East Bay Rowing at the 2012 Head of the Charles Regatta

EBRC men’s and women’s crews are headed to the 48th Head of the Charles
Regatta in Boston the weekend of October 20th & 21st! EBRC will join an
international field of competitors for the first time at this legendary event, and the
excitement in the boathouse is palpable.

Needless to say, competition for seats in the Men’s 4+, Men’s 8, and Women’s
4+ was fierce, and all of the EBRC athletes put forth their best efforts as the
coaches put them through their paces for weeks worth of erg testing and seat
racing.

Congratulations to: Pauline Velez, Annie Mudge, Lisa Warhuus and Fredrika
Horton – Women’s Senior Master 4+ (50+), and to Luke Ohlona, Chris Groves,
Devin Kelly, Charlie Noyes – Men’s Masters 4 (40+), Paul Norberg Gil Gazda,
Luke Hunter, Nick Cawthon, Steve Clark, Paul White, Ken Lutz, and Jim Gotch
– Men’s Masters 8 (40+), for driving hard and making the cut. The entire EBRC
team is incredibly proud of you!

Since its origin in 1965, the Head Of The Charles Regatta has welcomed the
world’s best crews to the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day
rowing competition. The race, named the “Head” of the Charles because of its
distance of 5k/3.2 miles, is the largest 2-day regatta in the world, with nearly
9,000 athletes rowing in over 1,900 boats in 61 events, and attracting roughly
300,000 spectators during regatta weekend. This year the 2012 HOCR will
welcome crews from 28 nations, 37 states, 383 cities, and 705 clubs – a new
record.

The 3.2 mile long course stretches from the start at Boston University’s DeWolfe
Boathouse near the Charles River Basin to the finish just after the Eliot Bridge,
and is renowned for the river’s challenging bends and bridges. Coxswains must
safely steer their crews under 6 bridges with the Weeks and Eliot Bridges falling
at sharp turns in the course, often resulting in collisions and near misses. Good
luck to all the rowers and to women’s team member, Gina Gozinsky, who will
participate in her first Head of the Charles Regatta as coxswain of the men’s 4+.
Watch out for those bridges, Gina!

The remaining Oakland-based members of the EBRC team will gather in the
JLAC boathouse on the 20th to support the racers with an erg test and will stay

to watch the webcast of the race on the big screen! Come down and join us to
show your support as East Bay Rowing Club (and the city of Oakland) makes its
mark!


These Ducks Have Crew Grit

Despite our Cal and WaSU laden teams here at the EBRC, it’s great to see these Oregon Ducks crushing it on the Willamette. They admit that just because they’re not the biggest boat in the race, they’re not going to give up on their teammates and let the boat down. As my own University of Oregon experience was 15 years ago, hopping on a city bus at 5:00am, to go up to a frigid reservoir for practice is still hard core.

[youtube height=”305″ width=”520″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1dgyY4RL2A&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

This video is a great introduction to how the boat breaks down from stern to bow, where the power, technique and pace come from within the boat. It’s interesting watching the team warm-up, prepare and race at the 2012 Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships. The cox-eye view of the race itself pumps me up, really is a great testament to the intensity needed to race, both as a cox and a rower.

Even at our practice, our cox had recorded their instructions to the boat for some small boat races one morning. It was such a testament to their craft, that they’d go back and review a recording of their own barking to see what made sense as instructional advice in the middle of a workout. It reminded me a bit of this documentary, a crew of constant improvement, trying to get better.

As a former duck crewbie, I can be proud of this documentary… but what’s with all the bird chirping?


Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race 2012

Great replay of the 158th annual Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race from earlier this year. Each turn in this long, 6.8k race is worth more than a length of a boat. One boat pushes the other to the bank, trying to edge them off the line and open a gap for a push. This looks like a nightmare race to cox. The headwinds are brutal, the whitecaps are present, and the course looks as loopy as a soccer hooligan.

The character of the two boats was really prevelant – Cambridge were expected to be the sprinters out of the block, with Oxford being the longer marathoners trying to hold off as long as possible. And oh, what the drama on the Chiswick Eyot with oars littering the Thames after a controversial interruption.

I love the commentary from the BBC crew, quoting approach of the Surrey Bend, Hammersmith Bridge and Harrod’s Depository. A majority of this race is within a single length of each other, until the incidents begin to occur. The deepest water is the fastest stream. Yes, sensi, for there I will steer.