contributed by John FX Flynn, row2k
This week's rowing hack shines a light into a little known corner of the rowing world, at a shadowy group who competes in the margins (literally, as they hold an unsanctioned event during the lunch interval at a major championship) for a trophy steeped in history, like a strong cup of tea . . .
Why do we peer in here? Because they have some cool tools!
The shadowy group? The boatmen of women's rowing. The unsanctioned event? The Annual Rigger's National Croquet Tournement. The prize? The Wakamole Trophy. (The major championship? Best left unmentioned, but it takes place on Memorial Day weekend each year.) The cool tools? The wide-range of customized croquet mallets that these boatman dream up and slap together in the long 12 months between their annual contests--the Wakamole "Implements."
Okay, we admit it: the Wakamole Implement is not a rowing tool in the strictest sense (or in any sense, frankly) and you would be hard-pressed to do anything, well, useful with any one of them. Yet, as well-hacked, custom-built, no-two-alike tools fashioned by some of the best hackers in the sport, they are pretty darn cool.
And, for that matter, as hardware designed and cobbled together in boathouse shops for the sole purpose of ensuring glorious victory at a national championship, maybe they do fit the definition of a rowing tool.
We think we will let the row2k gallery of the most recent tourney tell the full story, but whether the implement is a what might have once been a baseball bat welded into a weighted mallet, a modified sledgehammer detailed in school colors, or what may be the world's heaviest, (and "square-est") putting iron, no contraption is too crazy for these rowing hackers . . . so long as it nudges their ball towards victory.
Have an odd corner of rowing world the hackers should know about? Share your what you know--and the hacks you use--in the comments below.
And if you have a great rowing hack idea for future inclusion -- send it to us!