Lisa and I arrived here after a long journey from Burlington to Newark to Copenhagen to Vilnius, and spent our first night in Lithuania wandering around the capital city to make ourselves stay awake. We happened to arrive on a national holiday celebrating Lithuania’s first and only kingdom in medieval times, so to celebrate we climbed to the top of a fortress overlooking the old castle and the entire city – what a great way to get our bearings in a new place!
Today we made it to the race course with the rest of the USA team and got our equipment all situated. As we rigged my boat, I thought about how unbelievably fortunate I am to row out of Craftsbury. I have support for everything I could possibly need from the most qualified people in the business! I have special oar handles fitted by Dick Dreissigacker with an adhesive grip so my hands don’t slip, I have one boat now from Filippi and another coming Monday from Stampfli and I get to choose which one I like better, and above all, I have Lisa Schlenker running around, rigging my boat, getting things we need from all the people she knows, and generally getting me exactly where I need to be at all times. Even in this overwhelming environment of international racing, all I have to do is think about going fast! That is truly a competitive advantage.
I got to row over the course a couple of times this afternoon, getting a front seat view of the spectacular castle at the finish line. It’s an incredible course, and an incredible feeling to find myself here at the U23 World Championships. I’m looking forward to getting back on the water tomorrow to keep working out the airplane stiffness and sharpening up for racing! Go USA!!