Saturday, September 8, 2007

Rowing Mishaps

Its been a rather disappointing week of rowing. Practices have been disrupted by groundings and outboard motors that haven't been working right. Tuesday's practice was the least eventful. We took out an 8+ plus two quads. Luckily, I was assigned to the bow seat in the Quad that has the bow steering. We rowed down to the racecourse and did a five minute warm up piece where we manged to finish third. We spun the boats and after a brief rest started off on a twenty minute piece. We were first off, followed in 15 seconds by the second Quad and then the 8+. As we rowed back down the race course and Sandy Run, we were able to slowly pull further and further away from the second Quad. The 8+ was closing the distance, but slowly. We maintained the lead past Sandy Run, the painted rocks and the cove to the Oxford Boathouse. The second Quad was now a very distant third and the 8+ was slowly closing the distance. I maneuvered the Quad to keep the 8+ directly behind us so they had to row in our wake and oar puddles. Finally on the curve that leads to Jacobs's Rock, I manged to take the inside of the curve forcing the 8+ wide. With approximately one minute left in the piece the 8+ finally pulled even with us. Both boats were calling for a final power 20 to finish the piece. It was at that point, our 2 seat caught a crab and we had to come to a stop for him to free his oar. Overall a solid piece for us. We did a final race from Jacob's Rock to the cove. The second Quad went first, we were second and the 8+ third. We caught and past the second Quad and the 8+ was closing on us. However we managed to pick up the rate and the power and hold them off. Definitely a good practice.

Thursday we rowed up to Fountainhead Park and spun the boats. We were rowing a Quad and an 8+. This time I was 2 seat in the 8+. We were racing the Quad for a 20 minute piece. About 30 seconds into the piece, our starboard oars hit something right below the surface and our coach hit the same obstruction and his motor died. He was unable to restart the engine and had to be towed back in. Since our practice had been disrupted we rowed back to the cove, but the intensity of the practice was lost.

Today's practice was more of the same. We had a substitute coach. Nice guy. Fresh from Princeton and their crew team. We were late getting out as his engine wouldn't start. After waiting about 15 minutes and the coach switching launches, we headed out. We did some drill work as we headed to the race course. Upon arriving there, his engine died and wouldn't restart. He had to be towed back to the boathouse with us following. Tinkering with the engine back at the boathouse ensued and they were able to start it and we headed back out. We did some more drill work and did a short maybe 500 meter sprint race at the end. I hardly worked up a sweat with that practice although the drills were good. The novice rowers provided us all with breakfast when we got back to the boathouse which was a nice treat.

This was the last week we are able to row in the evenings. With the days getting shorter, the park we row out of is closing earlier and the high school fall rowing programs are starting, it makes it impossible for us to row during the week. Beginning tomorrow we start rowing on Sunday mornings to make up for not being able to row during the week. That makes it impossible for me to bike on Sundays. I'll have to start thinking about biking on Fridays instead. This past Friday I took out a single for the first time in a while. I had mixed results. At times it felt like I was dragging something behind me the boat was so sluggish. Other times the boat was just flying. I'm not sure what I'm doing different. I think I need to concentrate more on making sure I'm catching with my legs.

I'm off to watch more college football. Enjoy your weekend.

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