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.
Thanks to SportGraphics for great pics from the Catch the Cooper Regatta. This time they took several action shots of each boat near the 500m mark, which is great for looking at the stroke sequence.
This is a shot from the Men’s Open Single race. Although I am slightly offset in this frame, the blades are coming out pretty squarely at the finish this late in the race.
Sport Graphics: 2012-CC001-385.
That translates into victory, especially in longer races. Say I got an extra 6 inches of boat run each stroke, times 240 strokes, equals about 120 feet or just over 4 lengths. At 3 seconds per length that is about 13 seconds. The actual margin was 17 seconds.
This is not something you can train on a rowing machine, because the connection to the water at the finish is not there, and there is no sensation of really supporting the blades’ connection to the water all the way through the finish with your core. What does train the muscles needed to do this? Kettlebell swings. They help build the ability to sit in a powerful position with legs locked down fully and the core rock solid at a 30-degree angle, allowing the small muscles of the arms and upper back to continue pressure on the blade for that last half-second that is crucial to preventing the blades from popping out too early. In a long race it makes a big difference in the run of the boat.
Now I need to work on my head position – as you can see I was tired and bobbing my melon up and down, which is 8 pounds of non-horizontal momentum and wasted energy.
Well, the time has come to change my rowing club affiliation to Passaic River Rowing Association. I rowed with a buddy at PRRA last fall when I won Masters Nationals in the double sculls, and I feel that the club will align better with my competitive goals while allowing me more flexibility to integrate Crossfit into my training. It is also where the Don Bosco and Ridgewood crews row out of, and has just received a grant to start construction on a boathouse. Don Bosco is the high school team that started doing winter training at Crossfit Ignite this year.
It’s been a great run at Nereid, but sometimes change creates an opportunity for excellence, and I’d like to take it to the next level a couple of miles downstream!