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The Victorian Women’s VIII recently won their 13th straight Queen’s Cup at the Sydney International Rowing Regatta. Stroked by 776BC athlete Lucy Stephan, we spoke to her about the lead up to the event and how she felt after the record-breaking victory.
Q1 - This was the most anticipated QC for a few years, how did you prepare for it the night before and morning of?
I took a lot of confidence from our training sessions the two days prior and the Open Women's 8+ race on Saturday. Both the Mercs and MUBC crews were close to SUBC which had 5 of the NSW 8+ in it. From there, I just tried not to over think it. The night before we have our state dinner which always gets you excited and then once home I tired to relax by getting to bed ASAP and reading a book. The morning of we pre-rowed and once again had a good row, before heading home feeling really tired (due to the restless sleep the night before), so I ended up having probably a 90min nap then had some lunch and headed to the course. Really I just tired not to over think it. When I have stressful thoughts about it I just came back to what I had to do once the buzzer went.
Q2 - With just over 500m gone, Vic was over three seconds behind. Did you feel nervous at all at that stage?
I think I actually looked around at this stage and thought, "Christ, second might be it." Then had the thought, "If you are going to come second make sure you do it on a good race, set up the rhythm and drive it hard for the girls behind you". So yes I was worried, but I just came back to what we had done in training and trusted the girls would do the same
Q3 - As stroke, at what point did you really step up the rate?
I don't know if we stepped up the rate as much but probably around the 1km mark it became clear we were edging our way back, so I believed and the legs started to push a little bit harder toward the line. Then by the 600m mark, Sarah (our coxswain) called we were at 36 and we were going up to 40. I think that's when we really started to eat them up.
Q4 - This is now your sixth QC victory in a row, how does it compare to the rest?
I think this one is definitely something pretty special. The last couple of years it's almost been a relief to have won it, but this one really took all 9 girls to trust one another, and really drive ourselves into the ground for Victoria and each other. Very rarely there are races when you feel complete unity down the whole 2km but on Sunday it was definitely there. It's a race I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Congratulations to Lucy and the entire VIC VIII on this incredible achievement.