Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Blog Site!

If you enjoyed following our racing and training for the Lucerne 2010 Rowing World Cup, please check out my new blog at estherlofgren.blogspot.com to see what the US Women's team is up to for 2011.

Thanks for reading and go USA!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back in Princeton...

Just arrived back in Princeton after a full day of travel--Lucerne to Zurich, Zurich to Philadelphia, Philadelphia to the boathouse. Even 12+ hours on the go couldn't put a damper on how excited the team was with our results and how motivated we are to improve on them during the next few months.

Our final in the 8+ was a good starting point, and while we have a ways to go, we all really enjoyed the intensity and the commitment that a race like that demanded of us. When we still had a few seats to go and not too much water left to make it happen, it was amazing to have such driven and absolutely committed women pulling behind me. Even if we have many things to work on before Worlds, that commitment to winning together is a critical piece, and it was great to experience that yesterday.

Thanks to everyone for reading the blog and checking out the slideshow. I will hopefully be running a similar blog for our other races this year--check back on http://www.usrowing.org/ to see when!

If you'd like to support the US team in our training and racing, the best ways to do so are by supporting the National Rowing Foundation (http://www.natrowing.org/support.htm) and USRowing (https://www.usrowing.org/ssl/donate.asp).



Sunday, July 11, 2010

Final Day of Racing...Here We Go!

Yesterday saw some great racing by US crews, in spite of crazy conditions and delays at the end of the day. World Rowing and row2K have great summaries of the events, results, and thunderstorm!

We went down to the Rotsee this morning for a quick paddle in the eight before racing started. It was beautifully flat and sunny, although the Empacher trailer near the boat racks had a single on it that looked like it had seen the wrong side of the enormous branch that had fallen on it last night! Ouch...I hate looking at broken boats!

This morning, we are hanging out at the hotel, napping, stretching, hydrating, and watching races online. So far, the US is off to a great start, with Susan and Meghan winning silver in the pair and Stesha and Kate taking bronze in the double. Our men's quad, who were 300m into their semi last night when racing was called because of the snapped bouy line, re-raced this morning. They took fourth, which puts them in the B-final, but they managed to sprint through defending World Champs Poland, which is awesome. Jake and Charlie led for the first 500m of the M2- B-final, finishing fourth. In the light men's double, Brian and Jon moved from fifth place in an extremely tight field with 1500 to go and wound up taking second in the LM2x B-final, a great performance. Warren and Glenn pushed through the leading Italian crew and through Norway in the last 500 to win the M2x B-final by just over 0.3 seconds! Gevvie sprinted through Canada's Isolda Penney to win the B-final of the W1x.

That's all for now--time to get ready to race!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day one of racing complete on the Rotsee

Racing started Friday, and by and large, the USA had a great day.

On the women’s side, our pair took second and qualified for the A/B semi. Our doubles, which were racing in the same heat, took a smoking-fast first and second and also avoided the repechage. A few hours later, the two doubles raced together as a quad and took second—again avoiding the dreaded repechage! In the women’s eight, we raced with a last-minute lineup change, but had a solid piece and took first. The women’s single, Gevvie Stone, stuck right with the top finisher in her heat to take second and advance. In the light women’s single, Meghan Sarbanis faced a difficult day as additional entries changed the entire race progression and she narrowly missed advancing to the A/B semi in her second race of the day.

On the men’s side, our pair had a great heat, sitting up on GB’s Reed and Hodge for a good part of the race and holding on to second to qualify for the semis. Our doubles faced solid competition in the heats, and Warren and Glenn took second in theirs to advance to the quarterfinal. In the quad, the men took third to move ahead to the A/B semi. The men’s fours raced each other in their heat, a very close piece that saw both USA boats well ahead (15 seconds) of the third-place crew. With only one advancing to the A/B semi, the second-place USA crew then won their repechage and advance to the A/B semi as well. The men’s eight took third in their heat, and will line up against Turkey, Great Britain, and Italy in their repechage today. In the light men’s four, six strong heats worth of competitors put our guys just on the wrong side of qualifying for the quarterfinals; they will race in the C final today. The light men's double took second in their heat, but won their repechage to advance to advance to the A/B semi today.

Our race in the eight was a very solid piece. It has been a while since I raced 2K in an eight (although I did race in the Radcliffe Alumnae 8+ at Eastern Sprints this year, so perhaps it hasn’t been an entire year!). The biggest difference between racing a pair and an eight at the start is the noise level—it’s very quiet in straight boats, and so noisy in eights, with coxswains yelling in different languages and several times as many oars banging in oarlocks! But as soon as we started, it was just us doing our thing and racing our race. We definitely have a few things to work on before the final Sunday, but it was a good first piece together.

Today, our team is somewhat split, with the scullers and the pair having to race their semis, and part of our eight also racing in the women’s four. The rest of us have an easier day, with our main objective being resting up and being recovered for our final on Sunday afternoon. It can get a bit boring in the hotel—there’s only so much of the Tour that we can stand watching, and only so many postcards that you want to write, and only so many games of cards you want to play! (It’s not great for recovery to be walking around outside, especially since today it will be about 95 out—not too different from Princeton, where we normally train!) Luckily, when the internet is working, we can look up results, watch the racing, or at least watch silly videos on YouTube.

Good luck to all the USA crews racing today!

--all images courtesy of row2k.com--

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Race Prep (Tunes included!)

I thought I’d put up a playlist of the tunes I’m jamming out to during warm-ups and the down times between events. All tunes are available on iTunes and from other online music retailers. Enjoy!

Playlist for Lucerne WC 2010

  1. The Nosebleed Section – Hilltop Hoods
  2. I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
  3. Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  4. Morning After Dark (ft. Nelly Furtado and SoShy) – Timbaland
  5. It’s Me, Snitches – Swizz Beatz
  6. Symphony (ft. Attitude, Bran’Nu and D.O.E.) – Timbaland
  7. Simarik – Tarkan
  8. Alejandro – Lady GaGa
  9. Armada Latina – Cypress Hill ft. Marc Anthony and Pitbull
  10. Marching On – Timbaland ft. One Republic
  11. Chillin’ – Wale ft. Lady GaGa
  12. We Do This – Krafty Kuts
  13. Whisper Song (Remix) – Super Mash Brothers
  14. We Run This – Missy Elliott
  15. Folsom Prison Blues – Everlast
  16. I Make Her Say – Lady GaGa ft. Kanye West
  17. O.M.G. – Usher (Prod. by Will.I.Am)
  18. Fembot – Robyn
  19. Battling Go-Go Yubari in Downtown L.A. – edIT
  20. Let Me Think About It – Ida Corr
  21. If You Crump Stand Up – edIT
  22. I Can Transform Ya (Remix) – Chris Brown ft. Lil’ Wayne, Swizz Beatz and Teairra Mari
  23. Dancing On My Own – Robyn
  24. Upgrade You – Jay-Z ft. Beyonce
  25. Eanie Meany (Fatboy Slim Mix) – Jim Noir
  26. Pursuit of Happiness – Kid Cudi
  27. The Way I Are (Version Francaise) – Timbaland ft. Tyssem
  28. I’ll Be Around – Cee-lo Green ft. Timbaland
  29. It Takes a Seven Nation Army – Apathy
  30. They Come Around (ft. Conscience) – Apathy
  31. Dominos – The Big Pink

The draw came up tonight! Many of the US crews face other US crews in their heats tomorrow, which is a bit of a tough way to start, but should make for some great racing. Most of the small boats or events with many entries have heats tomorrow morning; the two women’s pairs will face some solid competition in each of their heats. My event isn’t till the afternoon, so I’ll be sleeping in and watching the morning races via the web. World Rowing has a great live race tracker and viewer program, so it will almost be the same as watching live…almost!

The weather is getting warmer and sunnier each day, and tomorrow looks like it’ll be a beautiful day for a race! We drew Germany, China and Poland for our heat—very solid competition. Can’t wait to race tomorrow! My event will be at 1:42pm Lucerne time (7:42am Eastern DT), and you can check it out here: http://www.worldrowing.com/index.php?pageid=116.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Gang's All Here!

The Rotsee was jam-packed today. Nearly every crew racing this weekend has arrived at the course for a few laps--thankfully with few mishaps. It's always interesting, though, with the different protocols one can see and experience out on the water. With so many athletes, boat sizes, and different workout instructions, the stop-and-go is definitely a test of nerves. Yesterday, my outing in the pair with teammate Kady Glessner had us spending time in every one of the six practice lanes during our two laps!

The weather has been great. It's a little on the hot side, but on a course that has seen rain, wind, and hail over the last few years, sunshine is a welcome forecast.

One of the other interesting parts of being in Switzerland at the moment is the World Cup madness. Although Switzerland has been out of the Cup for a couple of rounds, there are still many rabid fans following the games. Last night, the Netherlands defeated Uruguay 3-1, and the festivities that we could hear from the hotel were pretty wild (especially since Switzerland seems to otherwise be very reserved). I'm writing this with Spain up 1-0 over Germany...should be very exciting if they can pull off the upset!

Today I logged a few meters on one of the RowPerfect machines USRowing brought to the World Cup. The venue has a tent with ergs, but I'm doing some of my workouts on the RowPerfects, too. While I was doing my workout, athletes from several other federations came up and looked at the machines--some athletes and coaches even took them for a spin! There are also several great runs around the city and lake that I've been on. Plenty of hills (not my forte!) but the views and trails are incredible.

We had this afternoon off, so my roommate Sarah and I took the bus over to take a quick peek at the farmer's market that was going on along Lake Lucerne near the stop Schwannenplatz. There are so many amazing shops in Lucerne, but we were hoping the vendors were a bit more in our price range! We didn't have too much luck with the vendors, but we did run into my friend Robert Lucken, who's racing in the Dutch M8+. Robert and his crew from Nereus came to Boston to race at the Head of the Charles in 2005 and, through a crazy six-degrees-of-separation, ended up staying with my Radcliffe teammates and I for the race weekend! We've kept in touch, and have now ended up racing in our respective countries' eights at the last two Lucerne World Cups. It seems that, even internationally, the rowing world is so small!

Off to bed now for the all-important night-before-the-night-before-racing good night's sleep. So excited to start racing Friday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Running around Luzern!

We arrived in Zurich yesterday morning and took a bus to our hotels in Lucerne. Part of the team (myself included) is staying at the Continental Park, next to the central train station Luzern Banhof; another group is staying at the Tourist Hotel, which is on the riverfront. I lucked out and am rooming with my pair partner from NSRII, Sarah Zelenka. It's great to have hotels that are so near to the main bus line; even though it's only a twenty- or twenty-five minute walk to the Rotsee, it's also nice to be able to get there quickly!

Yesterday, we all had to work hard to stay awake through the jetlag, so Sarah and Stesha Carle and I walked around the city and went down to Lucerne's "Boathouse Row"! We took many photos--you can check them out in the slideshow in the column to the right. Lucerne is such a beautiful city--turning just about every corner, you're greeted with the sight of a commemorative mural-style painting, a historic state building or church, a fountain monument (with drinkable water), or a glimpse of the hills and 14K mountains that surround the city!

We went down to the course in the afternoon to rig our boats and take them out for a paddle. More than half the boats we're racing are brand new. There's nothing quite like "christening" a new Empacher!

The Rotsee is my favorite course of any I've raced on. The water is usually glassy, the lake is surrounded by farmland and woods, and there are spectacular views of the Alps as you're coming down the course. The fact that it's one of the fastest courses around doesn't hurt, either!

It's pretty quiet at the moment because there are only a handful of teams here--this morning, it was just the USA, Brazil and Cuba out on the water. We'll have to remember this zen-like stillness when there are all of the athletes, coaches, volunteers, umpires, spectators, boat makers, trailers, and vendors are here at the end of the week!

Congrats also to all the USRowing and USA athletes who did so well at Henley! Great racing, all crews.

One of the highlights of yesterday was our discovery, at a Lucerne boat house, of a Swiss-American Society holding a 4th of July barbeque! We were too early to join the festivities, but it was great to celebrate our country's birth, even if we were overseas. (The hostess also gave us little American flags, which we proudly waved on the walk back to our hotel!) Happy (belated) 4th of July to everyone!