Early start, like all good race days, and on the trip down to Wollongong the anticipation builds – what will the conditions be like? Will it be raining & windy? Will it be a big swell? Will it be exciting racing? Will we huli? Will I finally see the yellow, red & green flags we always talk about in training!

Arriving at Wollongong, the first job is to rig the canoes, then settle down for a day of three x 4km races. PD’s will be represented in the womens & mens categories today, with members of the Cook Is crew looking forward to testing our training & open water skills.

Like all good race days, the first race begins, and before you know it the last race is over! In between is intense, close, hard racing. For the women’s A Crew, two out of three races are stroke for stroke the entire 4 km, and as a first time racer I had not idea how close these races could be. Two or three crews, battling it out in the open ocean, no-one giving an inch, each crew determined as the other, each crew believing they will come out on top, each individual pushing themselves harder than they thought possible, each crew working with the water to their maximum…focused to the end.

At the end of the day all PD’s displayed that awesome PD’s spirit and heart and walked away with the best result there is – knowing we gave our all and left nothing behind.

So this is OC6 racing – now I get it!