04 September 2013

Liam Donald’s recap on World Rowing Championship

This year I was lucky enough to be selected in the Australian junior men's coxless four that would compete in the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championship hosted by Trakai, Lithuania.

Selection trials were concluded by the end of April, meaning my pair partner Andrew Maglio (VIC) and myself representing Mercantile Rowing Club, would team up with two other rowers based in Queensland, Curtis McLeod and Henry Leef representing Commercial Rowing Club. Our coach was Brendon Jooste who also was from Commercial in Queensland. Our lead up training campaign would take part over a series of camps based in Melbourne on the Yarra river and in Brisbane out of their club. We were fortunate enough to spend the most part of a month together training in Brisbane and Melbourne before we departed Australia at the end of July.

From our homes we travelled to the European AIS training centre located in Varese, Italy. Needless to say the weather was magnificent compared to the freezing mornings we had been dealt back home, and it was a welcome change. We trained there for about 10 days trying to piece together our race-work over sessions of racing against other boats in the team to prepare for the competition ahead. Some days saw some of our best rowing, but then others we left the training centre with the goal of improving.

We departed the training centre on a Saturday morning at 5am to endure a long day of travelling to finally arrive in the small town of Trakai where we were greeted with the buzz of a World Championship Regatta. Our heat was one of the first events of the regatta and unfortunately we could not piece together the race we had hoped to qualify directly to the Semi-finals, instead we were relegated to the repechage the next day. In hindsight the repechage was extremely useful due to the extra racing experience we got as a crew. We qualified through the repechage into the Semi-final, where unfortunately we did not qualify for the A final the following day. We raced the B final the next morning and came 2nd to Spain. That left us in an overall 8th position out of a field of 18 crews.

Liam is studying a double degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) and Bachelor of Business (Management).

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Liam and crew racing in Varese, Italy.

Liam and crew racing in Trakai, Lithuania.