Monday, June 18, 2007

Seat Racing Sucks

Saturday the men took out two 4+ and one 8+ in order to seat race. The way our coach runs it is that a pair from each 4+ will race a pair in the other 4+ (i.e., bow pair vs, bow pair or stern pair vs bow pair, etc.). The 8+ was along just to be able to furnish fresh rowers and a rest area for those that already had rowed. I was stroking the 8+ so I didn't race till the very end of practice. Everyone raced at least twice, one a 2 minute piece, the second piece lasted for as long as it took one boat to get open water on the second. They could last 30 seconds or run forever if the pairs were evenly matched. This is about as physical as we get. Rowing by pairs in a 4+ is gruelling. Besides racing the other 4+, you're trying to move, in most cases, 500 lbs (not counting the boat and rigging itself) of dead weight - the pair not rowing plus the coxswain. You're straining with each stroke. Being the lightest of all the men, our pair was at a distinct disadvantage and we lost the open water piece after about a minute of racing. As we headed back to our boathouse, our coach decided a race into the cove where our boathouse is located would be a fine idea. As in the first race, we fell behind early, but then held our own and even made up a little. About that time I caught a small crab from which I recovered fairly quickly, but by then the other 4+ was well ahead and our coach called an end to it. I don't know how long that piece was, but certainly longer than out first race piece. I was gasping for air and came close to puking over the side. Luckily for me and especially for our female high school coxswain, I was able to hold it at bay. After docking, we did our usual Saturday check over the boat and clean it up to make sure everything is in good working order. After putting the shell away, we indulged in what our club calls a social Saturday. Once a month, one of the crew groups bring breakfast type items for the club members to enjoy. This time it was the Competitive Women's turn. Its a chance to mingle with our fellow members, which is something we often don't get to do in the rush to get into boats and out on the water. After sampling my fair share of goodies, I decided I liked the cinnamon buns the best.

Since it was a special weekend, we headed out to Tim's for lunch and steamed mussels and crab legs. After lunch, Saturday turned into a lazy summer day and I hung out on our deck reading a book and taking a nap. There are worse ways to spend a day.

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