Great Quotes and Boats

“The rudder is your enemy, because every time you use the rudder you lose something.”

– Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, GCVO, FRSA, RDI (7 March 1930 – 13 January 2017), a.k.a. Lord Snowdon, Cambridge coxswain (coxed the 96th Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race, Cambridge won by three-and-a-half lengths), British photographer, filmmaker, documentarian, picture editor of The Sunday Times magazine, husband of Princess Margaret, brother-in-law of Queen Elizabeth II, co-designer with Frank Newby and Cedric Price of the “Snowdon Aviary,” London Zoo (1964), council member of the Polio Research Fund, a.k.a. the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases (1960s), president for England of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981), provost of the Royal College of Art (1995 – 2003).

96th Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, a.k.a. The Boat Race, Cambridge pictured here ahead by half a length (1950).

Winning Cambridge Crew (1950).

Great Quotes and Boats

“Rowers can do it all, and they can do it well. Joining the rowing team will be the greatest decision you will ever make, if you choose to accept the harsh realities of the sport. By doing so, you will understand the incalculable value of an indomitable spirit – and you will learn, above all, that your achievements in life are limited only by the magnitude of your drive to achieve them.”

– Amy Yao, MD, St. Lawrence coxswain alumnus, Huffington Post contributor.

Labor Day 2019

Happy Labor Day!

Hard at work or hard at play, does summer really need to end? Maybe not in our hearts, at least not quite yet. Officially summer ends on September 23, but days are already getting shorter here in the Northeast and the cool, crisp breezes of late summer evenings hint of harvests, cowbells and cider. So, why not extend summer a bit by finding a fresh, new favorite tee or maybe some cozy, warm fleece to wrap up the season in style.

Boathouse offers LABOR DAY SALE savings with 30% off using code BuyAmerican. Ends 9/2/2019.

Dick’s Sporting Goods offers up to 50% off merchandise plus $20 off your $100 order of top trends and gear plus free shipping available as well.

Eastern Mountain Sports offers Labor Day savings with their best deals of up to 70% off select items.

Eyebobs offers 25% off everything today, a once in a year opportunity with code WAITWHAT25. The coxswain shades are similar to my first pair of polarized aviators I got from Scott (yes, ski goggles Scott) for rowing when I first started out, way back while I was still in middle school.

JL offers 30% off (a generous must for the devoted rower) through tomorrow on trou, unis and Hi-Viz wear with code LABORDAY. Check out the USRowing wear.

Lands’ End Labor Day event offers 40% off regular prices with WORKS code and 1912 pin through tomorrow.

LlBean offers 20% off and free shipping with a purchase of $50 or more today using code GREAT20.

REI has $1000 off the Ausangate Lodge to Lodge Trek plus peak deals with up to 50% off end of summer items. REI members receive an extra 20% off one outlet item with the code LABORDAY19 through 9/2/2019.

Patagonia offers up to 50% off past season products.

Sweaty Betty is offering 30% off summer wear with free shipping too.

Under Armour offers an extra 30% off outlet orders of $150 or more using code LABORDAY30.

Schools Head of the River Race 2019

Schools Head of the River Race, a.k.a. SHORR will be held Friday 15th of March 2019 in the London Thames region on the Championship Course running from Chiswick Bridge in Mortlake to the Westminster School Boat Club flagpole in Putney organized by Westminster University Boat Club. River Thames is a tidal river and will be closed for the duration of the race. In addition to navigating to prevent from being swept downstream with an outgoing tide, coxswain also need to be aware of dropping water levels to ensure there is enough water under their boats and for the crew’s blades. And, unfortunately, the marshaling plan and start order has changed due to limiting crews due to Saturday’s weather forecast. Next year’s race will be held Wednesday 18th March 2020.

For schedule check HERE.

For race results check HERE.

World Erg Challenge 2019, a collaboration with World Rowing will be held March 15, 2019 through April 15, 2019. Teams consisting of two or more individuals compete by completing meters using a Concept2 Erg, SkiErg or BikeErg.

Schools’ Head Of The River 2018

In British Rowing, Schools’ Head Of The River will be held Monday, 12th March 2018 in the Thames region. The race runs from Chiswick Bridge in west London to the Westminster School Boat Club Flagpole on Putney Embankment. River Thames is a tidal river and will be closed for the duration of the race. In addition to navigating to prevent from being swept downstream with an outgoing tide, coxswain also need to be aware of dropping water levels to ensure there is enough water under their boats and for the crew’s blades.

For start order check HERE.

For past results check HERE.

For race schedule and provisional results check HERE.

Coxing in Reduced Visibility

 

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*WARNING: THE UNITED STATES ROWING ASSOCIATION ADVISES ROWERS TO NOT ROW IN FOG UNLESS YOUR VISIBILITY TO SHORE IS AT LEAST 100 YARDS.

Rowing in reduced visibility can be a frightening task. Picture yourself thick in the pea soup Brit fog of a Sherlock Holmes plot or running from a Scooby Doo villain, the problem is that you just can’t see where you are going.

As a college rower I remember receiving the “Practice is canceled due to fog” text, the one that every rower secretly desires and I happily welcomed at 4am. I relished getting a couple more hours of the best kind of sleep, stolen from a cancelled responsibility. The text always followed with an OYO (On Your Own) erg practice. It didn’t matter. I knew at the time guilt would provide the momentum to get to the erg at my own convenience. Oh what a thought free will at that. And the simply delicious feeling of stolen sleep would be long lasting too.

I also have been tasked with steering a crew in fog that appeared never ending. Fog crept out of nowhere swallowing the sightline whole. I was able to cox our home course relying on memory using treetops to navigate back to the dock.

Here are R2R’s Tips for Coxing in Reduced Visibility     

1. Common Sense. Be aware of your surroundings, instinct and responsibility. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

2. Regardless of your coach’s demands, only take a crew out on the water if you personally feel comfortable.

3. Know your course. Become familiar with the curves of the river, where sand bars, channel markers and rocks are and be aware of the level of traffic expected at the time of launching.

4. Remember fog can become thicker without warning and fog will most likely thicken as the sun begins to rise.

5. Remember that others on the water have limited sight distance too. Be cognizant of stopping especially if another crew is directly behind you. Anticipate that another crew may stop in your path.

6. Do not alter course often or erratically. Do not be afraid to stop, plan, and get your bearing if needed. Solicit your bow to turn around and help with the line of sight.

7. Wear bright colors.

8. Bow light and Stern light: Make sure they are in working order before you head to the dock.  R2R Quick tip: Velcro stern lights using the loop of the coxswain’s hat or around a ponytail holder for 8+.    

9. Change the workout. Avoid starts, sprints and any other fast workouts where rowers could potentially lose focus. A practice of drills like Cut-the-Cake mixed in with some Slow Steady State is best.     

10. Listen. Listen for boat traffic and for other crews on the water.

11. Communicate. Communicate to other crews around you but also communicate to your crew make sure they are fully aware of the possible danger fog can cause. Maintain zero talking in the boat unless there’s an immediate danger. Use your voice to remind the rowers to stay alert, focused and calm.

12. Cell Phone. Always bring a cell phone out with you in case of emergency.

Great Quotes and Boats

“Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

-Stephen Hawking, Oxford Coxswain, Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.