US Rowing Masters Nationals, Day 4

I made notes as the day goes on, as a lot happens in one day.

After a nice day off, I woke up 6am less sore and decently rested. Light was brightening the horizon and trees sprinkled last night’s rain over the ground.

The initial forecast looked like storms might hold long enough to run heats. This means all heats are for time in case finals are cancelled. I prepped with the intent to row my tush off.

Women’s Open D 4+

I joined a very nice group of women from Easy Bay Rowing, Oakland, California, and a Cox from Carnegie Lake. Their coach was on the Serbian National Team. He had a solid plan for the boat.

We weren’t able to get in our full warm-up, but it was more than I had with other boats. The marshals were being stricter about heading up river for the warm-up.

The headwind was starting to pick up on the water, so it was clear it’d be a bit messy.

I sat in 3 seat. Our boat was too big a hull for our total weight, but there’s nothing you can do about it when borrowing from another team. The other boats had some solidly built women in it, so I figured this would be tough. Fours are hard to Composite well. They’re inherently more unstable.

A clean start. We were up in a tight pack for quite a while. Not leading, but the 3rd place dogfight. The power started dimming a bit. We took a move at 500, but that just held us in position. The power fell off a bit again and never came back even as we moved into the last 250. The others moved on.

I heard the finish horn for the top finisher. Then three quick beeps for the next pack. And us.

After, the coach said probably need to sit up more at catch. Definitely something I struggle with. I appreciated getting some feedback.

Even if we weren’t top three, I enjoyed rowing with these ladies. They were very hospitable and welcoming. Nationals are in Oakland next year.


The wind is starting to pick up. Watching splashy blades on the water. Cloud bank also moving in.

Talked to some more people. The best thing about rowing composite in everything, being a team of one, is meeting rowers from all over.

Bought some parts for my oars and turned in my crossword entry to US Rowing.

Then I sat in the awards area, watched some races on the screen, and massaged my legs.

Mixed B 4x

I felt really good about this race, even knowing some of my competition. It looked like the weather would hold long enough to have a run at time.

I went on a light warm up jog towards the start. Jamming to my rowing mix. Added some sprint pieces to get the heart going.

First person at the boat. Started stretching when I got a text from team mate: “get to the boat now.” But I’m already there.

She comes jogging up. “We have to derig this now.”

What? What happened?

“They cancelled the rest of the regatta.”

Not paused, not on hold, but that’s it. No more heats. Finished. My heart sank. I had such a good feeling about this boat! I wanted to end with a bang. If we won, I had my eye on these silver earrings I planned treat myself to. At very least, maybe place second and walk away wit my a 1-2-3 set.

And that was it. Regatta over.

The mad dash began. Boats and oars flying everywhere, people hustling to beat the impending storm.

Twenty minutes later the skies opened and the rain began.

And now I’m dry, eating peach gummies I saved as a special post-race treat, and heading out of Michigan.

A disappointing end to my second Nationals ever. I’d hoped to walk away with three medals. At least I won my first gold.

Bye, Grand Rapids. I wonder what they’re going to do with the extra beer from the garden?

Eight weeks to Head of the Charles.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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1 Response to US Rowing Masters Nationals, Day 4

  1. FlorenciaPP says:

    Casey, Thank you so much for joining EBRC’s D4+! You were a total champ, jumping in the boat with absolutely no hesitation! See you in Oakland in 2020.

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