Cook in one-day return to rowing
Sarah Cook will swap sailing for rowing this weekend in a return to her former sport. Photo: Colleen Petch
Sarah Cook's rowing retirement is over after just 12 days on the water as a sailor.
Well, at least for one day when the two-time Olympian makes a comeback at the inaugural Burley Griffin Regatta on Saturday to take on some of her London teammates.
It is less than a week since Cook competed at her first official sailing event as she attempts to switch sports and earn selection for the Rio Olympic Games.
But the 27-year-old is keen to relive some old memories before ramping up her sailing preparation for a busy summer on the water.
Twenty-four athletes who competed in London will converge on Canberra for the new competition which will bring rowers, dragon boaters and kayakers together over a 500m sprint course.
Racing will finish with a final champion of champions event.
Cook retired from national rowing duties after London and decided a move to sailing would reinvigorate her Olympic passion. She has teamed with Elise Rechichi in the 470 class.
''With the boat of four I'm in, we're definitely the underdogs because two of us haven't even been doing rowing training,'' Cook said.
''I'm just hoping the other two in the boat can carry us. I haven't been in a [rowing boat] since three weeks after the Olympics.
''I'm going to be rusty, but it's kind of like riding a bike and technique can get you so far so I should be OK and hopefully we can get an awesome crowd down there.''
It is hoped Australia's Olympic K4 gold medal winning team will be in the capital to race.
Cook hasn't had the ideal preparation to be racing against fellow Olympians.
While they've been training every morning, Cook has been trying to find her sea legs at the World Cup sailing event in Melbourne.
She got off to a nervous start - a disqualification in her first official race.
The pair bounced back with a second place in race two before high winds forced day two to be cancelled.
With Cook still learning, she made a decision with teammate Rechichi to not race if the winds were stronger than 20 knots.
It meant they stayed off the water until resuming racing on Thursday.
''Even though I've only done 11 days in the boat we've advanced to a reasonable level and it's not like we're being spat out the back door in races,'' Cook said.
''We're not embarrassing ourselves and we've only had one capsize so far, but that's not a bad thing.
''I think a few people find it comical, but I knew a lot of the Olympic sailors beforehand and everyone's making it easy to make the transition.''
Cook and Rechichi's are aiming for strong results at the national championships in February.
Cook and Rechichi will drive from Canberra to Sydney and tow their boat on Monday for their Sail Sydney event from December 13-16.
Burley Griffin Regatta: Competition from 8am-4pm at Lake Burley Griffin.