Sunday, July 26, 2009

Diamond States

Yesterday was the completion of my 2009 sprint season with the Diamond State Masters Regatta. Starting tomorrow we will shift our emphasis to the upcoming Head race season, which starts in September. Certainly Diamond States is the biggest one I will compete in for this year. Some from my club will compete at Masters Nationals in August, but I decided to skip that one. But yesterday. Diamond States is held on Noxonton Pond just outside Middletown, DE. It's hosted bu the Wilmington Rowing Club. The "pond" is owned by St. Andrews School. I was schedule to race in the Men's Masters 4+, Category D at noon. Our boat average age being 53. I carpooled up with two other guys in my boat. We left Virginia around 7:15 and arrived around 9:30. We found that our boat had already been unloaded from the trailer and rigged. Here is our 4+, named the "Big Dawgs". Its a Vespoli. I would be rowing the #2 seat.

At a Regatta you do a lot of waiting around. Waiting for your turn to race. You drink a lot of water, eat lightly and watch your teammates race. Below is one of our Women's 8+. They are second from the top. They finished second to Saugatuck where Daughter#1 used to cox and just recently got married at their boathouse. An excellent finish for our women. They went out later and garnered two first place finishes in 4+s. Awesome.

Approaching the finish...

The view of the launching dock. Some boats also returned here. It was a busy place all day long.

One tends to rough it a bit at regattas. When nature calls, its usually porta potties that have to do. This year, Diamond States came up with "Executive Washrooms". Talk about heaven, clean air conditioned bathrooms with flushing toilets and running water. What luxury.

My boat launched about 40 minutes before out race time and right behind out other Men's 4+ who was in the heat right before ours. We did a start and did some warming up. It was hot and humid, but you hardly felt it out on the water. Your mind was on other things. We raced in Lane 6. We had a fair start, but as the race progressed we slowly slipped behind the other boats. We finished last. Even finishing last, we had fun doing it. We enjoyed testing ourselves against other clubs. Although obviously we need a lot of work. Hopefully we'll do better during Head race season.
My boat was only scheduled for one race, which given that it's a 2 1/2 hour ride to Middleton, was a bit of a waste. Two races would have made the trip a little more worth while. We docked after the race and de-rigged the boat. The plan was to leave after our race seeing as we had no further races and to beat the beach traffic. We caught a bit of flak for leaving early and not hanging around to load the trailer. However, we had taken care of our boat and there was still plenty of people to load the trailer and it didn't make sense for us to have to wait around. So we left. We'll be back at our boathouse this evening to unload the trailer and re-rig the boats so they are ready for tomorrow's practice.
One of the highlights of driving to and from Middletown is crossing the Chesapeake Bay over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. All 4 miles of it.

True to form, the last few miles coming home were the hardest as I-95 was backed up a good ten miles between Springfield and Potomac Mills mall. I got home around 4:00. Even leaving early that made for a long day. Others in our club didn't get home until around 10:00. That's just crazy.

No comments: