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

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