It’s Been 10 Years

Ten years ago. I was 18 years old. In my first year of Uni. I had just started dating Damo.

And exactly ten years ago today I was racing at the Junior World Rowing Championships in Banyoles, Spain.

The course, oh the course. It was beautiful. Sunny skies and mesmerising blue-green water. Hardly a breath of wind touched it.

It was a long hard slog to get to that regatta. Hundreds of kilometers were rowed in the pitch black and freezing cold of a Sydney winter. Most were done without a coach. As the oldest of our little group of four I ended up taking on a bit of a mother hen role and really running all of those sessions we did on our own.

There were tears. My god there were tears. Throw together four 16-18 year old girls and there are bound to be tears. Those tears didn’t stop right up to the day of the final.

But there was lots of laughter too. The kind of silliness teenage girls do well.

Lasting friendships were forged. The kind of friendship were you ask someone to be your maid of honour.

July 31, 2004. We had made it to the final when many people had doubted us.

There was an enormous fight the day before, the reason for which I can no longer recall. But we pulled ourselves together.

I was in the bow seat and had also been charged with making calls to the crew over the race. I knew our race plan to the letter and exactly what I needed to say and when. The race started and we gave it everything. Suddenly we were in a medal position. I told the rest of the crew and we all dug deep to hang on to the finish.

We crossed the line in third position – bronze!

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I’m the short one on the left.

The feeling of winning a medal. The pride of wearing the Australian uniform. Something I will never forget.



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