I logged to see “12 hours to go!”
The time is over! I have logged 133 days on the water with an estimated 1,101,100 kilometers, and 76 days on the erg (although I started keeping track of that a bit a late.) That’s not including weightlifting or running sessions. All I can do now if hope for fair winds and hard rowing.
Today began with laying out all my gear and making some food for tomorrow. I biked to the Amish Market for bananas and oatmeal cookies. I rummaged around the house for rope, stakes, duct tape, and the ratchet set and packed it all together in a portable cooler.
At 11, a crew woman & friend stopped by to pick up our portable boat racks and haul them out to Benderson. We had a good crew of about seven that assembled them rather quickly and securely–within an hour both were in position and standing tall. We offloaded two fours and tied them down.
I headed to registration and picked up my welcome packet and credentials. The registration desk apparently lost our entire club’s pack of wristbands. That meant a longer wait as they re-printed the bands and tried to reason out where the missing credentials could have gone. I hope they found them by now.
After getting tagged with my yellow wristband, I rigged the quad.
I made it home in time to rinse off my feet, call my Dad back, create a map of the venue with location markers of our tent and boats for the club, and have a job interview for a tutoring position.
I rushed back in time for quad practice, including a quick U-turn to return to the house for socks. Such items are very important!
We launched out into the gusty former fill pit that is Nathan Benderson Park rowing the Nathan Benderson 4x. Two blisters popped very early in the row. I rummaged through my gear bag but no cushy tape miraculously appeared, so I had keep rowing and irritating the fresh wounds a little more. Open, fresh blisters are the last thing I wanted going into the next four days.
We rowed through the open floating platforms that will be the start. A launch driver helping align the platforms called, “Are you guys local?” To which we replied, “Yes–Sarasota County!” “I thought your blades looked familiar.” It’s true, we have very distinct blades. Capital City already gave us props for our big red swoosh design.
For the first time, we rowed around the channel that circles the Regatta Island. Very neat, but narrow and requiring plenty of hard-on-port calls. We missed the turn back towards the recovery and had to swing around the bird refuge.
The referees were calling for the coaches and cox’n meeting in 10 minutes as we made the dock.
Our trailer and racks are in an excellent position for launch and recovery, so it was nothing to put the quad away and rush off to the meeting.
The referees changed from the bleachers to the inside, slightly air conditioned tented hall, which also features a jumbo-tron viewing screen and a Sarasota Crew shell suspended from the ceiling. The meeting was conducted rather promptly and with just a small amount of event thank-yous before the chief referee took over and went through the basic need-to-knows, like weather delays, centers, weigh-ins, arm bands, and picking up bow numbers from control commission.
Finally, the day at the park concluded with fixing up our SCRC sign at our tent and heading out.
I have eaten my traditional chicken-and-potatoes pre-race meal, showered off all the dust from the park, and loosened up my aching back with a little yoga and stretching. Now all I need is a solid night’s rest before racing tomorrow.
Tomorrow I am racing in two events. You can watch the action live on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmXP6hhym5I
The first event I have to qualify for by racing at 8:16 a.m. I definitely plan to make finals!
Event 7, Women’s Open C 8+. Qualifying heats: 8:16 a.m. Finals: 11:02 Composite with Sarasota Crew.
Event 35: Women’s B Quad Finals: 1:06 p.m.
If you are attending, feel free to say hello. When I’m not preparing for an event or racing, I wear a distinct red hat, as you can see in the picture above. Good luck to everyone and a good night’s rest!