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Coxswain Veritas
Seth Bauer, 1987 World Champion, coxing The 1997 Head Of The Charles
September 20, 2010

Digitizing of audio files thanks to Pete Cipollone and Oli Rosenbladt.

Seth Bauer, 1987 World Champion

Transcript of the 1997 Head Of The Charles®

Seth Bauer coxing the 1997 Head Of The Charles®
    Ten Years After: Seth Bauer coxed the reunion crew of the 1987 US men's 8 that won the gold medal at the World Championships in Copenhagen ten years ago. Seth also coxed the silver medal Oluympic crew the following year. The 87 Gold crew was the identical lineup as the gold medal crew from 10 years ago.

Audio: Seth Bauer coxes the 1997 Head of the Charles
Audio: Pete Cipollone coxes the 1997 Head of the Charles

Dramatis personae, from bow to stern:

    Mike Teti
    John Smith
    Ted Patton
    Mike Still
    Pete Nordell
    Jeff McLaughlin
    Doug Burden
    John Pescatore
    Seth Bauer

As mentioned, the following transcript contains one or two expletives that I have not deleted. I believe that the intensity and passion involved in rowing, and much of sport, often results in the use of strong language to convey strong emotions and intentions.

Only those comments in italics and parentheses are not Seth's. comments in italics are from crew members or people outside the boat; comments in bold and smaller font size are inserted to add context.

Seth added the following comment on the transcript:
We did crash, but my guys were so experienced that they didn't need a lot of instruction to untangle. A less experienced crew should get - and listen to - very specific instructions when they're tangled up with another crew.
We have left much of the warmup and ambient commentary intact to capture some of the feel of the pre- and post-race mood.

(to another crew that let them through)
Thank you.

(20 strokes pass)

Five minutes to start.

(someone in boat yells "Hey, Joe!")

Do we have room for a 20?
(2 strokes)

No, we don't, sorry.
(2 strokes)

Ok, when we get in the pack, we'll stop, we'll have a couple minutes.

(from outside boat: "Hey, hey McLaughlin! Hahahaha!")

"Weigh enough weigh enough!"

(extended banter in the crew as crews line up in the shoot.)

(Official: we go 30 second intervals. 30 seconds.)

Let's have starboards back here, starboards back it.

Weigh enough.

Weigh enough! (laughs)

Hey do these guys have any idea who we were? (laughs)

(from outside boat: "it's just as well. You guys are legend. Are you guys any good?")

Starboards back ports row a little bit. And let's have all 8 back a little.

(Official calls crews to the line as 87 Gold crew talks to each other and yells to friends in other crews.)

Let's back a few more, stern four let's back.... Weigh enough. Johnny back a little bit, I don't want to tangle up.

(comment from outside the boat about "who's the coach?")
The coach is the coach. World champion rower, world champion coach... but the guy's never won the Head Of The Charles® in his life. (objections from all sides) I'm joking.

(from outside the boat: "how many times have you won this race?" and then, "This guy here - he was nine years old when you guys won.")

Stern four, ready, back it. Weigh enough. Yeah!

What's the age handicap in this race?

(as the crew banters non-stop behind him, John Pescatore: "Oh I could use a 20, boy.")

I know, sorry. OK, stern 6 to back, stern 6 to back. Stern 6, johnny, back it.

Weigh enough, weigh enough.

Hey Jeff, why are those Northeastern guys wearing Burger King hats?

(officials and coxswains heard some distance away)

Watch it, let's back some more. Weigh enough, sit easy.

(a couple minutes pass as the crew sits in the marshalling area)

(Take a 20 on the way, then just keep going.)

Stern 6 back, stern 6. We're in perfect position, right in front of it. Weigh enough, let's check a little bit. Watch the starboard blades, watch the starboard blades.

(someone in boat: "Here we go." From outside boat: "Hey Seth did you bring the body bags?")


(official can be heard calling bow numbers over the line.)

Smitty take a couple. Weigh enough.

(30 seconds pass)

Johnny back it a couple. Weigh enough. Doug take a couple.

(official calls more crews, considerable time passes as crew talks among themselves and crews around them.)

Hey, Copenhagen conditions.
(the conditions at Copenhagen were horrendous, easily as bad as the basin at its worst)

Mike Teti, take a couple light ones, Mike Teti.

Let's sit ready.

(Official: 87 get ready!)

On the paddle, ready.. row.

Let's go half pressure on this one.

(Official: Ease off Penn AC, ease off! Rowing Canada go to full pressure)

3/4 pressure on this one, 3/4 pressure.

(Official: CANADA... ROW!)

And we'll take three to bui--ild....


(Starter: 87 Gold, row!)
Full pressure!

Long and steady, Copenhagen conditions! Make it light; send it! Yes!

Knees and send, knees, send, knees, send!

Set the pattern right now, right here!

(quietly) Beautiful, 33 John, right on target.

Everything horizontal. Knees, send.

(Cheers from shore: "Yeah Copenhagen! Yeah, 87!")

Beautiful! Everything horizontal.

(2-3 strokes pass)

Gonna have buoys coming under the starboard blades.

Everything clean, everything horizontal.

(2 strokes pass)

32 and a half, keep it light, keep it lively! right here.

Yeah, yes!

Five for those Smitty knees, right here!

(sharp and clipped)

(fired up)
That's it, Smitty knees, put 'em down!

Yeah, Mike Still!
Everything horizontal.

Beautiful, beautiful! Canada hasn't gotten anything on us!


(more yelling from the shore)
Light feel around the front end, keep it light at the front end.


(clearly inspired)
It's all in there, that memory is all in there, go get it! Go get it Michael.
Go get it Mike Teti!

(hooting and hollering from Magazine Beach area)
Coming around the turn to starboard, beautiful. Yes!

32 and a half, John, right where you want to be.
Everything horizontal.

Yeah knees!
Knees Doug, put em down!
Five for knees right here.

(Sharp and clipped)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, yeah!

Let's get that for a 20, show them we still know how to move it.
Get set; on this one; twenty!

2 go bow pair!
3, 4, 5
Don't let Penn AC move!

6, 7, 8
We're comin' off the buoys...

10 yeah!
Stern pair for 10!
1, 2, 3, 4, It's gotta move here!

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!

Canada's on the wrong side of the course. We can go get em, we can go get em!

(insisting, reminding)
Feel that rhythm, feel that rhythm!

Yeah, push these guys back, push them back with every stroke.
Legs, send!
Legs, send!
Legs, send!
Push those guys back!

Nice job Pete Nordell...

Everything horizontal.
It's all smack in there, it's in there, the feel is in there.

Legs, send!
Legs, send!
Legs, send!

(seems to turn to look at crew behind him)
Yeah, we're doing it, hold em off, keep pushing them back!

That's it, 10, stay long, stay long!

(stroke John Pescatore asks for a 20)

We're going to take a 20 coming into the mile mark.. get set!

(echoing under the River St. Bridge)
On this one!
(asking for more) I want to move on these guys!
Push em back!
8, 9, 10,

(Demanding this time)
I want to move on them!
Ten more!

1, 2,
There's the mile mark!
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
(Pescatore: "Yeah!")

Yeah, make them feel the puddles, make them feel our puddles all the way back!

(makes call at finish as blades exit)
Send those things!
Send those things!

That's it Doug.

(yelling from the shore)
That's it Jeff, right here!

Yeah! Canada's way over on the Cambridge side of the river!

(yelling from the shore)
That's it Teti!

No; it's gotta stay together right here now. Right here, set it back up, set it back up with the knees.

(fired up again)
Five for knees, Smitty!

It's gotta be the knees!

There's the feel, there's the feel!

Keep me in front of them all the way through Weeks, you gotta keep me in front of them through Weeks!


We can do it now, we can do it.
Legs, send, legs, send. Keep me in front of them! Legs, send.

(pescatore, breathing hard: let's go for a 20, we can lose them on the turn)

(with resolve)
Get set for a 20 going into weeks, on this one!


(someone in crew: "yeah!)

We're moving!
Match it for 10!


They're taking this turn too tight, I got the turn! I got the turn on these guys!
All the way, I got the turn on these guys!

(firing up just before considerable noise from the shore)
Beautiful, beautiful Smitty! Beautiful Mike Teti!

(then, much calmer)
Send it out, stay long, send it out. Keep that light feel.

Yeah, we're moving on them!

We moved on that turn, we're gonna move on the next one, I guarantee it!

Do it with the knees.

Legs arms, legs arms.
Legs arms!
Legs arms!
Legs arms!
Legs arms! Yes!

We're moving, beautiful, rowing 34. We got it, we got it!

Coming into the next turn, I guarantee we're movin' on this turn!

OK, get set for a 20 coming through the bridge.


One more and we go... right here!


(echo under bridge, Pescatore says "Yeah!)
7 move it!
10 more like that!

We get seats on every turn!

You gotta make it happen before the Elliot turn, gotta make it happen right through here! I got two crews in front of me we're gonna pass, I need to do it before Elliot, I need to do it right here.

Get set for a 20, on this one!

He's too far inside...
Right with John.
Now match it for 10
Yeah Smitty!

Yeah, put em back there, put em back there so I can keep them in our puddles!

Gotta keep that open water right here! We got puddles we're facing from crew 19, we're almost up to crew 18! Let's pass some fuckers, let's go!

Stay light, stay long, stay horizontal.

They're trying to move, don't let them do it!

(calm, but intense)
Do it loose, do it loose!
Do it with the knees!

Five for knees right here!
5 Stay clear, stay clear! We're alright!

(lots of yelling outside of the boat, apparently, the Penn AC crew caught the 87 Gold crew)

OK, let's move back, let's move back. Yes, everything horizontal,

Feel for our rhythm! 10 for Copenhagen rhythm!

(trying to coax a groove) Copenhagen rhythm.
Think of that middle thousand. (note: the 1987 crew effectively won the gold medal with a ferocious middle thousand, leading into the last 400 and never fading, if I remember correctly from my view in the stands)
Yeah, everything horizontal, legs send. Legs, send.

We got four crews bunching at Elliot bridge.

Stay clean, stay clean.

Right on! Ok, let's see if we can get some seats back. It took them two fuckin' miles to catch us, let's take some seats back!

Theyr'e on the wrong side of a buoy! They just missed a buoy!
Let's go, baby! We're moving Ted! We're moving Michael!

Starboards take it. Right here, starboards crank! Fuck.
(calmly) Ports weigh enough. Ports crank, that's right, starboards row.

(according to reports, the 87 Gold crew tangled with a crew they had just passed at this point.)

OK, let's get it back, right into it.

(recovering immediately)
Penn AC missed that buoy, we can still beat them if anybody saw it. Let's get set to take it, we need a 20.

Right here, let's go.
5 move on these guys
10 10 more like that.
Squeeze it
10 - keep squeezing it, keep squeezing it.

They're on the outside of the turn now, we got the inside.

Stay long and loose, long and loose.

(then emphatic again)
Yeah, we're moving on them, we're moving on Penn AC! We got a length open to catch them.

Stay loose now; we're moving on crew 19, let's get by them before the finish.

Let's show what we can do before the finish.

Straight shot to the finish, about 800 meters, let's go!

Legs, swing! Legs, swing! Legs, swing! Legs, swing! Legs, swing! Legs, swing! Legs, swing!

(as crew responds and picks up speed)
I feel it!

We're moving on Penn AC, we're moving on them! Let's see if we can get contact in the last 250.

Get set to go up John.

Ready. All legs. On this one, going up!

(intense, focused)
All legs, all legs Michael!

All legs!

Sit up tall push the knees, sit up tall push the knees!

Last 10

Sit up tall push the knees! Two more!

And paddle!

Nice job.

Sorry about that clash.

(someone in crew: "You had no choice, he steered right into you.")

Good row Penn AC!

38 at the end, no problem. How you doing Pete?

Ok, lets spin.

(crew spins boat)

They finished about three-quarters of a length open, I'd say. Hang on, sit easy.

OK, on the paddle, ready all row, let's move.

We did push Penn AC over a buoy, I don't know if anyone saw it, right smack in front of Cambridge they passed on the wrong side.

(a couple minutes later...)
Let's go to quarter pressure, quarter pressure. We're going to bring the rating down two, on this one, little ratio here. Mike Teti's gotta show all these guys how to row.

Let's hold the rate down, hold the rate down, ratio. Chhaaa! Chhaaa!

Who was it who was wondering if we could make 32 down the course? I don't know if we ever got that low down the course.

let's weigh enough

(crew stops as beginning of women's race comes through)

Ok, quarter pressure all the way around, good ratio on this one. Chaaa chhaaa!

(crew members yell to passing women's crews)

Just remember when we're comparing times we're closer in age to the 1980 guys than the 97 guys.

Ok, let's get set to go half-pressure, I want half-pressure at an 18, and I just wanna get that feel. One more, on this one, 18. Creep up the slide, creep up the slide.

That's too high, I want to feel that 18. Coming down two, on this one.

That's what I want.

Little more decisive with the arms chaaa! And creep. Chaaa!

Yes, rowing 18.

Feel the boat ride between strokes, give the push with the arms, let it ride, just let it go.

Chaaa! Chaaa!

(tape ends)

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