World Cup II Aiguebelette, France

World Cup II was my first event as a member of the senior national team. What this means is that I am now competing against the best lightweight fours in the world. Its something that definitely took some time for me to wrap my head around. My first time I walked around the site in France I was initially pretty star stuck by all of the various athletes and rowing icons, but after some time I realized it is actually really exciting that I am now competing at that highest level in rowing.

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One of the reasons that Rowing Canada decided to go to World Cup II is because France is playing host to the 2015 World Championships next summer and that regatta will serve as the Olympic Qualifier. This year was as a chance for us to get acquainted with the venue in hopes of returning next summer to snag a Top 11 finish and spot at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The venue itself is pretty spectacular, as you can see in some of my pics. The water really is a bright blue and there are some great views of the surrounding mountains. We actually drive though a 3km tunnel in the middle of a mountain to get to the course from our hotel

A view from the boat yard  in France

A view from the boat yard in France

View of the finish line side of the course

View of the finish line side of the course

View of the start line side of the course

View of the start line side of the course

Racing started off with the heats on Friday morning. Being our first international start together as a four I think we were all a bit tense in the start gate and it showed as soon as buzzer went. We were a bit scrambly and never really found our rhythm, but we raced hard and had a strong last 500m which was a good take away for us.

Over the weekend through our reps and semis we were able to continually build upon our mistakes with each race getting a bit better than the last. In the B-Final on Sunday we had what I thought was our strongest race of the weekend finishing 2nd (8th overall) to a strong polish crew.

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Overall I felt like our racing in France was a success. We learned some pretty invaluable lessons that could only be found in racing and I think we all now have a very clear picture of where the worlds best stand and we we have to go if we want to beat them.

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First Post!

So I have a lot of catching up to do, but I want to first start by introducing my crew mates. 

This summer I am rowing in the Canadian lightweight four and so far it has been a blast to be in this boat and rowing with these guys. I can start by naming them from the Stern (left of the picture below)

Stroke – Evan Cheng – https://twitter.com/Evan_Cheng91 –  As many of you know Evan and I have been rowing together for a few years now and before that we both went to the same high school (Vancouver College) in Vancouver and both attended and rowed together at UBC although he has now graduated and I have some school left to do

Three seat – Eric Woelfl – https://twitter.com/EricWoelfl – Eric also known as “Big Daddy” is the one east coaster in our boat but he is a west coaster at Heart. Eric is from St. Catherines Ontario, often referred to as Canada’s rowing mecca, and is the most veteran rower in the boat.

Two seat – Thats me!

Bow seat – Brendan Hodge -https://twitter.com/bean_ho – Brendan is our wise bow seat. As the old man and bow voice of the boat Brendan is very much in charge of the crew out on the water. Funny tid-bit about Brendan is that his hometown is actually the same as mine in the thriving metropolis of Delta, BC. Brendan also attended Vancouver College for high school for a few years.

 

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Evan, Eric, Maxwell, and Brendan rowing on gorgeous Fanshawe Lake in London Ontario (our canadian training center)

 

So throughout this blog I will commonly refer to side stories about Evan, Eric and Brendan so I thought it would be a great start to introduce a little bit about them. 

 

Anyways I’m off to another practice, keep a look out for more posts to come about this summers Europe Tour.