Here’s a couple of videos of Alumni Cup racing at Overpeck on April 5, 2014. These were the earlier races before the wind kicked in and racing was canceled due to crosswind/whitecaps. Too bad as before the rain yesterday the water was great all week.
Dartmouth vs. Columbia Varsity Eights:
Dartmouth vs. Columbia JV Eights:
Holy Cross vs. MIT JV Eights:
For any readers in the NY/NJ area who want to come see what live rowing is like, there is a collegiate regatta (2,000 meters) on Saturday April 5 at Overpeck County Park, which is just over the George Washington Bridge from NYC. Dartmouth, Columbia, MIT, Holy Cross, and Navy will be racing in eights throughout the day from 9AM to 2PM. Overpeck is a great venue for a run or BBQ and has a great playground for the kids. The publicly-accessible viewing area is along the last 1,000 meters of the racecourse, culminating at the finish line at the north end of the lake. If you are an alum, come out and support your school. If you are a CrossFitter and want to see what the sport looks like on the water, this is the best chance to see it all year.
Directions to Overpeck are here.
I was optimistic today – trying to make spring come by sheer force of will. After all it was 67 degrees!
I went to Overpeck and rigged my boat. I am ready as soon as the ice breaks. Ice? At Overpeck? Has that ever happened? Nobody can remember it ever having frozen over before.
Well, it’s still socked in, but I bet it will break tomorrow with the rain as the water level rises. Then it will freeze again on Thursday night after the wind dies down, and then break for good this weekend. That’s my bet.
Come on Mother Nature, give us a break!
In the meantime, check out this video that was posted by CrossFit Rowing – looks like fun in a an extremely perverse way! Anybody from Canada – what is this type of rowing called? Surely not surfboat, although it’s similar? Iceboat? Polar rescue? Polar suicide? There’s a good idea here though – can coxswains use a paddle in the Head of the Charles?
Desperate Canadians who are sick of the erg!
I am making a fresh start on multiple fronts this week in rowing, which marks the biggest change for me in the sport in over 10 years. It’s a little scary but also a great opportunity:
1. I have a completely new “rig” since my boat disaster of a few weeks ago. I picked up a beautiful green 2008 Fluidesign 95kg boat from a Mercyhurst rower who injured his shoulder and can’t scull anymore. Thanks to the family and friends who helped make this happen quickly – you know who you are. Also a big thanks to Leonard Insurance (former Undine guys) who were a dream to deal with. It’s a weird feeling being in a single-skin boat with a bow-mounted rigger, but honestly it didn’t take me long to pick it up. The boat is definitely lighter than my Hudson was, and does not require backstays due to the bow-mounted rigger. The hull design seems more forgiving. It also has 5kg more capacity than did my old boat, and let’s be honest in that it’s harder to stay at 195lbs. now that I’m older. I also have a pair of Croker S4 Superlights, which are top-of-the-line sculls and better than the ones I had previously. They will be great, if unforgiving, so I’d better get my technique in line fast. I have less than 30 days until the Alumni Sprints regatta.
2. I have moved my training location from the Passaic River to Overpeck Park. This means trading decent facilities, dirty water, and powerful tides for no facilities but beautiful, non-tidal, protected water. In many ways it is a “back to basics” approach, similar to my situation 10 years ago in Petaluma, California. Given the Passaic’s increasing propensity for floods and the fact that the state will be doing Superfund dredging on the best rowable section of the river this summer, I decided that a “trial separation” was in order. I now have a vacant lot, a 40-foot shipping container, a dock, and 3000 meters of straight, flat water with a marked 2K course on the northern end. Frankly, Overpeck is probably the best rowing water in New Jersey, rivaling Cooper River, and it’s hard to believe it’s not jam packed with rowers, kayakers, paddleboarders, etc.
3. I will be racing independently for Ever Green Boat Club, the Dartmouth Alumni virtual club. The advantages are that I will likely get on the water much more frequently, and will easily be able to benchmark times on a measured course. For now it’s just me, some elite kayakers, one bald eagle with an aerie on the other side of the water, and Coach Clemens at the Teaneck docks on the other end. Anybody want to join us?
The new rig:
The new water (video):