I got drafted into another Ever Green Alumni Eight for the Head of the Schuylkill last Saturday in my old stomping ground of Philadelphia. It was a blast and we ended up coming in 2nd place for a silver medal out of 25 crews. The conditions were about the windiest I’ve ever seen in Philly, with a huge headwind and whitecaps on the first half of the course, which cost us about 10 seconds due to a crab. Other than that, I think we had better swing than our boat for the Head of the Charles, even though the crew was older. Once we got out of the toughest of the conditions, we really walked through some boats.
In terms of preparation, I didn’t know I was in the boat until the Tuesday before, and frankly I had really hit CrossFit hard the Monday and Tuesday after the Charles, so I was very sore. I focused on active rest for 3 days before the race, combined with some light technical work in the single and on the Concept2.
Unusually, I was boated in the “engine room” at 5 seat, and it was a blast being in the middle of the big guys. We were using C2 “fat” blades, so the focus was on excellent catch technique followed by good timing of the drive with the rest of the guys in the stern. For most of the race it was less about trying to muscle it and more about trying to get swing and ration, as it was impossible to overcome the headwind with strength. I think we did a pretty good job of it and I hope to be back next year.