October 27, 2003

Silver and Gold...

Silver and gold.....

Yukon Cornelius would be happy with

Yesterday's regatta went well. I ended up not entering in my
single at all ("decided" is probably the wrong word - "procrastinated and waffled"
is more like it) but coxed two boats to a first and second place finish
respectively. We had what I think of as true regatta weather. It's not often very
windy out here except during a storm, but yesterday was an exception, due to an
incoming cool front. (yay!) The water was so rough that most people wouldn't have
gone out on it, on a normal practice day. I coxed a men's four and a women's four,
both from the City program, both in the same boat. The boat is a bowloader, which
means that the coxswain is placed laying down into the bow of the boat, ahead of
the bow rower. That means the boat can be a bit shorter and thus lighter weight,
and because the cox is lying down instead of sitting up, it has a little less
drag. In yesterday's weather, though, what it meant was that waves would wash over
the bow of the boat and land right on me. By the end of the men's race I was
sitting in several inches of cold water, shivering in a stiff breeze. (Of course,
on the other hand, that makes it officially the first time I have been cold in
Arizona this fall furing daylight hours. Yay again.) Normally during a race, I'd
lie down into the boat as far as is consistent with visibility but in that race I
had to sit up more just so the waves wouldn't break over my face. The rowers got
very wet too, but at least they were burning calories. The rough water is hardest
of all on singles, the smallest and lightest boats; Rudder called it "horrible"
and said that waves were breaking up to his shoulders and rendering the rear-view
mirror clipped to his cap unusable. The second race I coxed wasn't so bad; the
wind had calmed a bit in the intervening hour and I'd put on a long-sleeved shirt.
Also, I think the boat was sitting up a bit higher out of the water because the
women are lighter than the men. (Though not by much!)

Despite the
involuntary immersion, the men were actually much more fun to cox than the women.
They were not nearly as smooth, but much more responsive to everything I said and
I felt more a part of the crew. Also, they had actually asked me to cox
them, instead of just having their coach throw me in. Finally, they had a lot more
power. Of course you expect a men's boat to have more power than a women's, but
these are strong women and I got the feeling they just didn't care as much, which
could account for why they got passed on their home turf and ended up coming in
second to a college crew from Loyola Marymount. The men cared, gave it all they
had, and won their race. (It is, of course, also possible they didn't have as much

Yosemite Sam was distressingly unorganized. He had no
idea which boat he wanted me to cox, just said to "be available" because he wanted
to throw me into lots of boats. He was acting as dockmaster and appears to have
decided that meant he couldn't worry about any of his crews. I think he meant me
to cox the women's eight, but they ended up getting a junior cox to take them out.
(I didn't argue and it wasn't a bad decision for them to make; the cox they got is
very good and his mother was one of the rowers in the boat.) As a result of not
knowing which boat I was in, and because several of the crews were thrown together
at the last minute, there were a number of city crews running around frantically
at the last minute looking for their entry packets with the numbers to be attached
to the boat and pinned to bow- and stern-most rowers. If I had known in advance
which boats I was coxing, I could have taken control of all of those. I am very
disappointed in YSam; he wants to be head coach but refuses to do the planning and
organizing that entails. At one po in the complained that "someone should have
been assigned" to tkae reponsibilty for a boat's entry packet -- and it was one of
the boats he coaches! Uh, who should do that assigning again?

from that minor issue and the windy weather, it was a good day. The City
coordinator really did an excellent job organizing the race, it was finally
cooler, and for once I didn't go home from a regatta feeling either disappointed
in my results or left out because I didn't row. I don't necessarily want to cox
for YSam again (and have given him my two-week notice -- I'd only volunteered with
him through the fall season) but I like being in a boat with potential to do well.
POssible solutions are to cox more or to get in a quad where I can actually be a
rower in a boat that goes faster than I could on my own. Afterwards, quite a few
of the locals ended up at my favorite local brewpub, where only one glass or beer
got spilled on me. Another one got broken but I was nowhere near, I

come to think of it, this was a banner weekend on the Rudder-
and-Dichroic scale, since it satisied all four criteria: we spent time outdoors,
we got a workout (well, mine was sort of vicarious), we got to socialize. And, um,
the other one, too.

Posted by dichroic at October 27, 2003 04:59 PM
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