A PAIR of her designer shoes are a potential prize, but Lucy Burgess insists she needs no extra incentive to succeed during the World Under 23s Championships, which start today.
If she brings home a gold medal the 20-year-old, a member at Northwich Rowing Club, has been promised her choice of Jimmy Choo’s latest must-haves.
“It’s a deal I’ve done with my dad,” she said.
“If I win, then I get a pair of shoes.
“We talked about it a while ago, and I’m hoping this is the time I get my Jimmy Choo’s though I won’t think about it too much.
“Of course, if we do well then I would need something new to wear for the celebration dinner!”
Do not be fooled, Burgess is determined to make her mark on the international stage.
She has finished seventh in Great Britain’s colours on two previous appearances at the World Junior Championships – experience she plans to use as motivation in Varese, northern Italy.
There she joins Mathilda Hogdkins-Byrne, Holly Nixon and Jo Wratten in a women’s quad scull later on the water this afternoon for the regatta’s first heat.
After a promising season together so far, with wins at the Metropolitan and Henley Women’s Regatta preceding a second-place finish behind the British senior crew at Henley Royal Regatta, the quartet has reason to be optimistic.
Burgess said: “We’re feeling good.
“There is always room to improve, or try something else to go faster, but we’re excited now to get out there.
“It’s only then we’ll find out how we compare to everybody else.
“You can feel things are going well in training if you’re setting fast times, but the real test is when we race.”
Burgess will stroke the newly-formed crew for her debut at under 23s level, when lessons learned previously will be at the front of her mind.
She added: “We have to believe in ourselves, and have faith in the work we’re done to reach this stage.
“The main thing I learned as a junior is to think only about the race in front of you, because that’s what we have control over.
“Every stroke counts, because that way we can come off the water knowing we’ve done the best we can.”
Burgess and company will race in the first heat this afternoon, scheduled for 3.15pm.
Hosts Italy and defending champions Romania, along with Australia and New Zealand, complete the line-up.
The first two boats to reach the finish qualify directly for Saturday’s final, while the others contest a repechage tomorrow, Thursday.
Mum, dad and younger sister Poppy will be there to watch.
“I’m chuffed they’ll make it,” added Burgess.
“Dad has been there right from the start, pushing me hard since I was 14 by sending me to race against faster girls. It toughened me up.
“Each of us in the boat have been close to our targets at international regattas only to just miss out.
“Those memories are there to spur us on, so we’re clear what we want to achieve.
“If we come home with a medal it will be a great achievement. But we want gold.”
And after that the new shoes, naturally.