L&C vs. Willamette Scrimmage

Novice Women's 8's on the Willamette

Saturday marked the start of our 2010 racing season, sort of.  We loaded up the trailer and traveled south to Salem, home of Willamette University.  WU has a strong program and also rows on the Willamette River, albeit in much faster current further upstream.  With the river conditions not really suitable for straight-line 2k racing and the season still relatively young we opted for multiple 3-4 minute pieces with rates in the mid-20’s.

So what did we learn Saturday?  We learned a lot about how to maintain pressure and rhythm next to a competitive crew.  Willamette has some speed, especially on the women’s side, and our women’s crews were challenged by a bigger, more experienced group.  On the other hand our novice women and both men’s boats (we raced a varsity and ‘JV/novice boat’) were highly competitive against their peers.  No great surprise; experience counts and our varsity women are very young relative to other programs.  They’ll take a lot away from today and be faster for it.

We learned a lot about how to travel and how to support each other at a regatta site.  I’ve seen a lot of teams that take this for granted but to me it’s a central part of being a team.  When your teammates are running oars, helping rig, and otherwise making sure every boat (not just their own) is prepared for success that translates to more trust and better dynamics within the group.

Rather unsurprisingly we learned quite a bit about what we need to do over the next two weeks to be ready for the opening of our 2k season at Daffodil Cup.  Starts, race plans, and race rhythm all need plenty of work.  Spring Break beckons a week away; we should have plenty of time to get to all these things, but it’s time to put them on the schedule.

Here’s a minute of our novice women’s 8, driving hard into the current.  I was looking to get more photos yesterday but was driving a launch and aligning races pretty much all day.

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