Boat Practices

I’ve been a bit slack with updating the blog recently, mainly from being so busy. I’ve been doing my best to update at least once a week but I didn’t manage to do that last week so I’ll try to post at least two this week.

Boat practices are now in full swing for all teams, post spring-camp (Iron Dragons and NDRC each had spring training camps during the past two weekends, respectively, which I will attempt to cover at some point in the near future).

Yesterday’s practice started out kinda cool with several people wearing different-coloured tops. We made a rainbow together!


Photo credit: Caren, using Chris’ phone, at Sunnyside

I actually love this picture. It’s so cute! Plus, our team is very tolerant and open, even though we may not seem it and even though people often make racist, sexist, and/or homophobic jokes and I think this picture nicely represents us. Note that it doesn’t look it in the picture, but Karen is actually purpley and that’s why she’s between me and Vy.

I recently hurt my shoulder and I’m not sure how. My best guess is that it happened during a certain rather embarrassing incident that I won’t go into right now. The result is that I haven’t been able to paddle that much recently (camp kind of aggravated it) and yesterday I requested not to paddle at all. I’m hoping that the long rest until Sunday practice will let it heal and I’ll be able to paddle again then. Since I didn’t paddle yesterday, Gavin set me to steer and as we started with gender boats, he gave me the men (I’m assuming because he wanted to pay some extra attention to the women since they have their first regatta coming up soon). I like steering, so that was no problem. The only issue I have is that when we have two boats and Gavin’s steering one, he really isn’t very clear about where he’s going and sometimes likes to turn or swerve or get really close without warning. I can’t always tell if he’s trying to washride, get closer, or even just turn. Gavin does what he wants.

The men were HEAVY. We got fatties on the team, man (not gonna name names). We sat very low in the water and it was heavy steering work, with lots of muscle being put into making adjustments and turns. I can usually control a boat with only one hand on the steering oar but I needed two hands this time. The women looked good (they had to work hard, being slower than the men). The men didn’t look as good, but I’ll allow them the benefit of the doubt, since they were only supposed to go at 70% anyway.

At one point Gavin asked me a question so I turned to look at him, which was around the time we were nearing a breakwall opening and all the guys panicked and thought we were going to crash. Geez, relax, we weren’t in any danger and it was a quick, easy fix.

Surprisingly, the women’s boat was actually ploughing at the start of practice and taking in water at the front. It was surprising because the women’s boat should have been fairly light (at least compared to the men) and Gavin was steering them, standing at the back. Maybe Gavin lost weight, resulting in a heavy front, who knows. We ended up switching the women’s drummer to the men’s boat to lighten their load a little.

At one point in the practice during a rest in between pieces, I saw a spider crawling over the rim of my hat. I quickly got it off and tried to blow it off but it was too heavy so I thrust it at Ted so he could swat at it for me. During this encounter, the boat swerved to the right, because obviously I wasn’t really paying attention to it and people started panicking again. Too much panic in the boats, man. Again, easy enough fix and we got back to straight no problem. People need to chill a little more.

We did a few start pieces for the first time this season and I was a bit sad I had to miss out because I love starts, though at the same time, no way would my shoulder have been able to handle them. While our first five are okay (not amazing, but okay), I think our team needs a little reminder on going fast as we’re not quite up there yet. It’s still the beginning of the season, however, and we’ve only just begun, so I’m not worried. With lots of practice, we’ll definitely get better.


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