I spent this weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on my last rowing trip of the year. Some of you might be relieved and are hoping that I’ll start writing about something more interesting. I, for one, am not. To make up for it, this will be long and painfully detailed so buckle up.


Success number one involves Mikael feeding Echo who has been unable to eat anything other than smoothies for a week because of her wisdom teeth.



We leave for Tennessee dark and early at 4am. On the way, Dejean surpasses all previous lifetime accomplishments and finishes the peg game in Cracker Barrel.


Echo fell asleep and looked like the girl from The Ring,


And Tennessee was absolutely stunning.



Racing on Saturday went as predicted, we knew we were against some stupidly good teams so we were racing for time and to see which finals we would be placed in the next day. We also found some pretty SWEET swag.


And it was Jake’s birthday! We went to bed full and quietly confident because we knew that we had the fastest time in our final.



Somehow, Tennessee got more beautiful?!



And we found out that because a boat had scratched we had now been moved up to the C finals where we had the slowest time…. Somehow, it literally couldn’t have turned out better. There are some races that you remember because your novice women’s eight clashed oars with a men’s four 100m from the finish line and you got disqualified because your cox threatened to “dickslap” them. There are some races you remember because you came first and lost your novice status. And there are some races that you remember because it was an incredible race regardless of where you came. I think you can guess which one this was.

Tulane were in the lane next to us and took off with their race start, at first I think we all thought that they were just going to shoot off and leave us to race against Georgia (meanwhile Clemson has already finished). But they didn’t. Their cox stayed at around our five seat and at the thousand metre mark we start gaining and their coxswain notices and I can hear her screaming “Beat LSU” and Courtney calls a power ten for me! And we kept almost having them and then not really gaining until the 250m mark and then out of nowhere we just started taking them. Courtney is making noises that after the race Echo said made her “scared not to push my hardest because I thought you might climb up the gunnel and eat me”. Courtney is screaming, “We’ve got them just arrgggghhhh oh my god BEAT TULANNNEEEEE, GO! GO!” I glanced over to check and I’m level with their bow seat and then I don’t have to glance any more because I’m in front of their bow seat and we were flying across the finish line.

We came fourth but in my head it was just us and Tulane and that’s all that matters.

Then I suddenly remembered that it was my last race and my eyes started leaking which was fine because I was in the bow and nobody could see until Selena turned around to see why I hadn’t returned her high five, looks at me and joins in. So there we are, bow pair are crying because I have to leave, Courtney is crying because it’s her last race before she graduates and all Selena and I can do is sit and hold hands while the boat is being rowed in. While we knew that the racing was going to be broadcast on the US Rowing channel on Youtube, we didn’t realise that they were going to ignore our boat for the majority of the race and then film the duration of Selena and I having our ‘moment’.

This is us showing Tulane how much we appreciated them trailering our boats:


And this is Selena and I having our ‘moment’. I debated whether or not I wanted to show everybody this, but when I realised that they had filmed it made me laugh so much that every time I remember it I snigger a little.


The video is here:

You can watch it if you’re incredibly interested/bored. Women’s varsity 8+ C final is around the 13.00 mark and the Men’s varsity 8+ C final starts at 28.00.

On the way home Tennessee was still ridiculously beautiful even if my phone wasn’t able to capture it as well as my eyes.


This week we also have two new country songs which were introduced to me on the car ride home.

And don’t worry! I haven’t forgotten about the Beer Pong World Cup, I just haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet.

This post went on for a bit so congratulations if you made it to the end, I just wanted to get as much as I possibly could written down so I don’t forget it. It was a really great way to finish off the season and it was another little reminder as to why rowing was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Sad salad – Jake

It’s kind of like the Sorting hat at Hogwarts, you’re stuck with it – Dejean on choosing a football team to support

I’m Selena, I’m so limber I can kiss my asshole – Mikael

Jacob's photo
Jacob’s photo


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