Thoughts from Charlie Brown

So, this post was delayed. I have no good excuse, except for being pretty fatigued after the weekend. The coaching never wears me out– my enthusiasm for that part of the job is limitless. The running of races, and the work which goes into it, does. I needed a little break, and have been doing very little other then the necessary the last couple of days.

Since the raw results are up and available, I thought I’d do a little pictorial review of the first flight of the regatta and offer some insights into the races a few of our boats had.

Our novice women had a great day. This is the “B” four, the “A” four being long gone in their race-winning effort. It’s good to look at our results in the context of the fact that we had between 1-2 weeks fewer on the water then our other DIII competitors; at this time of year that can make an enormous difference. We’re banking on the fact that the extra week or two in spring will also make a huge difference in our speed come the spring season races.

The men’s team put their small boat training into great effect, but were unfortunatly held up by the realities of open river racing. This pair had the fastest time of the day by quite a bit, but cut a buoy and got a penelty as a result. They actually hit the buoy– but it went down the wrong side of the hull. Oops. Our other men’s pair was also having a fantastic row but lost a skeg to river obstacles and was unable to complete the piece. It’s a big challenge to row a head race in a pair any way you cut it.

Like the men’s pair, this novice men’s four had the fastest time of the day but cut a buoy and got a one-minute penelty. They came back with a vengange in the 2nd flight and won the novice eight by about a minute. This is a great group of guys; they fit Lewis & Clark to a T: independant, individual, thoughtful, but also very driven.

Our women’s varsity 8 succeeded at the primary goal we set out for this fall– be able to translate any lineup into speed. We only did a total of ~2-3 practices in lineups fairly similar to this one, and we finished only ~20 seconds behind the winning crew. I don’t know how other people prepared for the race but the signs are positive to me that the work we put in translated to a good ability to generate speed.

One more note about fall season and head racing in general that we work to communicate to our athletes. This is a means to an end. It’s a celebration of fall racing, a chance to demonstrate our work, and an opportunity to compare ourselves to the competition. It’s not, however, what we’re training for. In the end the fall season is a way to set us up for a better spring, and it’s important to look at our fall results in that context.

Tomorrow some thoughts about Fall Classic.

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