Saturday, October 23, 2010

Successful First Day in NZ

After our epic journey, we landed safely and successfully in the Auckland International Airport. To be honest, the time zone change has been a little easier than I thought it might be, although I might be eating my words later. 80ish athletes, coaches, and team managers managed to make it through in one piece, with no fines (Immigration is notoriously strict here, with $400 fines levied if you don't declare monitored goods such as fruit or nuts) and no lost baggage. The WRC management team has been awesome, shepherding us around the security queues in the airport and really making sure that everything is taken care of.

After the 90-minute bus ride from the airport to Hamilton, the city our hotel is in, we dropped off our bags and grabbed some lunch before heading out to the course. It's about a 40-minute bus ride from our hotel to the course--mostly residential sections and farmland. I have yet to see any sheep, but there are plenty of cows around!

The course is beautiful--very picturesque and huge. Nearly all of the international courses I've raced on have been man-made, and the lake is huge. There are also huge grandstands, a huge staging area, and a huge warm-up area on the course--New Zealand is definitely doing the World Rowing Championships in a big way!

More to come tomorrow--I'll hopefully be able to get some video interviews with teammates and get the slideshow to cooperate. Thankfully, the internet here is working well, so I'll be able to update this more regularly than my Lucerne blog! For now, though, it's bedtime, so I'm signing off!

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