “E, F and G”. Our crew has created a unique signature in our rhythm over the past 2 years and for someone to change theirs and copy ours in just a few k’s of rowing under the pressure of the pinnacle race of the year whilst every muscle is screaming at you to stop, is just a massive credit to him and our crew.
James Lassche will be back soon, some recovery and treatment will surely see him ready to start training again come September. A special thanks to Linda Mathews for lending her skills to help us keep our rhythm and Adam Ling for sacrificing his Final by allowing us to have Alistair in our boat.
For now, it’s time to enjoy the details in life that we have passed on up over the last few months, time with people and the tastes of the great world.
We are truly enthusiastic with our Silver. Gold was most definitely the closest it has ever been for our crew, within our grasp and we let it slip away. We have and will grow from this experience, become a tighter, more robust and stronger team. We are a better crew for it now and Rio is still the ultimate goal for us.
We have a lot to be thankful for; my fiancée, family, friends, supporters, crew, coaches, support staff, training partners and sponsors. Deloitte; Horleys, 2XU, Avanti Bikes, Adidas Eyewear and 2 Degrees. Alongside High Performance Sport New Zealand, Rowing New Zealand and Bankstream. As well as my ambassador roles with The Pinnacle Programme, New Zealand Olympic Committee and Outward Bound.
I can’t go without writing about how much of a stellar regatta it turned out to be for New Zealand, our best ever in rowing history. Taking home 6 Gold medals, 4 of which were in Olympic Class boats, 2 Silvers and a Bronze. Putting our small nation as the best in the world. May the in-house competition be as fierce as ever when we hit the water again in October.
Thank you all for a great 2014.
Words by Peter Taylor