Preparing for Rio

Tuesday, August 04, 2015 - By: Sydney Payne, Alexandra ‘15; photo by Brian Carr

Three members of Brentwood’s Class of 2015 are currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil preparing for the Under 19 World Rowing Championships August 5 to 9. Below are some observations from Sydney Payne, Alexandra ‘15.

Our training for Junior Worlds began immediately after Brentwood's graduation. Rowing out of the National Women's training centre in London, Ontario was pretty cool. Evie Anguelov, Mackenzie ‘15 and I did our best to keep out of everyone’s way especially the Senior Women's Eight, that boat moves VERY fast. We spent 26 days on Lake Fanshawe training twice a day, living in a little cottage on the lake. 

We pretty much rowed until we dropped twice a day, ate, slept and did it again. The U23's were all training there getting ready for Worlds so that was nice to see. The Canadian women's PanAm team was also there: there are all really nice, even if we were terrified of them. A lot of the South American teams were also training out of there pre PanAms so lots was going on. 

Then the Senior Women's Eight returned from Europe after winning gold at the World Cup event in Lucerne. There were a lot of gold medals around the boathouse: we were hardly intimidated at all! 

Training was hard and hot as it got up to 40 degrees for a while. We survived and did an awesome job of dominating in cribbage too. We had one regatta and the boys quad came from Peterborough with Elliot Rogers, Rogers ‘15. We had them all over for a big BBQ at the lake to get caught up on all their fun. Mostly to find out who had NOT fallen off their bike. Elliot was showing off a new buzz cut and sporting some nice stitches in his head from his bike crash. All 14 of us met up in Welland for the final week of training. 

The crews had been training in four different places across the country, boys Four in Victoria, girls Quad in Regina, girls Pair in London and boys Quad in Peterborough. Now we could all train under the Rowing Canada coaches together on the south canal course. Again we had 37 to 39 degrees out a lot of days, training twice a day was fun but a lot of work. We regularly jumped in for a swim after each practice. We stayed in dorms at Niagara College and it was fun having everyone around. 

We all flew to Rio de Janeiro in Saturday Aug. 1 to continue to train. We race Thursday to Sunday in the Lagoa in the centre of Rio. It has been getting a lot of press lately for the big fail on the cleanliness of the lagoon water. This is an official test event for the 2016 Olympics for the rowing venue. Let’s hope the water is not too much of a health hazard. We pretty much just sleep, train and eat over and over but we are in a great hotel on the beach! Rio is super beautiful, all mountains and beaches. It's an incredible honour to wear the Canadian uniform, put a maple leaf on our oars and represent Canada! We are pumped, only a few more days of training left and then it's race time!

Sydney Payne, Alexandra ‘15

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