Check it out:

Gold medal!


What a crazy day.   First I arrived at 6:45 to a “full parking lot” although I still managed to find a place by the Casey Key Fish House.  However, there was absolutely no place for a tent!   I finally scouted out what I thought was a decent spot:  right on the overlook next to the trailers.  Close to the boat yard, yet quiet, and with an overlook of the boats going under the bridge.

I pulled out the tents Tamara donated and dragged them over to my spot only to discover:

What we thought was a “tent” turned out to be an outdoor bed, complete with a mattress.

It’s a bed!

In a panicked moment, I texted the Women’s 8+–the only crew not arrived yet–“we don’t have a tent.  Bring sheets or tarps!  We need shade!”

It’s amazing what eight women can pull off–but I don’t think anyone is hiring us as engineers any time soon.

Kerri, Julie, and Suzie at work at creating shade.


Finished tent.

After lounging in our stylish waiting area, we got moving around nine and struck out at on the water.   We worried for a little while that Orlando wasn’t going to show–but I was positive I had seen them that moving while tent-scouting.    Our cox’n realized we were a bit late on the water, and we kept moving against the current to the start.  ORC was already sitting and waiting to crush us.

Luckily, we have connections.  After a very short rest, we executed our river turn and lined up behind ORC.   We assessed our competition.   We took deep breaths.

The marshal called us into the starting chute.   I heard the horn blow for Orlando to enter the course.  We built up our rate and thirty seconds later the horn sounded and we were on.

We settled down to a 28, a bit rushed, our coxswain threatened with whiplash, but overall much smoother and longer than we typically row.   Our row the day before was a mess as we rolled side to side.  Today, virtually no roll and with a strong incoming tide pushing us back towards the start.   We all felt zeroed in and on the same page.

At the 1000 meter mark, our cox’n called, “They’ve moved half a boat ahead of you!”

It was like flipping a switch.  Eight minds in sync saying, “Uh-huh, no you didn’t!”

1500 meters later we were on ORC’s bow and knocking.  We closed the distance just before the no passing zone and had to ease off the rate and pressure not to bump them.   As soon as we exited, ORC called a power 15 and we took it back up.

“They’re taking a power 15 and we’re not and we’re moving on them!” Our cox’n screamed over the speakers.  “YIELD ORLANDO YIELD!”

We powered across the line at a 32+ still plowing strong.  We were three boats lengths up on Orlando and in the raw, outrowed their 8+ by 1:07.   Our time: 18:59.

Who’s butter now?

Gold at Sarasota 5000.


Oh yeah–and guilt-free cupcakes:

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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