von Christina Möller
The German Rowing University Championships
Brandenburg an der Havel, 2013
… and we laughed
… and we ROWED
… and we won
… and had a really really really good time!
Why did 14 Jacobs students meet each other, in the middle of their semester break, in the middle of nowhere, in the town of Brandenburg an der Havel?
Why were they all excited and a little nervous about the weekend?
Why did all of them travel around 14,000 km, oneway, to get to the Beetzsee? The motivations might have been different. Some were looking forward to some excitement, other needed a break from their internships… Certainly, everyone came to participate, to enjoy the amazing team spirit, to take part in a weekend of sports, pushing towards one’s own limits, to create unforgettable memories, we came to row. Parents, alumni and friends came to the regatta course to support us. Other friends, families and Jacobs students watched our races live on the internet.We arrived with a very small crew and team, compared to all the other universities, but we could feel the team spirit keeping us together, motivating us and we knew that many others, although they were not present, kept their fingers crossed and wished us the best of luck. We might not have been the luckiest team, if we consider that most of us arrived very late on Friday night, because they were stuck in traffic, which meant we had to build up the tent and rig the first boats in the dark. Then we all got wet on the water, because it rained. Our things were damp, as the tent was not 100% water proof. One boat got disqualified, which was a rule-consistent decision, but from a sportsman’s perspective this was highly unfair. The conditions were not all honey and cream, but we were willing to fight for our goal to win and to have a really good time. Therefore, neither the rain, nor the disqualification, nor the little sleep, kept us from giving a 100% and more, in every race.
Fact is, we placed 4th out of 20 universities in the „Uni-Pokal“, consisting of five races in which beginners can participate, and we are content with that result. For next year we are aiming to place first, though! Our men’s gig quads barely missed the repechages. Our women’s gig quad won the small final and placed 7th out of 15 participating boats. Our mixed gig quad placed 4th (30 participating boats) in the grand final. We missed third place by maybe half a meter, it was really not much, but as three of the four rowers had five other races before, we lacked the strength to pull it off, although we did everything we could and more. Our men’s racing four was the boat that got disqualified.
But, our mixed racing eight won the final race! Apparently, some crews wanted to entertain the spectators, as their boats were on position five or six after the start of the race, but managed to make impressive sprits of 250 to 500 meters before the finish and with one of these sprints, our eight won, with more than half a boat length. This victory made us all very, very proud and extremely happy. And considering that we did not train together during the last five weeks, were are even prouder of our achievements, because it means that we worked very hard during the season.
We thank everyone who supported us, especially Lars Schröder, our wonderful coach, who made us push beyond the limit and who motivated us for every race and every challenge going along with it. A big thanks goes to Hanna Schuhmacher, who was responsible for the organization and who supplied us with food and drinks to keep up our strength.
Adriana Trutzenberg, Anne Valtink, Ahmed Kebdani und Kerst Mattner, we will miss you and wish you the best of luck for what is now to come. Please come to visit us!
It was our honor and pleasure to represent our university, the Jacobs University Bremen, in such an even.
The weekend was amazing…
… and we’ll remember this moment for the rest of our lives!