Nearly all the crews that are competing at the IRA Regatta have been on the Mercer Lake venue since Tuesday, ducking the weather and getting in practice rows while waiting for the racing to start.
For the teams in the men's events, that wait ended Friday morning when the heats got going. But not for the lightweight women. The lightweight women's crews don't race until the Saturday and after finished up their morning practices Friday morning, they all had to find something to do while the men raced.
That can get a tiny bit stale, said some of the athletes and coaches as they filed back into the boatyard for another practice run in the afternoon.
But the wait will end tomorrow, even if their preliminary races have been pushed back to the afternoon from the morning slots they held until weather became an issue.
"We're ready to go," said Wisconsin head coach Dusty Mattison. "We've been here since Tuesday, and I think they are itching to race. I think one of them said that today while we were watching the men, that she just wanted to be out there."
Dusty Mattison getting her crews of the dock after Friday morning practice
It's been since the middle of end of April and the Women's Sprints since the Badgers have raced, and they have found a few ways to keep busy. First, there was some work to do after Sprints, when Wisconsin won the women's points trophy but finished third in the varsity eight behind Boston University and Princeton.
"We made some switches, tried some personnel in different spots, and got in as many strokes as we could," Mattison said. "The weather was nice in Madison, so that was fantastic." And then there was the work to keep the team from getting stale and tired of just training.
"We had a little jewelry making party, which was really fun, just tried to do some stuff together and got our minds off of it for a little bit as well, a change of pace a little bit," she said.
"Because you can go deep into the step-by-step, day-by-day and forget what you are doing this for. It helps to step back and realize we're here to have fun and we're getting ready to race."
It has also been a while since Harvard-Radcliffe raced, but with a young team, head coach Sarah Baker used the time to keep developing her boats, and getting them ready to race, which for many of them is their first experience at a national championship regatta.
"We're pumped to get going, and we're excited to show how we've developed over the last month," Baker said. "We've been working hard, doing the right work for the right amount of time.
"We're a young crew, and the strides that they have made have been strong. They are learning in all moments, and to watch them dive into college rowing and racing has been awesome. They are constantly changing and learning and developing and it's so encouraging to watch them grow," she said.
"It's been nice being here and watching the men's racing," Baker said. "It helps bring yourself into the mindset of racing when you're around other big, strong teams. Waiting gives a little more space to relax and not feel like you are rushing into it."
Stanford practicing Wednesday