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Masters Nationals...Day One
by Merrill Hilf
posted on August 13, 2010

When I arrived in beautiful Camden, NJ this morning, I felt a bit like Bill Murray in the movie, "Groundhog Day." Everything was the same as last year, same number of port-o-pots, same vendors in the same tents, the same annoying hospital bracelet, even the same regatta logo on the T-shirts. Us regatta T-shirt collectors can't exactly justify buying the same T-shirt two years in a row, no matter how supportive our families are of our rowing habits. And even though it hasn't rained in three weeks, despite swamp like humidity, it rained today.

There were a few things that were different however. About 300 or so less entries, no printed heat seets (USRowing goes green?), and an obvious police presence (everyone knows how out of control those masters rowers get). For me, there was a big difference this year. This year, I'm sweep rowing in addition to sculling, and for the first time I feel like part of a crew team. For those masters that did not row in high school or college, there's no way to really understand all the hubbub about rowing in an 8+. For the past five months, I've had the pleasure and the challenge of trying to get eight people become one big flying ship. It's really kind of miraculous when you think about it. I'll let you know how it goes!