Saturday Report

We were planning to host the NCRC Invitational Regatta today.  As we were about 2/3 through with the setup of the race Friday (in really bad weather), we got the call the forecast for the race day had yet again progressed from bad to worse.  We made the difficult decision to cancel the event; our choice was intended to save as many people as possible from traveling and hopefully allow those crews a chance to practice rather then being at an event that was blown out.

There were five teams who’d traveled up from California for the Invite; for these folks we threw our thinking caps on and tried to come up with an event that would let them get some sort of row in.  Here’s my write up from today for the athletic department:

“With the NCRC Invitational canceled on Friday morning in anticipation of high winds and unrowable conditions, we scrambled around to find an alternative for the five crews who traveled up from California for the race.  After some brainstorming and a generous helping of luck we were able to pull off an event out of Oaks Park today.

Long Beach State, Chapman, Mills, Humboldt State, and the California Maritime Academy joined us at Oaks Park for a rough-and-tumble “race” on the Willamette River today.  While it was cold and wet and fairly windy, we had good shelter from Palatine Hill and were able to run nearly-2k pieces for women’s varsity and novice eights, men’s eights, and men’s and women’s fours.

While we can’t say our course was totally fair or our results were totally accurate, I was amazingly impressed with the great attitude both of our athletes and those who’d traveled a great distance only to have the race they came for canceled.  Crews lined up on the river and raced committed, aggressive pieces regardless of spectators, rankings, results or anything else- it was fantastic to watch athletes competing simply for the sake of competition.

A huge debt of gratitude goes out from me to my coaching staff– Lincoln LaRoe, Jim Hilsentager, and Megann Paddock had everything to do with pulling off a no-notice unplanned race on an open river today.

How did we do?  Our crews showed some speed we hadn’t seen yet.  As I said- the course was not entirely fair and we didn’t really get great results.  That said I can say we saw some promising breakthroughs and are VERY excited to focus on boatspeed this week and get ready for the Covered Bridge Regatta a week from today.”

I’ll say it again- our coaches were awesome today and I’m still a little flabbergasted that despite nasty conditions and pretty quick current we were able to pull races together on the river with no notice.  Looking at the wind reports from the Vancouver Airport today I can confidently say we made the right call in canceling the Invite.  While it’s never easy to pull the plug I am immensely proud of how both our athletes, athletic department, and coaching staff handled it- with less then 12 hours notice we organized a six-school regatta out of Oaks Park that ran like clockwork.

What a great thing to be a part of.

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