Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
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Edward4492
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Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Edward4492 » October 29th, 2018, 9:17 pm

Haven't posted since my last OTW race. I'll start serious erging in about two weeks as it gets too cold to row on the river. Took delivery of my new bow rigged Wintech 1x last month. I really like the boat; very stable and I guess it's fast enough. Not sure there's any real such thing as a fast boat once you get into any modern racing shell. Mostly the pilot. I've been training for the head races (a 4k-6k event, racers are sent off at 10s intervals) since August and the backbone of my program has been doing (4) x 1000m, (2) x 2000m, and (1) x 4000m. Cooper river, where I row, is a national class 2k course, about 2500m end to end. So one of my key rows has been 4k non-stop with a quick turn at the end and back up again. My target is to be under 20min including the turn which costs me 20s or so. I was hitting 19:30-40 pretty regular; so I was shooting for 18:30 on the Schuylkill which would put me mid pack.

There were (19) guys in the 60+ class. No handicaps as it was an age group race (60-69). Lots of stiff competition including Tom Darling who I believe still holds the 55-59 erg record at 6:12 ( I'm too lazy to check). He just came off of winning the Head of the Charles and is world class in every sense of the word. He would be starting 5 or 6 boats behind me; I just wanted to stay out of his way. After all of the jockeying for position I finally ended up in the "chute", got going, and started down river towards the first bridge at Strawberry Mansion. For the first 1000m I was way ahead of my target split of 2:20, I was being careful not to blow up. By the time I was past St Joes I was sitting on a 2:17 average and pretty much settled in. The next benchmark was the bridge at Columbia avenue. The boats coming down were still a ways off. As I crossed under Columbia and started down river I made a huge mistake. I was looking to give Darling and Mark Malone (another local speedster) a clear path to duke it out and I swung way, way too wide. I cost myself a huge chunk of time and missed a buoy costing myself a 10s penalty,

I got back on track and was feeling real solid as I drove towards the last two bridges. The other two boats were coming up and I thought I could stay ahead of them through the final bridge. Then the inexplicable happened, they got into the wrong lane heading towards the wrong arch, an official flagged them back on track giving me enough time to get through and get out of the way for the final 400m to the line. Meantime Darling and Malone (I'm just guessing it was them, not positive) got tangled up with someone I had passed and it got pretty ugly. I managed to stay clear of everything and finished at 19:16 at a 2:20.4 average . 14th of 19 (relegated to 15th with my "buoy assault" 10s penalty). Later analysis showed I lost about 40s with my poor navigational skills. Looking at my stroke coach (PM5 for boats) I logged 4000m at 18:44; crossed the line at around 4125m.

I continue to learn, this is a demanding sport with world class competition week in and week out. I was pleased with my fitness and my rowing continues to improve technically (I have a LONG way to go), today the importance of knowing the course and proper navigation really made an impact!

Cyclist2
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Cyclist2 » October 29th, 2018, 10:20 pm

Nice, Ed! I was wondering how you were doing.
Edward4492 wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 9:17 pm
I continue to learn, this is a demanding sport with world class competition week in and week out. I was pleased with my fitness and my rowing continues to improve technically (I have a LONG way to go), today the importance of knowing the course and proper navigation really made an impact!
Sounds to me like your OTW racing is improving pretty rapidly. You can never get good enough, although it's fun to try, right?

I recall my two HOTS years ago. Not quite the best experiences, but I was just learning at the time.

I rowed in my first head race since back then (late 80s), see my writeup. It was really fun to get back in the mix. I may keep my eye out for a skinnier boat so I can go faster in those type races.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

lwtguy
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by lwtguy » October 30th, 2018, 1:52 pm

Nice job Ed! That turn out of Columbia took me by surprise too since it's not really a turn as much as an angle...

I ended up with a third place finish in the Lwt 2x though so overall a good race!
Bill, 23, 160-165 lbs.
PBs-- 500m 1:28.9-- 1K 3:08.9-- 2K 6:37.7-- 5K 17:27.6
6K 21:11.2-- 30' 8342m-- 10K 35:54-- 60' 16209m

Edward4492
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Edward4492 » October 30th, 2018, 3:54 pm

Thanks Bill! Nice result with second place. I'm to a point where I'll move up the results sheet when I row a perfect line and a clean race. I hit everything else dead on; just got way too wide on one turn. I wasn't the only one, lots of people seemed to make the same mistake. Fitness wise I think I paced it pretty well. Don't know if you do any erg races, I'll be at Center City Slam for sure. See if I still have anything left in the tank for the erg events. Hope to see ya.

Mark, you should consider picking up a shell. But you already know that. I'm pretty convinced that once you're rowing any decent shell in the 30lb range it really doesn't matter what you row. The 20k Empachers and 15k Filipi's are nice for sure. For me it came down to getting a 5-10yr old Filipi, Empacher or Fluid for 5k-8k or a new Wintech for 7k. I wanted to go new, no worries about prior damage etc. I had my fastest time ever in our old beat-up club Hudson. Grab some old beater shell and go show 'em how it's done!

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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by G-dub » October 30th, 2018, 7:26 pm

Well done Ed and Bill! I am so very impressed with you ballers that race singles and especially against the competition you have up there. Life in 4+s and 8s for me this head race season. Head of the Hooch for me this weekend, which will remind me that all those shiny pieces of tin we bring home from our lesser regattas around here are nice to have, but not an accurate portrayal of our stature in the sport :oops: The bummer though is it will be the first regatta since I started that I won’t have medaled in (unless a miracle happens) - I think I’ve gotten hardware in 8 straight regattas. But lessor competition and rowing in boats with better people certainly help the cause.

Anyway - well done and it’s nice to hear from you! Ed - will you murder yourself on the erg again this year?
Glenn Walters: 5'-8" X 192 lbs. Bday 01/09/1962
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Edward4492
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Edward4492 » October 30th, 2018, 9:12 pm

Good to hear from you G-dub. I plan on doing several erg races this year, just local events. Center City Slam I'll do as I won it last year against six other local 60+ guys, two of them are beating me on the water.......but I'm closing the gap. No more Boston or WIRC; it's just too much of an investment in time, money and stress. And my erg times have slipped into the 7:15 to 7:20 range. Good enough to win locally (if I'm lucky!) but that won't get me in the top six at the big meets. I still run our indoor erg program from January until March and erg pretty heavy starting in two weeks. I still really enjoy erging. But the pain and suffering you have to go through to produce good results has lost it's appeal. As you have already learned the boat is just so much more fun and challenging. It reminds me of road racing bikes. It takes you deep physically, but there's so much more going on that you find yourself totally immersed and the pain is just there in the background. I don't realize how hard I've gone until the next day when I can barely move. The competition here is ferocious, but it drives you to excel. Let us know how you make out next weekend. You'll have a good showing I'm sure. Good Luck!

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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by PaulG » October 31st, 2018, 12:46 pm

Ed:
Congratulations, that's a very good finish against some very good competition. Although you might be a little disappointed with your wide swing and penalty time, you probably would have felt worse if you interfered with the overtaking boats like what happened later in the race. I wonder why they can't seed the boats in a race, or at least take an educated guess as to who will be fast and put them up front.

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Remo
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Remo » October 31st, 2018, 5:51 pm

PaulG wrote:
October 31st, 2018, 12:46 pm

... I wonder why they can't seed the boats in a race, or at least take an educated guess as to who will be fast and put them up front.
Head races are seeded based on the previous years result. Works pretty well for repeaters. Notwithstanding, if you are a newbie, it keeps life interesting when you get to row through the boats ahead of you. Usually the slower boats will give you some room, but occasionally you will get stuck behind two or three boats fighting to beat each other and not give a damn about who they are slowing down.

Shout out to Bill and Ed for what sounds like some good racing. (I looked at the splits for Ed's race. Yeah, if you had a better course you had a good chance to make it up to eighth place)
Stewart MH 61 https://log.concept2.com/profile/4926
Started rowing at Cal in 1975 and sculled for a few years thereafter. Still follow the sport religiously. In some Latin languages, "Remo" means "the Rower" or "to row".

Edward4492
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by Edward4492 » October 31st, 2018, 10:15 pm

Thanks Stewart. I'm a real data junkie, you can learn a lot analyzing stroke coach data. Since you mentioned it, you saw what I saw. First split through St Joes (about 800m)m I was right in the mix with the guys in the top ten (+/- 5sec ). Next split at the tower (2000m?) same thing. Third split at Angels
(approx 3000m) a disasterous 30-40s deficit to the four to five boats I was challenging. The final push to the finish I pulled back 10-15s on those same boats. So a top ten was a reasonable expectation. Looks like I rowed about an extra 100m, which equates to 25-30sec. It's actually quite encouraging, this wasn't about fitness or rowing technique, it was about navigation and making the right decisions on the course, I'll call it experience. I like to break things down. We have a very competitive womens 50-59 quad that came in 4th. They're a good boat winning two regattas this year against quality competition. We looked at they're data. They were behind at every checkpoint to the winners. 8s, 23s, 38s, 54s at the finish. Bottom line? they need to get faster! As for me, I'll continue to search for speed and efficiency. But my big gains will come from getting better on the water. Plus I'll see some of these guys at the erg comps where navigation isn't too much of an issue! I'm finding this sport to be totally fascinating and consuming.

lwtguy
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Re: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 10/28/18

Post by lwtguy » November 2nd, 2018, 9:26 am

Thanks Stewart! Head racing is always a blast.

Ed, the same thing happened to me at Navy Day last year. My course was so bad, that my average splits were sub 2, but my overall time was like 2:06 pace or something.
Bill, 23, 160-165 lbs.
PBs-- 500m 1:28.9-- 1K 3:08.9-- 2K 6:37.7-- 5K 17:27.6
6K 21:11.2-- 30' 8342m-- 10K 35:54-- 60' 16209m

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