New look, new bridges, new coaches.

Looking forward into the 2011-12 season on the second day of August.  I suggested to all the athletes that yesterday was the day they start preparing for the Fall 2011 season so it seems appropriate that I post an update and update the look of the blog a bit.

Lots of interesting things happening on the river right now.  Just upstream of our boathouse, visible from the dock, there are two big barges underneath the Sellwood Bridge, a part of the preparation for the building of a new bridge there.  The replacement plan is mind blowing- worth checking out.

Downstream, the new no-wake zone in the Holgate Channel has gone into effect and new buoys and signs are proliferating seemingly weekly.  This no-wake zone holds a lot of promise, especially for September and October afternoons as we try to teach folks the basics.  From my own rowing this summer it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge yet, but I’ve noticed fewer ski boats out there, so its a start.

Further downstream is the big doozy, yet another new bridge going in.  The new TriMet bicycle, pedestrian, and transit bridge is a huge project and the infrastructure involved is intimidating.  Check out the webcam; half a dozen barges, tugs going by frequently, another no-wake zone, and bunches of buoys have all popped up in this stretch of river.  By the way– like with the Sellwood– worth a few minutes of your time to look at the PDF presentation linked here to see the build process and plan.  I find these big projects fascinating.

In the midst of all these projects we bid adieu to Audrey, who is off to the brand-new women’s varsity team at University of Portland.  Audrey as a first year coach had a tremendous influence on the look and feel of our squad last year and she’ll be missed.

We’ve hired a new face and a familiar one to help out from here out.  Todd Vogt joins us from Willamette University (he’s seen the light!) and will be working with the novices, especially on the men’s side, and doing a chunk of our recruiting.  For prospects on the men’s side- you’ll likely be hearing from Todd soon!  I’m also excited that Ruthie Ditzler, a three-year rower for L&C, conference champion, WIRA champion, two-time 2nd team All-American, and general badass, has joined the coaching staff.  Ruthie will be working with the novice and 3v women and her knowledge of the program and what it takes to be successful here will be invaluable.

So that’s the August update.  We’ve got just over seven weeks till’ the fall season starts and every time I cross a task off the list I seem to add two more.  Fired up to get the team back on campus and get back to the work of going fast!

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