CONGRATS TO EMMA on being selected as part of the Rowing NZ Women’s 8 to compete at RIO 2016.
Timaru Rowing Club is making history by having three rowers and a coach selected for New Zealand at the World Rowing Under- 23 Championships in Italy. Emma Dyke, along with twins Russell and Cameron Crampton, spend their time in Christchurch training at the Southern Regional Performance Centre and rowing on the Waimakariri River. The trio were in the New Zealand junior squads last year but have stepped up into the elite category with their under-23 selections. Dyke was in Timaru yesterday catching up at her former school Craighead, and getting some extra time on the water. She was both surprised and delighted with her selection and is looking forward to the challenge.
Dyke heads to Lake Karapiro at the end of the month to start the buildup for the championships which will be held at the end of July. Dyke will row with Kelsi Walters (Auckland), Olivia Loe (Avon) and Johannah Kearney, of Oamaru, in the coxless four and at 18 is still eligible to compete for four more years.
11th August 2014
I returned from travels yesterday, nice to be home but not quite used to the chilly weather we have here.
I flew to Italy with the NZ U23 rowing squad on the 8th of July, so my last email to you would have been a week or so before then, so I am just emailing you to update you on how training and racing went in Varese, Italy.
We had two weeks of training in Varese before the racing week began. We first trained on Lake Corgeno, which was a beautiful lake with a lovely view all around the lake. We took a couple of days after our travels to get back into our last hard training before racing. After the first week we moved to our racing lake, Lake Varese so we had plenty of time to familiarise ourselves with the course.
Our hotel was nice, and the food was also nice but after a week we realised that every dinner and lunch was exactly the same, we had pasta with tomato sauce every time, with meat and salad. The lack of variety got hard at the end but at least it was nice. The hot weather which we were not used to, made it hard to adapt to rowing over there and racing in a black row suit made it seem so much hotter.
We also had a couple of afternoons where we did some sightseeing around Varese which was awesome.
Our heat was the first heat of the Championships which was exciting. On Wednesday at 3.34pm we lined up in the starting blocks for our heat. We had a reasonably strong head wind which made it difﬁcult considering we were smaller girls. Our heat didn’t go as planned and we didn’t race to our best ability, we finished in 5th place. Although this was extremely disappointing it also gave us a wake up call.
On the Thursday we had our repecharge where we stepped up and came through in first place, 3 seconds ahead of the rest of the field. This was a better race but we knew we could still go faster for our final. Friday was a day off so we knew all we had to do that day, was to relax and keep our minds off the final to stay calm and not waste energy on stressing out about it.
We knew that looking at the other’s times anything could happen, but we knew we could get fourth or even third if we had a good race but we realised that going for gold was unrealistic and would make us panic too much in the race, if we weren’t in first place, so we sat down and talked about the race and said that going for third – which gets us a medal – was our best option as once we had third we could try and push for second.
On Saturday was our A final of the Women’s Coxless Four. We were in lane 1, with Canada in lane 2, USA in Lane 3, Russia lane 4, France lane 5 and Ukraine lane 6. They delayed racing 10 minutes before every race so they could check the lanes for weed. Once our race was underway there was nothing we could do more than give it our best. We came out of the start last with a slower start. All we had to do was stick to our race plan and not do anything different such as a faster start and end
up ”flying and dying”.
Going through the first 500m we were fourth out of six. We kept chipping away at the other boats, by the 1000m mark we were in fourth still, but right up on third which was held by France. By 1500m we had pushed into third, we knew we had a chance to get the silver so Olivia made the call to go, and then we went. I brought up the rate with everyone going behind me, and by the 172Om mark we had pushed into second place and when the buzzer went we had got the silver by 3 seconds. USA won, then us and Canada came in third.
I was overwhelmed that we had got second, the hard training and early hours had all been worth it, after that 6.45 minutes of rowing.
So all in all it has been a good season and has been made so much better with the support and sponsorship that you have provided. Rowing is a sport that comes at a cost and without your help I would not be able to find the money year after year, so your support is so greatly appreciated, I couldn’t row for New Zealand and make my goals and dreams a reality without your help, thank you so much.