It was busy the last two days at our rowing club. The yearly Gyas-Hunze race was being held and our team Fier would compete on the 2,8 km race on Saturday and the 750 meter sprint on Sunday.

Saturday I took my velomobile to park it across the street. The whole sidewalk and field of grass next to the entrance was filled with bikes (as I expected). I ate something and put on warm clothes because I had to steer a team that I coach, a men's team in the C4*. The weather report was bad, very bad. Quite a lot of wind, temperatures around freezing point and it was showing and hailing. As a rower you stay warm because your moving. But as a steer your sitting as still as you can. My fingers were, despite my gloves, completely numb after 15 minutes. At the start we had to wait quite a long time and because of the wind on the open waters you cool down even faster. But eventually we were called to the start. Just behind 2 women teams in a C4+, which was asking for trouble. We were going much faster and by the time we caught up with them we were in the Oosterhaven, were it's not allowed to overtake another team. After the bridge I yelled at the other boat and we overtook them full power. Despite the absence of other teams on the field they did a nice job. The time was 11:45.33.

Quickly I left the boat, did some redressing and took place on the ergometer to get a little bit warmer. My fingers were now completely dead, but little by little the woke up again because of the exercise. After some last-minute instructions from our coach we got into the Noorderlicht (8+) and made our way to the start. During that time we did some accelerations and some short exercises before it was time to start. Fortunately my fingers were completely alive but now my toes were dying because of the water making my shoes wet.

After a while we could finally start. Build up in 10 strokes... and we passed the starting line! The stroke rate was high, the rowing went fairly the same and I could keep up. After the first bridge I looked to my left and saw another boat lying still. I thought to myself, are they still rowing to the start? It turned out, later, that they had broken one of there ores. It got loose, went under the boat and broke an half. It takes a lot of force to break a carbon fiber ore. But I had to concentrate on my own rowing, so I did. Quickly recover, easy on the slidings and long powerful strokes, that's the idea. In the distance I could see another team coming closer, so it seemed. But after we passed the last bridge they were further away than I thought. The last 20 strokes! Our steer was shouting us to the finish line. The tempo increased and I got a little bit messy, but we made it. We did it in a time of 09:35,92 and that got us the 5th place (of the 8 competing teams).

Sunday was the 750 meter sprint and we were sure we'd finish first. It wasn't our confidence but the fact that there were no competitors. We did however row the fastest that whole day, 02:19.92. The race went better than the day before. We were more in sync, the balance was better and I could better transfer my power to the water. We finished quite happy and immediately went under the bride to continue with our training.

All together it was a nice and well done weekend. A good training and preperation for our next event... The Head of the River Amstel on 20th March in Amsterdam. If you would like to see all scores, please visit the Gyas-Hunze race site.