Ben Holbrook, bow, US men's quad
You rowed in a very tight field for almost the entire race, then you pulled away. How did you make that happen?
I think we settled into a better rhythm today, especially through the 1000, which is what we wanted to work on from our last race. We knew we could get out, but it's getting into that nice long rhythm, and keeping our composure, especially through that first 500. Once we have that rhythm, then we have the poise and position and stability in the boat to make a really effective run.
Was it the plan to blast out at the end, or were you just protecting your lead?
Once we established position, and conditions got a little swirly, we just wanted to control it to the end. I felt we were really in control in the second 1000.
It looked like conditions were improving some; how rough was it out there?
It wasn't too bad, it's definitely the best it has been in two-three days, but when you're sprinting, you have to be very aware of the waves. Once we had that nice long rhythm, and the boat is stable, we felt we could execute what we wanted to do.
Lisa Schlenker, bow seat, light women's double
Looked like there were improvement in execution from a few days ago, what did you think of the race?
That would be an understatement (laughs). What did we change? Little bit with the rigging, so we could feel the water a little bit more, and we were on. Meaning - time to show up and race. First race caught us offguard, so today it was time to show up and show our stuff.
So no regrets about going through the reps?
None at all, because every time we race together we get better.
Did you think you could get through the Polish crew that won the race?
I was expecting to get through them from the getgo. They took their move, we took our move, and it was always a matter of inches, but they got us this race, we hope to get them the next one.
Lori Dauphiny, coach, light women's double
How did the crew feel about the race today?
It was a much better race than we had in the heat, so we were pleased with the improvement.
What did they do to improve today?
I thought they were better racers. I think they attacked it better than they did, and they were able to find their rhythm more easily.
Garrett Klugh, bow seat, US men's four
Did the race go according to plan?
Pretty much so, we wanted to be really aggressive in the beginning and just get out so we were in a position the whole way to advance.
Did you feel a threat from the race to qualify behind you?
We were very conscious of the boats behind us, never let our guard down, and I tried to keep the crew informed of exactly where we were. We just tried to keep it together at the end of the race, live to row another day.
How did this race compare to your heat?
Every time we race - this is the second time we've raced - we figure things out, so this was a little better. As the conditions change, we're trying to figure out what works for us.
There's a quick turnaround to tomorrow's semi, do you think you'll be okay?
We're ready. We have be ready.
Conditions may have been the best we've seen all week, with a declining tailwind, "normal" chop, and no whitecaps. The wind decreased as the day went on as well, so that by the men's quad race, things looked pretty good.
The tailwind conditions were bad enough to set up a bit of a standing wave right at the bubble line as the surfacing bubbles worked against the incoming waves; the bubble line was turned off after the first few races.
Men's Quad Breaks the Streak US crews placed second in every rep until the men's quad, who barely led the field by 2-3 meters the entire way, then pulled away to about 2/3 of a length at the finish.
Kiss and Cry Zone
Everyone has heard this one; just outside the athlete's compound await parents, buds, girlfriends, all cheering on their favorite rowers. I'm not much of a sap when it comes to this kind of thing, but seeing all these moms cheering and crying, well...
The host country is traditionally granted an entry for one crew that did not qualify as a token of appreciation; the Greek light women's double was the recipient this year. They're not looking the gift horse in the mouth; the crew made the semis today to a deafening cheer of "Hellas! Hellas! Hellas!"
Canadian Lighties Recover from Near-Disaster
The Canadian crew was winning their rep comfortably with about 250 to go when one of the crew members caught a nasty crab; they recovered fairly quickly, but gave up a lot of water, and had to settle for second.
Japan Holds On
The Japanese double held off a blistering charge by the US light men, who drew to within a half-length with 300 to go, but could gain no more as the Japanese crew froze the margin at just that. Steve Tucker flashed the Japanese crew a thumbs up at the finish line for the effort.
With the late end of racing and early start tomorrow, crews that would have raced reps yesterday will have to turn around and race their semis tomorrow morning. Ouch.
By the same token, but with far lesser stakes, I may not be able to put photos up tonight. I'll do my best to get them all posted tomorrow.