The Redbull xrow is a gruelling competition, much different from a 2k race. How did you and your team mates train for the event?
Seven out of the eight rowers of our eight competed at the 2013 World Championships in Chungju, so we were still in a good shape, although some of us had taken holidays in between. We were training some weeks before we started the running programme, One week before the event we met for two rowing sessions in the eight and a running session with the boat. http://www.redbull.com/ch/de/adventure/stories/1331613756444/
What was the toughest part of the race, the rowing or the running?
Definitely the running! I mean we’re all used to the rowing, however carrying the boat and oars uphill is just mad. Afterwards the rowing gets more difficult, because your body is so close to the edge!
Was your 8+ made up of mostly lightweight rowers?
In our eight, there were four lightweights and four heavyweights. I think that was a pretty good mix. We were stronger on the water than a full lightweight-crew and faster in the running than a heavyweight crew.
How important were tactics for the race? Was there something your crew did which gave you an advantage over the opposition?
It’s very important that you start off well in order to reach the end of the first rowing leg in a good position. The first few meters of the running course are uphill so you have the chance to pass some boats, before you enter the “Hohle Gasse”- here overtaking is not permitted for a period of time. We finished second in the first rowing part and then we really sprinted uphill to pass the Croatia 8+
Was it exciting finishing in the legendary rowing town of Lucerne?
It was an incredible experience! Before the finish line you row through three bridges, all of them crowded with spectators and you hear the commentator shouting your name… That really gave us the last energy to take the boat out of the water for one final time, and run 100m to the finish line.
How were the celebrations afterwards?
I mean it’s a Red Bull event! Everything about the event and the party is perfectly organised and this is one of the things that motivates many of the crews to participate. It starts with a good meal and ends in the early morning!
Were there some special moments during the race?
Yes, our cox fell into the water, just before the last rowing part as we were about to push off the slip. My first thought was: Shit! However the cox was back in the boat within seconds and we held the lead we had established over our opponents!!!
Finally, would you like to partake in the event again in the future?
I was also part of the crew winning two years ago… So probably yes! But in the race or just after you always think: Why I’m doing this!