Strong winds in the basin forced regatta organizers to row the "emergency short course" for the first time in regatta history today, and we may see the same tomorrow. It was a good call; the basin was unrowable last night, and was no better this morning. The rest of the course, however, was really pretty good, with a headwind from the start at Riverside Boathouse really not kicking up too much water blowing right down the powerhouse stretch, and then giving way to almost perfect water between Weeks and Anderson. As crews came around the Eliot turn, the winds turned to tail; not a bad run, on the whole.
Folks continue to try new things at the Charles; new boatbuilders were out in force, and I grabbed a photo of a crew rowing with oars with pivoting oarhandles in the men's Masters eight; I'll post asap. There were some tight passes and a few clashes for the bloodthirsty, and a row-by over the length of the course by the US men's gold medal eight and the women's silver medal eight midday for the fans.
One interesting development I noticed today - I was on the Belmont dock as the masters eights went by, and although I am usually racing in that event, and as a result don't really get to see it, it seemed to me that the level of women's masters rowing is up a notch. My theory is that we're now into the second generation or so of pretty serious and more widespread collegiate women's rowing grads, and they're racing in the big boats in greater numbers. I'm not sure we're seeing quite the same thing right through the club events, but I could be wrong, and this could be due to the number of new programs. Anyway, it's something to watch.
Women's crews seemed to be leading the Red Sox cheering brigade as well, especially the CRI crews; one crew spelled out Go Redsox! on the backs of their shirts, one letter at a time.
Boston seems to be handling the crowds from the racing and the Series fairly well; getting a cab seems tricky, and in some spots almost impossible, but folks seem to be able to get fed without insanely long waits; it doesn't take too much more to make competing rowers happy.
Well rowed today, and good luck tomorrow.