26 February 2017
By Mark Vischschoonmaker

After a very early rise I arrived at the Penrith Regatta Centre at 7.15am. This would be my fourth regatta in as many months. We did the usual warm up and listened intently to the ‘kick up the butt’ pre-race pep talk by our coach George.

I participated in 2 heats over the course of the day of which one, the ‘Open’ finished first, an amazing feeling!

When you think about it, I only raced a total of less than 6 minutes over the course of an entire day but it was so worth it. The anticipation, nerves, tensing up when the boats are lined up, just about to race is indescribable….deep breaths, ‘suck it up guys’ as George would say…’Attention!’ through the loud speakers and the whole world slows down…’are you ready!’ and the entire crew automatically flick their paddles into the water, looking straight ahead, frozen, completely present. Then finally the sound of the start signal and our bodies start moving automatically, fight or flight mode, adrenaline pumping…nothing else but this race exists…..until the next race.

We finished the day with a few drinks, food and a laugh at the local before heading home. Thanks everyone for the encouragement and support!

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