The 2017 World Rowing Championships will see two Rio Olympians combine to take on the world’s best in the Women’s Double Scull. Olympia Aldersey and Madeleine Edmunds will join 12 other crews in their boat class competing at the event, which runs from 24 September to 1 October at Nathan Bederson Park, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.
The crew, who won a bronze medal at World Rowing Cup 2 in Poznan and finished fourth at World Rowing Cup 3 in Lucerne, returned to Australia for training ahead of racing in the USA with Aldersey admitting the time in Australia was well spent.
“We came back from Lucerne, and had a week off to refresh ahead of the longer training block into the World Championships. It was hard coming back into winter; however, we knuckled down as we felt we had a bit to work on from both our World Cups, if we want to be at the front of our field. We have worked hard over the last eight weeks to ensure we can challenge the top crews,” admitted Aldersey.
While the crew were set to depart with the whole team on 8 September, Hurricane Irma had other plans for the team, with departure delayed until 16 September, something that did not worry Aldersey too much.
“The delay didn’t trouble me, the extra week gave me the time to contemplate what I was about to do. There was a chance, of course, that the event could have been cancelled due to Hurricane Irma, so when it wasn’t and we were finally able to depart, I think it made it more special as the opportunity could have been taken away from us. Despite all the adversity Florida has faced in the past few weeks, everyone has been wonderful and really welcoming,” said the South Australian.
Ahead of travelling to Sarasota, the Australian Rowing Team had a shortened training camp in DeLand, something that Aldersey felt was a worthwhile exercise.
“I was a bit sceptical about how a three-day camp would help ahead of the World Championships, as we’d expected it to be 10-day camp, but looking back on it I think it was the best thing we did ahead of coming into Sarasota.
“We were able to train on a great stretch of water, and it was one of the best camp set-ups I’ve seen in my time on the team. Everything was thought of – a good tent set-up with nutrition support, wattbikes and ice baths – there was everything we could need. It was good to be able to get off the plane and work on a few simple things without the rush of getting into a regatta and trying to get into regatta mode, I definitely feel more prepared ahead of racing this week,” said Aldersey.
The Rio Olympian is enjoying combining with Madeleine Edmunds this year under the guidance of Women’s Senior Coach Ellen Randell.
“I enjoy being in a small boat as I think my personality is better suited to it and I definitely enjoy training in a smaller crew. I’ve really enjoyed rowing with Maddie, we made our Senior World Championships debut together back in 2013 and we’ve rowed together a couple of times. I think we know each other better now; we have grown up on teams together, with differing experiences, which is good, as we have shared those learnings as we have gone through this year.
“This year was the first time I’ve been coached by Ellen, and I love it, I think she’s the best female coach I have ever had in women’s rowing. She is funny and makes it all worthwhile. Ellen cares as much as we do about the rowing; she understands how much it means to us and puts in as much effort as we do. I think she really understands Maddie and me, how to get the best out of us, and the three of us work really well together,” said the 25 year-old.