April blizzards? 80 degrees and torrential downpour? Gusty winds? Sunshine and a calm breeze? Mother Nature is certainly keeping us on our toes, and Team USA is quickly learning to adapt to New Jersey’s tumultuous weather. Last weekend’s thunderstorms resulted in some flooding at the Princeton boathouse, but today the water has receded, the sun is out, and there are flowers everywhere!
We are transitioning into the pairs (two rowers with one oar each) to prepare for the quickly-approaching summer of selection and racing. Both physically demanding and mentally challenging, pairs rowing is the surest bet to improve our rowing technique and fitness. After all, you don’t have a coxswain and seven other rowers to rely on when you get fatigued—it’s just you and your pair partner! Just remembering the assigned workout can be a task in itself, but we also have to monitor our stroke rating, time our racing/resting intervals, maintain a certain speed, and practice correct rowing technique, all the while steering around bridges, other boats, and a few kamikaze Canadian geese. [Whew, it really makes me appreciate our coxswain in the 8+!]
The best scullers in the nation are all in town this weekend for the first National Selection Regatta at Mercer County Park. Best of luck to all my teammates! Check out the results on USRowing’s website. (The pairs group is training through this weekend, so we’re waiting to race until NSR#2 in three weeks)
Our summer’s calendar is rapidly filling up: potentially two World Cup regattas, the Henley Royal Regatta in England, a possible regatta in Germany to scrimmage the German Nat’l team, not to mention all the stateside regattas (National Selection Regattas, US Nationals, and Pan-Am Trials, etc etc). Team USA has never looked so strong, and it’ll take some tough seat-racing to determine the travel squad for these European races.
The college racing season is underway, and I’m overcome with nostalgia every weekend when I see the boat trailers and parents’ tents at the Princeton boathouse. Has it already been three years since I rowed to the starting line in my Yale unisuit? Alas, where did the time go?
Update: Susan Francia recently submitted a video profile of our team to the official USOC Team USA website. Check out how US Rowers are living the dream (while trying to earn a living!) on her Team USA blog: http://www.teamusa.org/blogs/susan-francia-blog