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Cooper River Club Race

Posted: November 26th, 2017, 5:44 pm
by Edward4492
Our club decided to have an end of season club race which they dubbed the "Cranberry Classic Scrimmage". Another club, Delaware River Rowing, was invited. Dana Anders and Brett Dicresenzo organized the event. It was very low key, no official start or finish; we just got alignment, somebody called out ready, attention, row and we all raced to the 1000m marker. Quick disclaimer, the other club came to our boathouse and jumped in our team boats and rowed on our course; so they were at a serious disadvantage. There were no heat sheets, no boats were set, it was very low key and informal. Just a bunch of people getting in one last row before the cold sets in. was still a race! The first race was the 2x's. My usual doubles partner Marianne retired for the OTW season two weeks ago so I got in two practice sessions with Charlie Lange, he's 67 so we're a good mix age wise. There were four boats in our race, another men's 2x, two younger women, and another women's boat with our best women's rower. So it was an interesting mix. To be honest I thought we would get killed. It was pretty windy, around 15mph, serious quartering tail wind. And we drew a boat we never rowed in; a Wintech double. It had toe steering which I thought would be a problem. But Charlie, in the bow, handled it well.

We got a 5 second handicap due to our age. Turned out we didn't need it. We had a nice clean start and managed to row a surprisingly clean race given the wind. We settled into about a 28r and pulled steadily away finishing with about a 20s lead, later looking at my speed coach we averaged 2:14. Certainly not fast by the standards of top flight masters 2x's; need to be under 2:00 pace to place in the big regattas. But very encouraging given our lack of time in the boat, the conditions, and any other excuses that one would deem appropriate. We may consider racing this class next season, particularly since my doubles partner Marianne is hoping to race in a women's quad (her true goal) next season.

Given the nature of the event, we threw together a men's quad. I was stroking again. I seem to have become the "default stroke" when I land in a quad; probably because I'm one of the few that owns a speed coach. Again there were a variety of boats, three quads and two coxed fours. The fours were given a head start. We rowed decent for a throw together boat, I was pretty beat from the 2x race and pushed as hard as I could. We beat one quad and one four and hung with in half a length of the other quad. The coxed four with two solid looking college girls won easily.

Last race of the day was interesting. Two eights and an Octuple. Given I've never picked up a sweep oar in my life I ended up in the big sculling boat. Also, first time I was in a coxed boat which was pretty cool. By this time I had a bit of a second wind. We got off clean and it was a great race in that all of the boats were racing tight; lane-to-lane and never any clear water. It got interesting with 200m to go as the sail boaters were out doing there thing and our course over-lapped a bit with theirs. We were going neck in neck with the Rutgers alumni boat and think we may have had them when the cox called out "soft paddle" with about 100m to go as we were running up on the sail boaters. Really didn't matter much, it was a really fun race; it's what I like about OTW boat races when you're right there next to another boat and the coxes are barking out orders and you can hear the other boats and you're just giving all ya got. Racing.....elemental, pure, and simple. All three boats came across with in a few seats of each other.

Done with the boat until spring. Got my 1x de-rigged and going to Shell Repair USA for some minor cosmetic work. Already back into some serious erg work and see if I can get some indoor speed back!

Re: Cooper River Club Race

Posted: November 26th, 2017, 9:02 pm
by Cyclist2
Ed, that sounds like the most fun racing of the whole season! Nice write up. Given my experience in a thrown together 8+, I'm not surprised you choose the octuple.

Back when I was doing it, my final season row was on Thanksgiving day, a 20 miler to the head (I mean to where the water got too shallow) of the Occoquan, up into Bull Run. Fun, but I think yours was better.

Hopefully see you at WIRC.

Re: Cooper River Club Race

Posted: November 26th, 2017, 11:04 pm
by Edward4492
Thanks Mark; it was definitely a lot of fun. Although I do most of my racing in 1x's and 2x's I really like the speed and intensity of the big boats. It's borderline controlled chaos.