As John already mentioned, it turned into a stormy afternoon here in Chungju. Dan and I have been speculating that the meteorological technology in this part of the world may not be quite what it is stateside. Sure, the weatherman may not actually be able to predict the weather in the states either, but at least he acts like he knows what it will do hour by hour. Here, it said it was raining and thunderstorming all day. Fortunately for racing, it held off for most of the morning…
…until I had to race. 45 minutes before my race the thunder was sounding pretty treacherous, and the lighter clouds were being exchanged for darker ones. Even so, crews kept launching. My race was the last of the day. It was clear that they wanted to get every race run. I launched and had a pretty solid warm-up on the water, considering the amount of thunder and lightning I was witnessing.
Fortunately, I was lane 5 and the closest to shore, so I’d at least be saved. But seriously, as the weather rolled in so did changing winds and having the lane closest to shore is probably the best one to have. The winds here have been quite temperamental and gusty. They rarely feel like the type of gusts you have stateside that suddenly pick up and push you around on the water. Instead, they just drift in and out without any major interference, but still with a significant effect on boat speed. The shore lanes stand the best chance of being slightly more protected. Additionally, despite being a straight course, it’s orientation to the geography makes for changing winds. In this race, I had a tailwind in the second 500 and a headwind in the last 500. Honest.
I had a decent start, and having studied the fields prior races, I knew I would/could get out ahead. The game plan was to get out ahead and stay out ahead, allowing me to meter my efforts accordingly for qualification to the C final. At the same time, at this level, you never know what people will do, so I had to make certain to not rest on my laurels. That being said, winning this piece didn’t mean everything, so I wasn’t going to go ballistic. The race pretty much played out in an ideal fashion, and as expected, the Korean boat tried to put on a show for his home audience at the end, so I squeezed off some extra pressure at the line to lead the whole piece and win.
Afterwards, the regatta suddenly acknowledged the impending doom that was the weather and told everyone but the rowers on the water to head for safety. Though, it seemed like a smart idea to head in after a short cool down.
Big day tomorrow with my final and the doubles semi. Should be better weather!