WRMR 2018: Day 4, the Conclusion

Rough night. What you don’t know is Caelan gifted me with his head cold, which came on strong Friday. I’ve been well-dosed with allergy and cough medicine so I can breathe and stop hacking up a lung.

Last night I was awake until 1 am coughing. Then Caelan dropped his best over the pack-and-play. After a short cry fest, I brought him to bed with us. The thing is, Caelan is a restless sleeper. Lots of little feet to the ribs. Overall, a rough night’s rest.

Holly picked me up early for a ride to the course.

Waiting for the shuttle

The Mixed B 2x

I met Greg for the second time before our race. We talked through a brief race plan. Unfortunately we had a pretty fast heat, so I knew we would be challenged from the get-go.

Our boat tracked to port during our entire warm up. The power was there, though.

We had the advantage of a protected lane 7. The crosswind had started picking up even at 8:22am. However, the umpires actually did a polling start.

International. Chile. USA. Turkey. Brazil. USA. USA. Attention.

ERGH. Green. Go.

Full. 3/4. 3/4. 3/4. 3/4. Lengthen. Lengthen.

High! 1-2-3-Bam!

Buoy. Buoy! Off set we rolled. The high felt rushed, horrible. Bow seat cursed.

“It’s okay!” I yelled. “Relax! Skip high! Start to swing!”

So I lengthened my stroke and started swinging. We still had some contact with boats.

Bam! Another buoy.

“Relax!” I yelled.

We kept wobbling our course, smacking buoys in port side. I tried to lighten starboard pressure. At this point lane 6 was clear, so no collision worries.

Bam. Course correct. Bam. Course correct.

The last 250.

“Let’s go up 2!” I yelled.

Then he caught a starboard crab. He recovered quickly. “Relax! Let’s move!” I yelled. We kept pressing, riding the buoy line.

Beep. Wham! Right into a fat finish buoy.

The thing is, we still finished up on two boats even with the crab and the buoy hits. Guy has a ton of raw potential to be fast.


Solid down time. Ironically, on our way in I commented on a pretty green double heading out. Turns out it was a ROCCS double!

I was able to refuel, catch some races. I was hopeful for the mixed A4x until I looked up who was in it. You know, super fast people.

The Mixed A 4x

Surprise! Bow again. Actually, the boat tracked straighter than it had in the two earlier women’s races but it still had a slight list towards port.

Our race time was 11:13 but at 11:03 the umpires were calling us to pre-start. That was odd. We locked on six minutes early. I shrugged off my shirt and started chopping on port.

And chopping.

And chopping.

The wind in lane 2 was really strong, with some wicked gusts. I warned the quad that we’d need to watch the start and to keep slightly lighter pressure on starboard to compensate.

Finally. “This will be a quick start.”

More chopping. Chopping.

Quick start.

Red light.

ERGH. Green. Go.

Solid strokes. One call to port. We straighten out.

The field is fast. Lane 1 is gone. Lane 3 is just behind us.

Holly shifts from the high to our swing. I hear someone bark a command to my left; it sounds loud and close. I look, it’s lane 4 or 5 and they’re at least a boat-and-a-half up. Most of the field is gone.

We track to port, and I call pressure a few times. At one moment the wind relaxes and we drift starboard, but it kicks back up to push us to port.

500 meters is gone. We’re still up and open water in lane 3. I glance left. We’re actually gaining ground on two boats in the lanes close to the island. Just as I open my mouth to call a power move, 2 seats catches a monster crab. He tries to recover, but the momentum is too much. His oat is sucked parallel. We drift into lane 1.

“It’s okay! Relax! Let’s move back into our lane! Push!”

We keep moving. Buoys go red. I look left. We’ve made up ground on lane3, who passed us during the crab.

“We’re gaining! Let’s go!” Move move. Check again. More ground. “Come on, put me on their bow-stern-whatever!”

Beep……. beep. We were moving, but simply ran out of space to not be last. It’s a shame because I think we could have ended up in the middle of the field the way we were gaining momentum.

The last ride!

The End

For me, the regatta is over. 12 races achieved. Two wins, a second, a third, and some other solid rows.

The boatyard is breaking down even as boats launch. The field is less crowded. Stands empty.

We drink champagne and eat Karen’s birthday cupcakes. Hugs and kisses. Goodbyes to friends. And that’s it. 10 months of solid training, goals achieved.

I’ll post a reflection once I’ve had some sleep and fattening food.

Bye, everybody! Safe travels home.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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