Musical Chairs for Karsten in 2x A few weeks back we noted the news that Olympic champion Ekaterina Karsten would double up in the single and double. Most athletes who double up do so in events that will race on different days – for example, in the women’s pair and eight – so they will race every day, but not twice in one day.
As with the GBR pair that is doubling in the straight and coxed pair, Karsten’s situation in the single and double is different – the races are on the same day. After winning her single heat, Karsten turned around and got in the double for her second race of the day, a mere 90 minutes after her first race.
Sitting bowseat at the starting line in the double, Karsten already looked a bit winded, as might someone who had won a heat at the World Championships less than two hours prior. On the first few strokes of the race, tho, Karsten looked anything but tired, blasting out with a tremendous surge of power that seemed to suit the faster boat quite well.
The double did not advance, however, and the duo went to work on a solution.
After the close of racing, the double appeared on the course for practice, this time with Karsten at stroke. One trip later, the double went by again, this time with Karsten back at bow. On the third trip, Karsten was still at bow; we’ll keep you posted on where she’s sitting in the rep.
Rig ‘Em In, Rig ‘Em Out Karsten wasn’t the only one making adjustments after the heat; many coaches from many countries had their rigging tools out after watching their crews row in the heats. One Russian coach had slings set out and his tools ready even before the crew got off the water; apparently even before the official results were in. The heats are the first time to see your crew under pressure, going the full 2k, against the rest of the world, and these types of adjustments have become almost routine during the course of a World Championships.
Ready All... Wait.The rules of racing say that all crews must be locked on two minutes before the official race time, and that inside that two minutes, once crews are aligned and ready, the official may start the race at any time.
With a relatively small warmup area that is close to the starting area, crews have tended to arrive to the line early in most cases, and never late so far in the racing. In fact, many find themselves locked on 3-4 minutes before racing.
So when the two-minute call comes, they’re expecting to go almost right away. However, the starters have been holding the races for almost the full two minutes, sometimes more. As a result, some crews will sit at partial slide with their blades buried for what seems like forever.
The reason for the wait? To allow the television catamaran to make its way back up the course. If this would seem to be an inconvenience to the athletes, I say it’s one we should learn to accommodate – if we insist on making rowing impossible for television folks to cover, we’re putting our sport in mortal jeopardy. The fallout of a lack of television exposure could be fatal, even extending to a reduction in the number of events at the Olympics at the extreme. Row2k says we’ll wait – give the TV folks a few seconds of our time before each race, and we’ll be much better off.
The Take on Day One The first day of heats took place on a sunny Sunday, and a reported 6500 people paid admission to see the racing. Not a bad afternoon for rowing, eh?
Direct Advancement After the two days of heats, the following countries have qualified boats directly to the semifinals or finals: