Andrey and the Team GB

By Andrey Raykov


Saturday 22nd September 2012 was supposed to be an exciting day, however it turned out to be rather legendary. The Coldplay Open Air Tour tickets were in my pocket and on the way to Hannover, where the concert was taking place, we decided to make a detour to Hamburg for the Ruderbundesliga weekend combined with the EON Hanse Alstercup in which the Olympic-winning German eight was racing.

What we believed to be a post-olympic celebration was actually a sprint race involving the three of the top rowing nations – Germany, Great Britain and Australia. The eights were facing each other in a rather untypical race distance – 270 meters. That day saw no surprises and Germany won ahead of Australia and Great Britain – I guess you can figure out for yourself who celebrated the most after the Olympics games…

With my obsession with Team GB and British rowing, it was not difficult to recognize some of the world top athletes in the British boat – the double Olympic champions in the coxless four from Beijing and London – Pete Reed, Andrew Triggs Hodge and Tom James, and on top of that Alex Partridge from the bronze eight and the Will Satch from the bronze pair. Being the superstars they are in the UK, they were enjoying the lack of attention in Hamburg, where 99.9% of the people were surrounding the golden German boys for pictures and autographs. Well, the remaining 0.1% (that would be me) used the opportunity to meet their rowing heroes. Pete Reed was my first victim – extremely friendly and interested in where I come from and where I row (yes I mentioned Jacobs). Then as a surprise he switched the talk in German – it turned out his girlfriend is German and he is learning. At the end he shared that he will continue for another 4 years in the build-up to Rio 2016. I also had a chat with Alex Partridge who was quite a fun lad but he had to go since Andrew’s Triggs Hodge’s wife was waiting – yes, the Olympic champions also listen to their wives :) Later on, I saw some pictures of the British guys preparing their boat in the Favorite Hammonia boathouse, exactly where the Jacobs’ Frieda was sitting in 2011 before the Hanse Boat Race and where you will push off in the upcoming FARI cup!

True, I didn’t mention the Bundesliga races… well, as you might have heard, the HSBA pretty boat lost its canvas in what must have been a terrible crash… Apart from that, no surprises in this year’s last round – Crefelder Ruder-Club won both the male and female races and eventually the Bundesliga titles.

And if you are asking yourself – the Coldplay concert was fantastic. Still having difficulties deciding whether meeting and chatting with the Olympic rowing champions beats it…

Good luck this Sunday in Hamburg!

You know how it works…

Chup! Chup! Chup!