Two weekends ago, we had some racing to cover, just enough for a recap, but this past week, the spring season--and the amount of racing--went full bore. Judging from the row2k results page, it might even be easier to run a list of the few crews that have not started racing yet, so kudos to everyone who has gotten that first race in the books.
You Never Lead With The Weather, But...
Even when the weather is the story of the day, the real pros on the rowing beat will tell you it's bad form to start your feature with it, but the elements served up a doozy to start the weekend...and when Lane 2 is near full capacity after just an hour of racing, you can make an exception:
All that extra gear was warranted, because Saturday was a full-on beast of a day in the weather department. Some races even opted to go Friday night, and some folks on Saturday got the full drenching:
Out west, we still had snow as a backdrop on the Dexter Reservoir:
And, of course, it was seasonably brisk on the Basin, complete with parents in parkas and coxswains in survival suits.
Luckily, Sunday's Sun Was Worth Cheering For
In fact, at the Flicks on Sunday, we went all the way from the winter wear in last week's Recap to hair bows this week:
To be fair, lots of crews had their race ribbons in their hair at the first Flick, too: that is one tradition that doesn't wither in the wind-chill!
Journalistic weather blunders aside, here is how row2k knows spring has sprung:
The Flagpole is Full
In fact, so many crews were on the Carnegie this weekend that only about half the schools could even fit on the flagpole at the finish--and racing ran from 8 til 4 with the heavy men doing double duty first with a follow-on scrimmage among the crews that raced in the morning, then the light men pulling a double as well with three bonus races later in the afternoon. That is a lot for college dual coverage, and a long day in the photo/aligning launch, whew.
The weekend started with Thursday's announcements that:
The Team Outlook Awards are In
The 2023 row2k Team HQ Awards dropped over on the Rowing Illustrated Boards (don't worry, no one is going to give some of those folks a microphone at an awards show):
You can read each of the 'winning Outlooks' here at these links: Coach Habibovic, Coach Hicks, Coach Boyce, Coach Parker, Coach Brown, Coach Clarke, Coach McKenna.
But 'Catching A Crab' Might be on the Way Out as Lobsters Move In
At least that is the request made by this letter the Chair of British Rowing received, and tweeted out:
I’ve received this letter (dated 23rd March FTAOD) from PETA urging me to encourage all coaches, commentators and rowers to replace the phrase “catching a crab” which they believe normalises hurting animals with an animal-friendly alternative. They suggest “liberating a lobster” pic.twitter.com/tUYgg45NM6— Mark Davies (@markxdavies) March 25, 2023
Before you think it, this was no early April Fool's gag: you can read the full argument in favor of 'Liberate Lobsters' on the PETA UK website.
Other Hits from the Weekend:
Sometimes the Coxing Can Win You the Race
You know the saying, true or not, that the coxswain can only lose you the race, not win it. Well, not on the Tideway:
Gutsy steering choices being made by Jasper Parish in the Cambridge crew steering towards Fulham Football Ground, it appears to have earned them a half length lead!— The Boat Race (@theboatrace) March 26, 2023
That swerve to the shore by Cambridge cox Parish in the early going was almost a bigger story than the full Cambridge sweep on Sunday, as the Light Blues--and that one yellow crew they have--swept every 'flavour' of Boat Race this year: veterans, lightweights, reserves, and both Blue Boats themselves.
Fist Bumps are Back
and so is wild2k...
With this heron on Carnegie, which buzzed the row2k launch within about four feet of our heads on the way back to the boathouse...
...and the eagles in Oregon.
Will it really be all that long before we are gator-spotting in Sarasota at the end of the season?
But Lanes Are Optional, Right?
Some early season steering here, even with a fully bouyed course:
Make sure you have your...Stern Number?
Not sure what is going on here? Backing races, maybe??
and Always Bring Your Superfan
Having your start filmed by an Olympic Silver medal-winning single sculler? NBD for the Harvard-Radcliffe 2V4, who was clearly thrilled to spot Superfan, and Radcliffe Alum, Michelle Guerette standing on shore, iPhone at the ready:
Rumors and Hearsay
- we did hear of one regatta this weekend where some challenges on getting the results right meant the wrong crews got put in Grand Finals, and vice versa, including one case that seemed to be a matter simply confusing two teams that have the same colors. So the lesson here if you want to make the Final? Maybe just dress like the fast folks and hope for the best...
- we also found that, whaddya know, Elmo can Row: