Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Washington Race

Sunday my rowing club headed to downtown Washington and the Georgetown waterfront to race in the Potomac Boat Club's Scullers Head of the Potomac. I was originally entered to race in both the Men's Quad and Men's Masters 8+. However these events were scheduled back to back and there was no way I could two head races of 2.5 miles each back to back. The Quad was scuttled. Thank God. We had two boats entered in the Men's Masters 8+ category. One with an average age of 43 and one of 51. I was rowing bow in the older boat. Now I can row from both sides - port and starboard, but I'm much more comfortable and I feel more productive rowing from the port side. Unfortunately we have a shortage of starboard rowers so occasionally I get moved over to the starboard side. Such was the case for this race. The race was held on the Potomac, which can be at times a royal pain. We get spoiled rowing on the Occoquan, which tends to be provide pretty smooth water almost all the time. The Potomac is a much bigger body of water and much more open. It can be pretty choppy most of the time. Sunday it was more like the Occoquan. Nice and calm. The weather was sunny but very fall-like with temperatures in the 70s. The Georgetown waterfront is a beautiful place to race being in the shadow of the Kennedy Center and the infamous Watergate Hotel. You can see most of the monuments and watch the planes landing at Washington National airport. I'm not sure what to say about our race. At times we rowed well and at times it was pretty ragged. We tended to be down to starboard a good deal of the time making it hard for me to row cleanly in terms of rolling up early and getting the proper length at the catch. We came in 7th out of ten boats entered finishing right behind our younger boat. Not great, but not bad for us either. Certainly a fun day and one that didn't use up a whole day coming and going since we are located so close to Washington. The club is traveling to Pittsburgh and the Head of the Ohio this coming weekend, but I decided not to go. It's a 5 1/2 hour drive and really requires an overnight (or two) stay. It just gets too expensive in terms of time and money. I'll stay home and row with our fitness group instead.

A picture to share from earlier in the month and our row around Wye Island. Here my boat shows off their first place medals.

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