The Commonwealth Rowing Regatta 1999

The Rowing Service

During the week of the Commonwealth Regatta, August 2nd-8th 1999, the English women's lightweight quad crew sent back reports to the Rowing Service. We thought you might like to read them...

Index of stories

Thanks to Victoria(the main typist), Becky, Naomi and Helen.

Update No. 7.

Race plans and photoshoots.

Good evening,

A whole week into this adventure, and I am finding it harder and harder tomake the first event of the day - breakfast - seem exciting. So I won'ttry. But it was interesting to see how Mum and Dad chose to inform theircrews of the outcome of the coaches' meeting at breakfast. Mum won handsdown - her piece of paper was meticulous and informative, and had helpfulhints on it like race times and circulation patterns. Dad had gone for theback of a fag packet approach, and he gamely conceded that this was sloppyand that Mum was the best coach in the known Universe.

And so to the course - where all the launches have mysteriouslydisappeared, and all crews were sent out on their own. We proudly riggedNaomi up with the ship to shore radio system, content that Mum would keepher eye on us via some duty-free binoculars and keep us on our toes throughthe gizmo.

It started well, as our Canadian oppo admired our equipment and confirmedhow clever we were. We boated normally, and Naomi - with radio headseta-quivering - started to bellow orders that made no sense. Blood began topour from our ears as we tried to obey shrieked calls like "arms only slide"and "interference". We assumed the latter was her thinking out loud ofher intentions towards any stray male scullers - but after about a minute ofvery chaotic rowing, she halted the boat with a sensible call like "firmlyeasy", and consigned the machine to the bottom of the boat. Nice try, butbollocks.

Outing was not that good - two heavy colds in the vessel are taking theirtoll - so we made ourselves feel better with a biscuit and a photo session.The latter took an unnecessarily long time, 4 cameras, lots of clothes andquite a lot of worrying about our hair. Girls, eh?

And so to lunch - where there were the best chocolate eclairs I have everseen. I am still dwelling on them, and am counting the hours to indulgence.Naomi had two puddings - and an eclair in the queue. She is determined tomeet this 59kg max limit - I'm sure eclair ballast will give us a certainstability in the rough water. Or will it give us a certain wobble....We had about an hour to sit around and consider doing some washing beforewe all had to dress up in our lovely shell trousers and new, revised andupdated polo shirts to go outside and get photographed. This had beenterrifically organised - and consisted of a pile of the athletes' camerasbeingsystematically picked up by a game old bird from the University, fiddledwith, fired at random in the general direction of the assembled team, andreplaced by another camera. Needless to say, we got bored, and could barelycontain our joy when we were free to go - and attend the opening ceremony.

The ceremony was a jolly good thing all round - all the countries presentfor this International Rowing Festival (not just the Commonwealths) paradedaround and pretended they did this sort of thing all the time. The Aussieskicked off some good Mexico waves, which kept stalling at the miserableJocks. And thence to a shopping mall for a lot of speeches - compered by avery tatty and disorganised man who generally let the side down, forgettingpeoples names, why there were there and what they were doing. But it wasall short and sweet - and ended with a jolly good meal (something nice tolook at, anyway) at the Hilton.

We have prepared our race plan. We have agreed on what we will wear (infact, that was done first). We now have just a couple more outings to dobefore the big event.......

Keep those Good Luck messages coming. We love them.

The Quaddie Girlies