A first win is like a first love: It happens hard and fast and is almost as surprising as it is unexpected. The elation of the moment dulls any worries and casts a bright hue over the emotional landscape.
This win, this first win, will be the one every future win will be compared to. It becomes the ground zero to each individual's rowing career.
It is about the outcome of a team's single-minded purpose and commitment. It's the ultimate expression of "I love it when a plan comes together."
It's about the high.
And when your win is one of only two for the club, it becomes a shared experience, one that all the athletes who lost by a length, a canvas or a bowball, live through vicariously. Those runners-up and also-rans celebrate a first win as if it is their own.
When that win is in front of a home crowd, it is all the more powerful.
This blog has often spruiked the benefits of rowing apart from the win. We've written that winning isn't why we do what we do. It's not always what drives us to get up at 4.30am and drag our sorry butts down to training in the middle of winter.
But let's not lie: winning is bloody great.
Once upon a time, it wasn't unusual for WARC to collect nine, ten or eleven wins at a regatta.
This year, it's different. This year we've raised the bar. We're not picking off the easy wins. We're pushing ourselves and are collecting a lot of seconds, thirds and fourths in events that, if we took the easy road and entered a grade down, we would win by a margin.
And so each win is all the more precious, all the more to be celebrated because it is all the rarer.
To the Womens' D8+ who took out their event on Sunday, be under no illusion: Your win was a win for all of us. It was a win for our club, our programs, our athletes and ultimately... a win for you.
As for the other club win for the day... Ah Janelle. There are no words mate. Inspirational.