Ida Gørtz Jacobsen from Denmark to USA to UK
I began rowing ten years ago in a club in my native Denmark just outside Copenhagen. We were a big group of junior rowers in my club, which provided both a competitive and fun environment. I trained on the same lake as the senior national team, which gave me an idea of what it takes to be fast! We had the opportunity to look at what they were doing and sometimes even do pieces against them. I also trained with a strong group of junior women and benefitted from very competent coaching. Little by little, the possibility of achieving selection for the Junior World Championships became a possibility.
I was lucky to represent Denmark in the women’s double sculls at the Junior World Championships in both 2012 and 2013 with two of my best friends. Coming away with a Bronze medal in 2013 was definitely one of the proudest moments of my rowing career.
Racing in Europe
Prior to selection for the Junior & U23 national team we often participated in races outside of Denmark. The Munich and Hamburg junior regattas as well as Ratzeburg Regatta in Germany and Holland Beker Regatta in the Netherlands. The Holland Beker Regatta attracts single scullers who have raced at the World Championships or the Olympics. Seeing people like Ekaterina Karsten, Inge Janssen and Ondrej Synek walking around the venue only makes racing more exciting.
I have also raced the Dutch club Nereus, who we will be racing on the Tideway this coming weekend, and I can certainly attest to their high level. I represented Denmark in the women’s coxless four at the U23 World Championships in 2017, a month before which we raced at Holland Beker against Nereus. Nereus was certainly our strongest competition in the race, it was not until the last 500 meters that we were able to break open water to win the race. The fact that my four a little over a month later finished fourth at the U23 World Championships gives a good indication of the level at which Nereus competes.
Selection for Danish Senior Team
This past summer was the first time I represented the Danish Senior National Team. After graduating from University of Southern California, I came back to Denmark in June to try to make the Danish women’s four. After two rounds of selection, our lineup was decided a week before the third World Cup in Lucerne. The Rotsee in Lucerne is often hailed as a magical place surrounded by a mountainous landscape and the sound of cowbells, while also being a place of intense racing. I can only eagerly chime with this fascination for Lucerne.
In our World Cup final, we led the race over the reigning world champions from Australia until they overtook us in the last 500 meters of the race and won, with my boat taking the silver medal. Yet, the experience of being in front and taking charge in a World Cup final on the Rotsee still stands as one of my most thrilling racing memories. The rest of my summer I spent mostly on training camp in Austria, followed by the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv in September, where my four finished fourth. While I am proud of the result, it has also spurred an eagerness in me to get stronger and build even more boat speed to be able to stand on the top step of the podium.
Rowing with CUWBC towards the Boat Race certainly provides an opportunity for me to unleash this love of racing.