[Ed: An update from the Muzz himself …]
The final World Cup and last regatta before the Olympics was held in Moscow (1-3rd June). Without the depth of the other World Cups it was difficult to use Moscow as a true gauge of form, but it was still beneficial to get some final race experience leading into London (oh and its always nice to get some good results!). Strong cross head winds and cold weather made for some tough racing, but by all accounts London could have similar conditions so it was worth the experience. After three hectic days of racing and 2 silvers (K1 1000 and k4 1000) and my first world cup gold (K1 500), we had a little down time to check out Red Square, the Kremlin and the rest of Moscow. It was quite an experience – check out the photos below.
After Moscow “super coach” Timmy and I parted ways with the rest of the squad for a week in Budapest. Upon arrival (well actually after a couple of hours of organising boats and fighting with an uncooperative GPS) we were greeted by my lovely fiancé Bec who, by that stage, was well into a week of her teaching placement at Britannica International School in Buda. The week consisted of lots of km’s on the water, pushing some iron in the gym, coffee, Vapiano’s and Deryne (we may or may not have eaten lunch and dinner at the same two restaurants for the whole week!), a visit to the Budapest Ballet, and a show and tell visit to Britannica, where Mrs McRae’s Grade 2 class made to feel like a bit of a celebrity! All and all a good week – see photos below.
For the fourth time in five years I now find myself back at Szolnok for what has come to be known as the Summer Slaughter. Basically each year the Australian 1000m squad and a few guests (namely Anders Gustafsson and Adam van Koeverden) descend upon the little Hungarian Town of Szolnok (about an hour from Budapest) and do some serious training. Szolnok also happens to be one of the training bases for the Hungarian National Team who have more than a couple of cabinets worth of Olympic sprint kayaking gold medals. During our time here we’ll be staying at the Garden Hotel (you can check out their website at http://www.gardenhotel.hu/). It’s a great setup, good rooms, nice food, swimming pool, spas, saunas, and about a ten minute bike ride from the course and the gym. We’ll be in Szolnok for the next eight weeks as we undertake the final stages of our preparation for the games. After a month of travelling across Europe it’s nice to finally unpack the bags, and settle into some training – again see below and the Facebook page for photos of Szolnok.
Thanks for the support everyone!