Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tippy Boat

Work continues to be a flurry of deadlines, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully things will calm down to their usual chaotic state.

The weekend was very laid back and enjoyable. Saturday's rowing practice continued to emphasis longer pieces as we make the transition into head racing season. As usual we point to the Head of the Charles as our premier race of the fall season. We're waiting to see if any men's boats get accepted (it's done by lottery as entries far exceed available slots). Until we know for sure, it's hard for our Coach to set the boats. If we get a Senior Master 8+ entry (50+), 6 seats are already filled leaving four of us to compete for the remaining two. I figure I have a 67% chance to make that boat. If we get something other than a Senior Master 8+ entry, I probably won't be going. There are too many other men on the team that can beat me out for a seat at this point. Being a Lightweight rower does have its drawbacks at times. For Saturday's practice we took out an 8+, a 4+ and two quads. I was bow seat in one of the Quads. The rest of my boat has only moderate experience in sculling boats so we didn't fare too well in the two pieces we ran against the other boats - one a 15 minute piece and the other a 20 minute piece. Last in both would be a good description. After our second piece was over and we had a chance to rest and grab some water, we were going to do some very short pieces before heading in. As all four boats came to the catch, a fisherman screamed by us going full out (as full out as a 9.9 hp outboard will let you) and created a nice wake. The Quad next to us and also closest to the sure caught the wake as well as the rebound wake from the shore and with their blades squared up and in the water, they couldn't compensate for the rocking motion and they started to tip. It was like watching the Titanic go under. They slowly heeled further and further over until they reached the point of no return and flipped their boat. Its the first time I had ever witnessed a flip other than in a single. Needless to say we gave them all kinds of crap, which they took good naturally. It took them a few minutes to get back in the boat and the Coach decided that was enough for one day and we headed in. Our Recreation/Fitness rowers (i.e., those that row for fun and fitness rather than for competition) had prepared breakfast for the club and we cancelled all the health benefits from our row by stuffing ourselves on pancakes, donuts, bagels and the like. Very satisfying.

The rest of Saturday was spent watching Olympics. They had half of the rowing finals on Saturday, which are for me, one of the highlights. they make it seem so easy. As if.

Sunday I packed up the bike and headed off to the W&OD Trail for my first ride since before vacation. It was a gorgeous morning - bright sun, reasonable temperatures and also reasonable humidity. I did the Rt 28 to Vienna portion of the trail which is a 25 mile round trip. It was a good ride and I managed to knock off 5 minutes both ways from the last time I rode it. After I got home, Ann had me do some yard work - mostly spreading mulch around. Then it was more Olympic watching including the Men's 8+ finals. The power and speed is incredible. The Canadians settled in at a 40 strokes per minute after their start sequence had them up at 49 strokes a minute. That's almost unheard of. No wonder they won. The Women's 8+ final was shown in prime time since the US won that race so congratulations to the women. Let me get this posted and it's time to wrap things up. Later.

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