Red Bull High Stakes is a wrap with Ever Green topping the alumni-focused crews and coming in 6th out of the 14 teams. I was a little skeptical of the event, but it turned out to be well-run, smoothly organized, and with a ton of rolodex crews that were the Who’s Who of anybody who wasn’t currently going to worlds (and some who were)!
There was a wide mix of teams – elites, alumni/ae, adaptive, veterans, and clubs, which made for exciting racing. Even the elites were not immune from mishap (e.g. the Graves brothers getting divebombed by geese). The vibe was causal, Riverside was a great host, and Sean Wolf was a great ringleader.
I was definitely one of the older athletes, and it was fun to mix it up with the young guns. Good luck to Dave Smith and Phil Henson who were a couple of days away from a plane ride to Aiguebelette in the ML8+, and I hope to do it again next year!
Thanks to Igor Belakovskiy again for fabulous pics at http://scullingfool.smugmug.com/Rowing/Club-Racing/Red-Bull-High-Stakes-2015
Ever Green Boat Club team at the Red Bull High Stakes
Thanks to Row2K for publishing my rowing hack submission, and giving a shout out to Ever Green Boat Club! I use this hack a lot while traveling. I also find that wearing FiveFingers on the erg not only saves on space in my luggage, but also makes me pay more attention to my finish timing, as they are both more flexible and less forgiving when your technique deteriorates.
Training Hack: The Erg Strap Clamp – row2k columns.
Rowers, Ever Green Boat Club is organizing a new type of regatta, the Alumni Sprints, to be held on the old collegiate racecourse in Greenwich, Connecticut on April 27. This race allows college alumni/ae, regardless of current affiliation, to race a 1000m sprint under their college alumni banner, similar to how the Alumni Eights works at the Head of the Charles.
We will have participation from Boston University, Brown, Cambridge, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Oxford, Wisconsin, and are looking for others! There may also be exhibition racing by some “big names” from the sport who are based in the area. USRowing has even set up a special Alumni Club type of membership that covers both this regatta and the Head of the Charles, to make it easier for alums who are not currently affiliated with a rowing club.
I will be racing my single as well as in Ever Green (Dartmouth Alumni) team boats, and I hope to see some of you there.
Registration opens tomorrow (March 2) on RegattaCentral, and space is limited due to the unique format!
P.S. we are also looking for available USRowing-certified referees to participate, as they are in short supply during the spring racing season! If you are one and are interested, please reply to this post. Thanks.
Thanks to Mike S., one of my Ever Green Boat Club rower friends, for suggesting a killer workout. I stupidly modified it a little to make it even more “hardcore” and rowing-specific. He names it “Twilight of the Quads.”
When I say “rowing-specific,” I mean a WOD that focuses on leg power and endurance, as this is where most of the energy comes from when rowing. Rowers typically focus on developing the quadriceps. Crossfitters typically focus more on glutes/hams and the posterior chain. This WOD hits them both very hard.
It was originally designed as a bodyweight WOD. I added weight to the lunges, which was stupid for the first time out. If you have knee issues or it’s your first time out, keep it bodyweight until your connective tissue adapts. It took me almost 2 weeks to recover from this one between overstressed knee connective tissue and my glutes being absolutely blasted.
4 rounds of:
- 50 lunges (weighted or goblet if you are up to it – I did it with 50 lbs.)
- 50 air squats
- 500 meter rowing sprint on the Concept2
It took me about 26 minutes.
“ I don’t always get rhabdo, but when I do, it’s from this workout!”
Had a great race on Saturday in the Masters Eight rowing for Ever Green Boat club – strong, smooth, consistent, perfect steering, no mishaps except for a broken cox-box. So we were all surprised to learn that we came in 13th? In retrospect we were part of a tight grouping of times in which 10 seconds separated a whole bunch of boats. To give perspective, we were still within 10% of the winning time even with that mediocre placing. So all things considered, it was a good outing, and the only thing to do is get fitter as this race seems to get faster and faster each year.
Here’s a pic. I was rowing 7-seat on starboard, which was interesting as the last time I raced on starboard was sophomore year in college. Sculling for so long has given me a lot of flexibility in being able to jump into any seat in a sweep boat and perform pretty well, and bombing down the course at a 32 was again no problem with the Crossfit Endurance training under my belt.
The funny anecdotes happened walking down the path back to my car at the end of the day. First I saw a guy on a longboard with a Kahuna Big Stick doing a slalom up the row of orange cones in the trailer parking lot. Then I saw this poor dude slowly wobbling up the path on his bike carrying a pair of sculls, trying to maneuver through the crowd and having to go so slowly that he almost had to stop. As he got closer I saw that it was a really nice bike and a really big dude. No, it couldn’t be…but it was…Mahe Drysdale ! He must have landed at the Northeastern boathouse after his race and there he was just like any other rower in the crowd…amazing.
Video at: http://nesports.tv/2011HOCRa.php?p=3 (our boat is at timestamp 1:18)
I was recently able to practice in a pair (yes, not a double, a pair) with a college friend of mine. We will be the stern pair in the Ever Green Boat Club masters 8+ at the Head of the Charles in a few weeks, so we wanted to get in sync.
For non-rowers, a pair is a 2-person boat in which each person wields a single sweep oar, unlike a double in which each person has two 9-foot smaller sculls. It is probably the most difficult boat to row because you have a 12-foot lever arm but can only stabilize the boat on one side. When you are rowing exactly matched, it flies. When you make a mistake, you pay. It is also perhaps the most nerve-wracking boat to steer because even if both rowers are exerting exactly the same force, the bow seat is a little farther from the boat’s center of mass, and you pretty much have to use a toe-mounted rudder unless you are very, very good.
The back story is that many people have asked me over the years if I’ve rowed every seat in every kind of rowing boat. My answer has been “all but one.” I’ve even been privileged to row in some weird antique combinations like a triple, an octopod, and a 12+. The last time I rowed a pair was sophomore summer at Dartmouth when I was stoking on port side. But the one seat I had never rowed was bow seat in a pair rowing starboard. Until now! Check that one off the bucket list!