Open Water Rowing

No, ergs don't yet float, but some of us do, and here's where you get to discuss that other form of rowing.
Autoland
1k Poster
Posts: 146
Joined: January 25th, 2021, 12:23 pm
Location: Southern MD, USA

Re: Open Water Rowing

Post by Autoland » June 23rd, 2022, 9:23 am

I discovered a community on the water rowing club the weekend before last and signed up for a week long 8-man sweep boat training program that started this Monday. This is on the St. Mary's River off the Patuxent River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

I started erging in the summer of 2020 and have not been on the water until now.

What a revelatory experience! There is so much more to think about and the scenery is spectacular.

So glad I discovered this. The club also does sculling and participates in regattas.
M/55/6ft/165lbs rowing since August 2020, C2 since January 2021
500 1:54.5; 2k 8:05.5; 5k 20:54.6; 10k 42:20.6; HM 1:34:22.6
30' 7126; 60' 13777

Autoland
1k Poster
Posts: 146
Joined: January 25th, 2021, 12:23 pm
Location: Southern MD, USA

Re: Open Water Rowing

Post by Autoland » June 23rd, 2022, 9:51 am

Correction, the St. Mary's River is off the Potomac River a few miles northwest of where the Potomac meets the Chesapeake Bay.
M/55/6ft/165lbs rowing since August 2020, C2 since January 2021
500 1:54.5; 2k 8:05.5; 5k 20:54.6; 10k 42:20.6; HM 1:34:22.6
30' 7126; 60' 13777

Tsnor
6k Poster
Posts: 790
Joined: November 18th, 2020, 1:21 pm

Re: Open Water Rowing

Post by Tsnor » June 23rd, 2022, 1:29 pm

Autoland wrote:
June 23rd, 2022, 9:23 am
I discovered a community on the water rowing club the weekend before last and signed up for a week long 8-man sweep boat training program that started this Monday. This is on the St. Mary's River off the Patuxent River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

I started erging in the summer of 2020 and have not been on the water until now.

What a revelatory experience! There is so much more to think about and the scenery is spectacular.

So glad I discovered this. The club also does sculling and participates in regattas.
Excellent. Totally agree with you, OTW is really fun, especially sweeps where a team works together. I'm farther north on the Hudson. Maybe see you in Philly at regattas in a year or two.

Some things you can do with your erging to help OTW
1. Mark where the chain goes through the slot. Keep the chain at exactly the same level while rowing. This will help you keep your hands level at the catch -- many new rowers lower their hands to get more room at the catch which upsets the boat. Or move their hands in a curve "skying" the blade. You want your hands to follow a nice straight line from release to catch. Same thing on the drive to control blade depth in the water.
2. Try to control your stroke rate. Do erg pieces that prescribe the strokes/min. Also try some higher stroke rates (25-30) using fast "hands away" to get the faster recovery while staying slow on the slide.
3. Look at the "Force Curve" display and try to make as smooth a curve as you can. In an 8 you'll need to match your stroke to the rest of the team. A clean force curve will help.
4. Keep your knees down as long as you can during recovery. Don't blur your back swing and starting knees up. This keeps your weight lower in the boat while the oars are out of the water and really helps balance the shell. You are likely going to do "pick drills" learning to row that emphasize this. Do pick drills at home on the erg too as a warmup.
5. don't stop your erging. Just mange the load so that if you do a hard OTW session you don't do a hard erg session the next day, likely this means most of your erg sessions are long/slow once you get out OTW. Erging keeps you strong and safe and fast.

Autoland
1k Poster
Posts: 146
Joined: January 25th, 2021, 12:23 pm
Location: Southern MD, USA

Re: Open Water Rowing

Post by Autoland » June 24th, 2022, 7:27 am

Thanks for the tips Tsnor!

I definitely hope to make OTW part of my routine. The small club I'm working with was just at a regatta on the James River last weekend. I'll ask if they've ever been up to Philly.

While we're working with an 8-man shell, only yesterday did we have all 8 of us pulling strokes simultaneously. We started with 2 of us pulling stokes and the other 6 setting the boat. Then moved to 4/4 and 6/2 before we went all in.

Lots to learn. I tend to drive the blade deeper then I should and my OTW form is so far lacking because I'm thinking about oar control and synchronization. Feathering is going to take some time to get used to.

So much fun!
M/55/6ft/165lbs rowing since August 2020, C2 since January 2021
500 1:54.5; 2k 8:05.5; 5k 20:54.6; 10k 42:20.6; HM 1:34:22.6
30' 7126; 60' 13777

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