row2k Features
Sunlight Gains, Training Gains: Solar Spring Has Arrived
February 9, 2024
Ed Hewitt, row2k.com

Folks may have noticed that row2k writes about astronomical phenomenon now and then; this is largely because rowing depends quite a bit on the position of the stars – or at least on one in particular, our own sun.

So we thought it worth mentioning that, earlier this week, the northern hemisphere entered the so-called ‘solar spring.’ This term describes the three months during which days get longer and daylight increases at the fastest rate, with the spring equinox right in the middle.

This year the solar spring runs from February 5 to May 4; during those three months, the northern hemi will gain (and the southern hemi lose, sorry) daylight at a rate of 2.5 to 3 minutes per day, with the peak increase right around the equinox.

So rowers on the Schuylkill River, for example, will experience the following:

February 5:
Sunrise: 7:06am
Sunset: 5:24pm

Total daylight hours come to around 10 hours and 18 minutes.

May 4:
Sunrise: 5:57am
Sunset: 7:59pm

Total daylight hours come to around 14 hours and 2 minutes.

The total increase is about 3:44; for reference, the longest day of the year, which falls on June 20 this year, will see the following:

Sunrise: 5:32am
Sunset: 8:33pm

… an increase of another hour from May 4; the daily increase slows to mere seconds daily as the solstice approaches.

If you just rowed in every additional minute of daylight from now until May, think of the mileage you would get in... your back, wrists, ribs, and palms might not like it so much, of course. Anyway, enjoy some of the additional daylight hours in your boat!

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