Rowing News

Bronze medal for Bill Haynes at Rowing World Championship 2021

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Rules, Rules, and More Rules - WRIC online 2021

by Bill Haynes

At New Year, with no on-water rowing going on, I am encouraged to enter the Indoor World Championship. The qualification/on-line racing procedures will surely be similar to those at December’s British Championship in which I won a Silver Medal. 

My ensuing struggle with the complexities of the remote on-line qualification processes evoked the following communications:

WRIC Admin - ‘Sorry we cannot use your BRIC times for qualification, you failed to tick the box on   your entry form’.

Online Entry Portal - ‘Sorry your weigh-in video is invalid as the time recorded is outside the designated window’, - ‘Sorry your qualification-time video has failed to parse, try uploading your time to your Concept2 log instead’.

Time-team Regatta System - 'Sorry your 2k time fills the 5th ‘open’ qualifying place but is Ineligible under the two competitors only allowed from 1 nation rule'.

Chris Stratton - 'Yes Bill, of course I can run some dumb-bell weights over to your house the  night before the race as you’ve only just realised you need them for the race-day weigh-in'.

So, I am in the 500m LM 60+ sprint race, this time my laptop has to be balanced in the top corner of my spare bedroom so as to show me on the ‘verification live-feed’! My time from BRIC of 1.32.5 will definitely only be good enough for fourth, behind Netherlands, France and Canada, so I’ve tailored my race-plan to give me every chance of ‘leaving everything out there’, hopefully I will not crash and burn and end up trailing in last.

The race is off…

Eyes closed for the first 3 strokes then a quick look to check no False Start
   AWAY CLEANLY
Eyes closed again for the next 20 strokes, Breathe, Relax, Big Ten
YEH, FEELING GOOD

Eyes open, sit-up, rating down 4 to max 42, and focus on rhythm and leg-power
I AM JUST LEADING - SO FAR, SO GOOD

Circa 220m to go, Eyes-shut and 10 strokes of big breaths, relaxing, gathering for the finish.
  DROPPING BACK, EQUAL-THIRD, BUT STICK TO PLAN, SHUT EYES, BREATHE, RELAX

Eyes open for the last 20 strokes – rating up, maximum effort however much it’s hurting
  ENCOURAGED TO BE STILL JUST THIRD & MANAGE A BIG FINISH

I am well-pleased to see my time is 1.31.1, Netherlands and France ahead both just under 1.30, but I’ve beaten the Canadian for Bronze.  Next day I check-out the official results race-graph and reflect that my eyes -shut sections helped me deliver the goods but made it harder to keep track of where I was in the race!

I also reflect that any in-door race “success” I’ve had is largely down to race-craft developed over years of on-water racing – so, thanks to all who’ve ever done a regatta with me in the past, thanks to Chris for help with the weights, and to my son Eddie for patiently recording multiple qualifying / weigh-in video-clips on my phone for me.

A final read-through of the rules and regulations also reveals rule 6.1.6 “due to the environmental cost of shipping, no physical medals will be awarded”. Blooming ‘eck, I’ll have to do it all again next year if I want a WRIC medal for my collection!

* Link to the Bill's race recording.

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