We have just spent the past 10 days in the beautiful town of Lucerne in Switzerland.
The Lucerne regatta is special on every rower’s calendar as it is rowed on the magnificent Rotsee Rowing Course.
Green banks, natural surrounds, including cows with cow bells, make it a dream location.
Having also won the gold medal here in 2010, it holds a special place in my heart.
For Bronwen and I it was our first chance to test ourselves against the best in the world.
Our heat row was held in amazingly fast conditions, with the world-best time broken in our boat class by New Zealand.
Five other world titles would be broken before the day would end.
We did not handle the quick conditions well, and it meant we raced the repechage.
The repechage was an improvement, but not quite good enough to get us through to the A final (top 6 overall) and as such we found ourselves in the B final.
Our final was a great race, with improvement again from our perspective.
We went neck and neck with world silver medallists Canada, and although we led most of the way, they surged late to get us by 0.2 seconds.
Although disappointed overall with the regatta, it is fair to say we came away having learnt a lot.
Firstly, it seems we have some work to do, while we certainly got better through the regatta, finishing ninth overall was not exactly what we had in mind.
Secondly, and on a positive note, is how close racing is in our category.
A touch over three seconds covered first to sixth in the A final and with Canada and ourselves in the B final, plus Germany and Netherlands to come in, it is going to be extremely tight.
The finishing order has already changed dramatically from the first World Cup three weeks earlier, so look out for another shake-up in three weeks’ time in Munich.
Although I would never give up the chance to row in the A final, in a strange way I think personally I learnt a great deal from having to watch my rivals tough it out.
It has given us a great insight into the way to approach our racing to make inroads to our competitors, and while I can’t share the details, it is fair to say you will see a different Aussie crew in Munich.
We now head to our base in Gavirate in the north of Italy for three weeks of training before the final World Cup of the year.
It also means I am now only five weeks from having my beautiful boys join me.
I am missing them so much but appreciating every minute we get to chat (thank goodness for Skype).
A big thank you to Steeline Bendigo for joining my Olympic Supporters Club, your support is greatly appreciated.
Till next time,
* To sponsor Hannah on her journey to the London Olympics, visit www.hannaheveryhall.com