O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

From the CRASH-B's to an online challenge, discuss the competitive side of erging here.

O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Yankeerunner » February 13th, 2017, 12:45 pm

Old People At CRASH-Bs 2017

The GeogheganMobile pulled out of Merrimac, MA at about 6:45 AM and took the scenic route via West Newbury to pick me up on the way to the Agganis Arena in Boston. PaulG (6th, 60-64 lwt) and I had to only sit back and wait while his wife Chris did the driving and scrambled for a parking spot after dropping us off.

After checking in at registration and picking up our competitor cards we headed straight for the lightweight weigh-in room, stopping briefly upon spotting my running buddy Barbara Grandberg (5th 65-69 lwt women) and selling her two pairs of shoes that I'd brought along for her upcoming season. Paul successfully earned the LWT stamp on his right bicep, but when I attempted to get mine I was turned away for being too young. I had to get 10 minutes older to legally be lightweight as the clock read 8:00 AM and I had to wait until two hours before my 10:10 AM race. When the time was finally right I almost didn't make weight, coming in at 162.4 lbs in street clothes, jacket, gym bag and bottle of water. Edward4492 always gets a chuckle out of that and again wasn't disappointed. Hugh Pite of Canada was also in the room with us also waiting to get old enough for his 70-74 race and we got to chat a bit for the first time since racing each other nine years ago when we could row 7:06 and 7:07. We were no threat to those kinds of scores this year, nor will we next year when I join him in the 70+ lwts.

We dropped our gym bags off in the spectator area with Chris and began crossing paths with more old and new erging friends. Alain Mangin came in with his lovely wife, Sango (Andy Sangster of Grimsby, Silver, 55-59 Hwt), Arlene Wade (Silver, 50-54 lwt women) and her husband Gregory Cook (6th 40-49 lwt men) passed by on their way to the weigh-in. Old friends Fred Dickie (13th, 60-64 Hwt), his wife Joanne, Adam Rosenthal and Deb, Mike Shields (Bronze, 70-74 Men's Hwt), Carla Stein (Silver, 55-59 Women), Mary White, Winnie Stopps, Shirley Godkin from New Zealand (Gold, 70-74 Women), and Jon Williams of C2.

When it came time to warm up I waited a while until a practice erg opened up. Quickly grabbing it and sitting down I was greeted by 'G'day' from the erg to my right. It was fellow Forum Flyer Lyndsay Hay, all the way from Australia, and we finally got to put faces to our names after following each other on the internet. Lindsay went on to score the Silver medal in the 65-69 Men's Hwt, beating such stalwarts as Bob Spousta, and both Dreissigacker brothers. While waiting and watching their race on the jumbotron I saw Steve Krum get handed a rare loss, when after leading most of the way he hit the wall and was overhauled by Stan Vegar in 60-64 Men's Hwt. As I entered the racing area for my event they were all on the way out and I got to ask Peter D if he had fulfilled one of his major goals of every CRASH-Bs, that of beating his brother Dick. He confirmed that although he was disappointed with his time he did indeed have the family bragging rights this year.

On my way to Erg #6 (“Must be front row!”--Bob Uecker) Paul Flack assailed me, outfitted in Volunteer garb, and asked if I needed a 225-pound coxswain. Jack Fultz (1975 Boston Marathon winner) didn't show up to do the job so I figured, “Why not?” and we both set up the erg for maximum effort. Set the stretcher to 2-holes showing, the drag to 116, made sure that the straps were fully tight this time around, and made sure that I was a bundle of nerves and sweating bullets. Check, check, check, check, & check. Eric Jones appeared at the rail armed with a video camera to record irrefutable evidence of whatever I did, and I Sat Ready.

Countdown.....Sit Ready....Attention.....ROW! And off we went. Immediately I was in last place, but that is typical of my weakling starts so I didn't worry, yet. It seemed acceptable that 1:53s and 1:52s were on the screen and gradually a couple guys came back to me. I knew going in that barring the unforeseen the medals in our race would be contested among the multiple time World Champion Alain Mangin of France, British Champion Adam Wilson, and American Navy guy Mark Underwood from Bremerton, Washington. All three names kept toggling among each other at the top of my screen as I watched them exchange the lead and pull further and further ahead of the rest of us. Despite stroking along at 36spm I was only averaging 1:53.4 through the half, which would yield an unsatisfying 7:33 or thereabout, so I picked it up to 37 spm for the 3rd 500m and got a bit faster. Stross of Cleveland was to my right, being coxed by his lovely wife Karen (7th, 60-64 lwt Women), and was a place ahead of me in 5th. After going down in defeat to him by a mere 0.1 second last year (4th to his 3rd), I wanted revenge, but he was putting open water on me of about 20m. Peter Francis of Colorado was to my left and one place behind, and I dare not let up on him because he's beaten me at least two or three times in a row over the past few years. With my massive cox'n threatening to cuff me if I showed signs of sissyness I ramped up the stroke rate to 40 or more for the final 500m. Finally I began hitting on all cylinders and had my fastest 500m of the race, but it was only good enough to cut Stross's lead in half and hold off Francis, although I did nip under 7:30 with an acceptable 7:29.2. We finished 5th, 6th, and 7th. The Brit Wilson shaved a half-second off his BIRC winning time to win the Gold in 7:09.4, and the Frenchman held off Underwood by 0.2 second 7:12.0 to 7:12.2. Best 65-69 lightweight race in CRASH-Bs history.

After staggering out to the warmup (now cooldown) area I found a machine beside Silver medalist Carla Stein and chatted with her and husband David while gently moving back & forth on the rail trying to return to normal. As Carla once famously said, “I like to Have Erged.” How sweet it is (Jackie Gleason).

Having erged, it was then great to wander about and hobnob with other early racers and watch the poor suckers who were still suffering. A group of Forum Flyers past and present gathered near the front rail and met face-to-face, Lindsay Hays, Shirley Godkin, Paul Flack, Fred Dickie and me. Unfortunately some of us missed meeting Jack Gilmore (jackarabit, 65-69 Hwt).

Also unfortunately I missed Mark Underwood (Bronze, 65-69 lwt). Years ago I'd followed his progress on the various online challenges and Nonathon, often with us leapfrogging each other as a month's challenge would progress. Suddenly he has become much faster than me and I was hoping that he'd share some of his secrets. Since I'll be aging out of the category for next year's race I'd be no threat to him for the next four years if his coaching made me better (haha). In socializing with Hugh Pite in the aftermath I've already thrown down the gauntlet for next year with him. We are both close to each other's time at the moment and have a full year to prepare for a knockdown, dragged out fight to the finish, hopefully with both of us healthy and in peak racing condition, and with no new superhumans coming out of the woodwork to kick our wrinkled old asses.

With snow falling outside the thinking was that for those of us with cars we had better head home earlier than planned and leave those with scheduled flights in their hotel rooms for an extra day. We trudged through the snow to the GeogheganMobile and headed North to recover and develop a sound strategy for CRASH-Bs 2018.

Renegade Rick Bayko,
Cub Reporter
Last edited by Yankeerunner on February 13th, 2017, 1:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Citroen » February 13th, 2017, 12:57 pm

Well done Rick always a fun read.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Yankeerunner » February 13th, 2017, 1:05 pm

Thanks Dougie. Unlike the year you coxed me, Paul Flack did NOT have to tell me to keep rowing after I'd mistakenly thought I'd heard a false start called and stopped. :roll: Thank goodness you were there!
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby jackarabit » February 13th, 2017, 1:49 pm

Sitting in the slamtrak just passing Kingston RI enroute joe Biden station Wilmington Del. reading Rick's report. Blue sky day so the iron bird should be taking the "circumnavigator" on the next leg back to Oz. Wife and I sat for all events and walked a mile down St Paul to the holiday inn cowshed on Beacon In the snow after. Her pedometer said 14 flights of stairs including the trips up and down to the comp level of the Agganis. I did a few more for swag and snacks. Had a chat with Jon Williams of C2, Hollings & Dunn of Calm Waters Rowing. Also nice to put faces with names for Ed Patterson and Lindsay Hay.








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Last edited by jackarabit on February 13th, 2017, 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Cyclingman1 » February 13th, 2017, 2:00 pm

jackarabit wrote:Had a chat with Jon Williams of C2, Hollings & Dunn of Calm Waters Rowing.


Spent four days at their rowing camp in Sept, 2013. They wore me out. Three OTW rows a day. I came totally ignorant of OTW rowing and left only two degrees better. Still, a cool place in Va countryside. And John and Charlotte were very nice and knowledgable. A good experience. I've been wondering if they are still going strong.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby mdpfirrman » February 13th, 2017, 2:58 pm

jackarabit wrote:Sitting in the slamtrak just passing Kingston RI enroute joe Biden station Wilmington Del. reading Rick's report. Blue sky day so the iron bird should be taking the "circumnavigator" on the next leg back to Oz. Wife and I sat for all events and walked a mile down St Paul to the holiday inn cowshed on Beacon In the snow after. Her pedometer said 14 flights of stairs including the trips up and down to the comp level of the Agganis. I did a few more for swag and snacks. Had a chat with Jon Williams of C2, Hollings & Dunn of Calm Waters Rowing. Also nice to put faces with names for Ed Patterson and Lindsay Hay.


Got to say Jack, even with some of the achievements of a lot of guys on these forums, I was probably most excited to see you racing. Great work! Hope we get a report from you soon.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Bloodbuzz Corio » February 13th, 2017, 4:18 pm

Rick - as a relative 'noob' to this indoor rowing lark this is the first of your CRASH-B reports I've had the pleasure to read - certainly hope it won't be the last.

Jack - tremendous you got to attend and compete. My US geography isn't strong enough to know of Wilmington Delaware is in the UT1 black hole or not, but trust you'll make it home safe and sound and raring for some more adventures in front of the PM4 (or 5, as appropriate).
Rohan - 42y, 178cm, <75kg, Logbook

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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby jackarabit » February 13th, 2017, 5:03 pm

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Just the facts, ma'am, as Jack Webb was used to say. :wink:
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby whp4 » February 14th, 2017, 5:27 pm

Rick, this is the only reason I come to the forums these days, to check out the CRASH-B report from you!

Excellent reading, as always. But I am puzzled — surely there should be some coverage of ranger's epic rows? He must have been there...and with that trajectory he was on, we should be talking sub-6, no? Of course, the final 1500m are at a slower pace :lol:
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Citroen » February 14th, 2017, 6:14 pm

whp4 wrote:Rick, this is the only reason I come to the forums these days, to check out the CRASH-B report from you!

Excellent reading, as always. But I am puzzled — surely there should be some coverage of #77's epic rows? He must have been there...and with that trajectory he was on, we should be talking sub-6, no? Of course, the final 1500m are at a slower pace :lol:

FTFY.

"He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" has been renamed to his vacant ergo number from this year's CRASH-B sprints.

He clearly rows so fast now with his perfect stroke that he was on the ergo, started, done and off to collect his hammer before the organisers noticed and before they started the race.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 20

Postby whp4 » February 14th, 2017, 6:50 pm

Ah, yes, my apologies, I forgot that the name of the (lily-livered) beast was not to be uttered in polite company, or even here :D

TFFTFM.
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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby seat5 » February 15th, 2017, 10:07 am

always love reading your write ups, Rick, you really missed your calling! You should write a book or have a syndicated column or blog or something. I have to say they were so disorganized with the awards, way off schedule and doing them somewhat randomly, that I was stuck there for hours waiting and missed seeing races I would have like to have seen and socializing. We three finally grabbed our loot and took our own photo so we could get out of there.

Another year, another Crash B, and still I am searching for the answer to the question: Why do we do this?
Carla Stein--F 47 HWT

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Re: O.P.A.CRASH-Bs 2017

Postby Yankeerunner » February 16th, 2017, 6:50 pm

seat5 wrote:
Another year, another Crash B, and still I am searching for the answer to the question: Why do we do this?


"Because it's there" --George Mallory
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