Saturday Photo Blog

Our first Saturday practice of the 09-10 season is in the bag, and I thought I’d let the pictures tell the story. This was our first full-team practice, with novice, varsity, men and women all at the boathouse in one big group.

We started out with some hill running to get us going; we divided the group into four heats and ran an Olympic-style FISA progression; heats, repechage, semifinals, and finally A, B, C, and D finals. By the end we’d sorted out the group’s speed very well and there was some good racing up the hill.

The eventual winner- looking over his shoulder after getting off to a false start and being called back.

Then out on the water. We had some recent alums join us for the row today and took out bunches of boats. Some of the folks in these boats have been rowing for six or seven years, others have been on the water just five or six days.

The two women’s eights did some leapfrog to start out, then we did a couple of one minute racing pieces.

Every year I’m blown away by the ability of new people to pick up on good rowing quickly when surrounded by experienced athletes. It was great to see our experienced rowers teaching the novice and embracing the concept of a full varsity team.

Once racing was over we docked and put everything away. Except one boat; the Charlie Brown ’85, the Pocock four we purchased last year, had never been christened in her first season. We were overdue. Three of Charlie’s former friends and athletes local to the Portland area came out to help us out; they spoke eloquently about Charlie’s legacy, his honor and integrity, and his ability to inspire any athlete to achieve great things. All values we hope to continue with in our program today.

Thanks to Peter Edwards, Morgan Beller, and Paul Vanderwal for joining us to honor their teammate, coach, and friend for his endless contributions to our program. And also thanks to Xan, Meghann, Max, Amanda, Dave, and Gabe for coming out and joining us for a row– it was great to see some of the old crowd back down at the boathouse.

A great practice and a great day. Rain has returned to Portland and it’s time to enjoy a cool, damp Saturday in the fall.

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