The 32km race is for Coastal 4x+ only. This year was the 10th edition of the race and it attracted teams from France, Italy, Monaco, Germany and us from Sweden.
The team from Helsingborg consisted of Andreas Stensson, Nils-Peter Aulisio, Jonathan Wright, Daniel Böcker and myself.
Although we had raced long distance regattas before as "Distanskapprodden" and "Göta Älv" (which are 14.5k and 20k respectivly), we knew that 32km in a Coastal Boat would be tougher. We prepared ourselves by having easy access to water, Gatorrade and Power Gels. We had very quick water stops each 5.5k. Also Nils-Peter, Jonatahn and Daniel swapped in the cox seat each 11k during a water stop. Our tactic would prove to be successful.
The favourites of the race were from Italy. It consisted of the Garibaldi brothers who won the World Championships in the 2x and they had teamed up with two very good rowers from another Italian Club.
The race started very hard and we were racing the first 3k at 31-35 stroke rate before coming down to a solid 27 which we kept the rest of the race. Despite of the quick start we were only in 5th position. After 3k we had advanced to 3rd and when the 4th placed crew made their first change at 8k we pulled really pulled away and did not see them again.
The top 2 crews kept about a minute a head of us. We kept our tactic with the water stops and changes, believing that this would benefit us in the end.
After the our last change with 11k to go we started catching the first two crews. With 8k to go we passed the crew in 2nd place. They were unable to respond.
We also started gaining on the leading crew and fast. With 5k to go it seemed like were the stronger crew. As we passed the last turn we got a lot of rough water. Personally I prefer rougher water in the singel, but as a crew the rough water exposed that we had not spent much time together. We stopped gaining on the crew in front, but we still were in striking distance.
At 2k came the misstake that cost us a chance of victory. We misstook two yellow bouys (same exact bouys used previously in the race) as racing markers. These two belonged to a sailing race and we ended up almost colliding with a number of sailing boats. The misstake cost us at least 20-30 sec. We got to the finish line in 2h 37min and 47 seconds in 2nd place, a mere 44 seconds behind the Italians in first place. The third place crew that we passed with 8k to go, finished 7 minutes behind.
Dispite the frustrating flaw with 2k to go, we were happy with 2nd place.
Team photo after the finish. From left: Me, Jonathan, Nils-Peter, Andreas and Daniel
Half way through the race. Left to right: Me, Andreas, Daniel, Nils-Peter and Jonathan
Medal cermony. Left ro right: Daniel, Andreas, me, Nils-Peter and Jonathan