OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.

OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby G-dub » October 22nd, 2017, 8:10 am

As mentioned, I was to row in a mixed quad and an 8+ with my LTR crew from April. We have a very strong bond and are (I think) a special group in our club due to our spirit and sense of humor. It is also rare for 11 people from LTR to stay with it and race - most fade away.

My mixed quad race of 5K was first and it was sweet. It was an older age group boat and just rowing clean and as well as we could with smilesa the end was the goal. We accomplished that. We rowed better than ever and that water in Oak Ridge was really nice to row in. Our club rows on a small lake that requires us big round curves to get 3K loops in. To row 5k out and 5K in the race in a somewhat straight path was a real treat!

The main event for me was the mixed 8+. What our boat lacks in talent we make up for in grit and cheer. Just 3-4 weeks ago or so we didn't think we could row all 8! We thought we would be the first boat in club history to row as rolling 6s and our sense of humor was sort of OK with that. But at the same time, we all knew that somehow we would make it work on race day so we kept pushing and tinkering. As the weeks progressed we got bettter and better and began chasing boats down on our lake - even though we were dragging oars side to side. We went to sleep the Friday night optimistic that somehow magic would happen for us. Long story short, another of our club's boats of much more experienced rowers decided at the last minute to sing up for the same race as ours - telling us "sorry guys, we didn't know you were in this one. But we wish you well on your row". It will be a nice experience for you". Needless to say, a couple of our amazing women who weigh nothing at all decided that there was no way we would let them beat us. One in particular who sits in 7 swat put the thing on her back and whipped the stroke seat like a race horse - she wouldn't let him or us back down. We started first with them right behind. As near as I could tell from my seat at 6 (that should tell you something about how I'll equipped we are - a 5-8" at 6 seat) they never got any closer than the distance at the start. We ended up beating them by 5 seconds on the gross and only lost to Atlanta in real time. It was super sweet. We rowed 29-30 just about the whole way and never backed down. I'm very proud of it and truly admire the competitive spirit that this motley crew was able to muster. I think we raised some eyebrows in the club. It was an experienced that will be cherished for a long time, or at least until we go again at Head of the South on November 11th.
Glenn Walters: 5'-8" X 205 lbs. Bday 01/09/1962
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby Cyclist2 » October 22nd, 2017, 1:03 pm

Don't you just love it when "motivation" strikes? Great races, Glenn!

You didn't mention if that 8+ race was "rolling 6s" or if you were motivated enough to row all 8.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby G-dub » October 22nd, 2017, 3:05 pm

We were all 8. It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done on the day at least against the boat that mattered most.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby sander » October 22nd, 2017, 3:12 pm

Great! I love race reports, and racing an eight is usually fun, especially when the team spirit is high.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby Edward4492 » October 22nd, 2017, 3:40 pm

Great job Glen! We had a similar experience last year when our mixed quad won our heat and beat our very experienced women's quad, a boat we had "no chance" of beating. No sweeter taste! Again.....very well done! Ergs don't float, but they build serious fitness and a capacity to suffer. Good luck on the 11th, can't wait for the report.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby G-dub » October 22nd, 2017, 6:16 pm

The multi-seat boats have there own challenges, but I admire your guts to row singles Ed. It looks like a long and lonely experience out there! I'm thinking I will learn what that is about this winter.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby Edward4492 » October 22nd, 2017, 6:48 pm

Unfortunately our club only has a couple of us actively racing. We had one fast women's quad (they finished out sprint season with a 2nd and a 1st, both at big regattas) but they fell apart mostly due to injury. The "core" group has been Janet (68) and Tara (45) in singles; and I've been splitting the time between my 1x and with Marianne in the 2x. I like the 1x because I can cartop it and attend any race I want. Otherwise I'm relying on the boathouse trailer to load us up (they're very accomodating). You would love Janet, sounds like your lady in the seven seat. We're working on getting a women's quad together for next season, I'm the only male actively racing. We're all from LTR two years ago. To be honest, I like it all. The hard core guys are the LWT 1x masters. By definition you need a reasonable degree of fitness just to make weight (160lbs). And me and Marianne spend a lot of time in the 2x. It's all good.

Still want to get in an "8"!
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby G-dub » November 12th, 2017, 7:29 pm

Just cause I know Ed might be interested: My mixed masters 8+ won gold at Head of the South. Against 6 other teams. We were second on the gross time and won on handicap. It was a tricky boat - 4 new people added and we only had one real practice together, which was not good. I think we also put so much into our first race that this one was tough to get up for. Two of the people we added were some of our better club rowers and the other two hadn't had much time in an 8 the last several months and were part of our LTR class. It was nice to row strong together in competition and the bling was nice too. We passed a boat which was sweet. Also rowed a nice mixed masters quad that did well but didn't medal. We also passed a boat in that one and thought we might have a chance. But that seems to be a tough race category and not as friendly for a novice boat, even one with a big heart. I think we got 5th. Quite fun to be racing boats. It's lots of work in terms of all the other work you do to get boats traveling, but all that interaction is real social. Almost like a barn raising.
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Re: OK Ed - my first head race: Secret City Oak Ridge TN

Postby Edward4492 » November 12th, 2017, 10:08 pm

Nice job Glenn! You're certainly having a successful rookie season. Passing a boat is a great feeling to be sure. Not as mentally painful as erging as there's so much going on in a boat race; lots of distraction. After the race it really starts to set in, totally draining. I know what you mean about the logistics, feels like we're invading a small country. De-rig, load, get to the venue, re-rig, race, de-rig, load, etc. I did develop one trick that everybody seems to like. I spread an old bedsheet out under the boat when rigging, particularly on grass. Everybody laughs, until they're rooting around in the dirt trying to find a nut or washer. We're about done OTW up here with the weather, although we did get out today. Back on the erg, got 70k this week.

But I'll miss the boat!
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