Learn To Row – January 11, 2015

DSC_0067Looking for a little adventure to kick off 2015?  How about learning to row? Come on down to the boathouse on Sunday, January 11, for our first Learn to Row (LTR) of the year. Continue reading…


M LWT 1x B : The Recap

Well, I’ve had some time to digest (Both figuratively and literally. Immediately after the race I had a 5 cheese penne pasta, blackened grouper, 3 beers and ice cream. Today, I don’t have to be lightweight!) my race experience. I learned a lot and, thankfully, met all my goals and expectations of myself.

The morning started off quite pleasant. I saw Tara off the dock for her race, weighed in, checked my shell over and stayed out of the sun as much as I could. It wasn’t until 40 minutes before I was to launch that I started to get really nervous. After launching, I realized that the races were behind schedule and I ended up in the marshaling area a while longer than I intended. I still managed my nerves pretty well as I was distracted chatting with one of my competitors and a lively ladies’ 8+ from Texas. I acclimated to the heat and humidity pretty well as I kept covered up in my hat, was well hydrated, skies were slightly overcast and I was probably too nervous to notice otherwise.

Observing the other racers in my group, I knew I would have to be very aggressive in my high 20 right off the racing start. Their practice starts were clearly superior to mine (Racing starts are the weakest part of my race plan.) and could get their boats to jump. Still, I remained calm knowing that the boat I had borrowed was stiff, light and well under my control. I was low in the water, well balanced and the gunwales were directly beneath my hips. Our Wintechs feel like bathtubs compared to this lightweight shell. The five of us competitors, me being in lane five, were called onto the racecourse and we locked on efficiently, subtly maintaining our points in the crosswind. After a fairly rapid roll call, we were called to attention, which was fine by me. There’s nothing more I hate than sitting at the catch, blades squared.

Attention, ROW! I immediately went into a tunnel vision, focused on the stern of my boat as I moved away from the pontoon. 1/2, 3/4, 3/4, FULL, FULL. Jumped into my high 20 and peeked over at my stroke coach, a 46. What!? A 46! Adrenaline’s a helluva drug!!!! After my high 20, I struggled to force myself into a hard settle. Almost 300m in and I’m still at a 44. I begin to yell at myself aloud, “Settle, Gilbert! Settle! DAMMIT!” Apparently, lane 4 had been encroaching on me as the officials were warning him off, I heard him apologize. I guess he mistook my muttering as yelling at him.

Somewhere around 350m, my starboard blade took a digger. A mini-crab which, within 2 strokes, pulled me down to a manageable 34. I was actually thankful for that. However, at the 34 I was still unable to make an emphatic & decisive move on the shell to my right. I made a conscious decision, 7 more strokes at this 34 and if nothing happened, I’d force myself to a 30. Dropped to a 30-32 and almost immediately I felt the boat lift. I became efficient, creating some space between the adjacent Empacher. This is where I live! Found me some swing. I decided I was going to slug it out, all power at a lower rate, hammering out the remainder. Gone was my notion of higher rate and anything graceful! Plus, at this stroke rate, I’d have room to sprint at the end. I hit the 750m red buoys, and am instantly pulled out of my tunnel vision, keenly aware of the spectator stands and the chatter! Oh, Shit! People are watching! Sit up a little taller. Up two for 10! Up two more for 10! Okay, BLOW IT OUT! In reality, blow it out was more like a plea. PLEASE HOLD ON!?!?

I cross the bubble curtain finish line (The course is built to FISA standards. My first bubble curtain finish. I felt so chic. LOL). My head is throbbing. I’m dizzy and slightly disoriented. I turn my boat and start paddling for the dock. In a small Shawshank moment, the skies finally released rain where I promptly stopped, removed my hat and raised my face to the sky, enjoying the brief moment and relief.

From the experience I can definitely say I met my personal goals and expectations. At the onset of this I set out to:

1) Execute a training plan 100%. For 6 weeks, although I may have modified a few things, I stayed true to the plan and never missed a workout. Thank you Axel & Adrienne.

2) Make the final. After reviewing the previous years’ heats, my goal was to post a time fast enough for the finals. This was an easy one, as the race itself was a final. CHECK!

3) Run a clean race [and not finish last :-)]. From my perspective, as described above, that was accomplished.

4) Row a sub 4:00 1K. I posted a 3:56.589. DONE. My only other 1x race was at Gold Rush in 2011 and it was . . . an experience. Although water conditions, wind, course setup make every race situation different, I rowed a 4:28 there. 32 sec is a great improvement.

What did I learn?

1) Self Mental Discipline. In 2x’s, 2-‘s on up through the 8+’s, I’m highly responsive to the accountability and reliance my teammates have in me to hit the landmarks and hold the stroke rates when necessary. I need to be able to do that for myself in race situations and not fly out of those crazy starts and settle hard. If I’m able to find that efficiency earlier, how much more competitive can I be?

2) Set New Personal Elevated Expectations. What do I need to do maintain this learning curve? Although, this has been a great experience, I am still 10-15 seconds away from reaching the podium. How are my peers managing to be my height and weight yet still carry so much dense mass while I’m thin and lanky? The Argentine (the Romanesque guy to my left rowing the Cucchietti ) was crazy fit and the guy from Columbus that won was muscle packed and still a pound under me. All they have are more racing experiences under their belt, that’s all. I’ve proven I am in this peer group and know I can catch and surpass.

3) I am not as afraid of my racing peers, of the 1x and the big venues. A little apprehension keeps me on my toes, but I won’t be overwhelmed.

I really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot. Going out on a limb, feeling crunchy out of your comfort zone forces those evolutionary leaps in personal development. I’m left still feeling hungry. I can’t wait to do it again, soon. Maybe not tomorrow or next week, but soon.


EBRC Learn to Row Day : July 20th

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Come one, come all down to the boat house on Saturday, the 20th of July for our second Learn to Row (LTR) of the Summer. We’re going to be going over standard rowing terminology, proper use of a land rower aka ergometer, take some strokes on the Oakland Estuary and learn all about the sport.

The EBRC Learn To Row Class will be held on Saturday, July 20th, from 10am to 1pm.
Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94607
 
For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact info@eastbayrowingclub.org

Our two-week LTR program will begin that following Monday the 22nd for all novice men, and the 23rd for all novice women. The two week learn to row class extends until August 3rd.

See you down at the boathouse!


Learn to Row Day(s) 2013

The East Bay Rowing Club has hosted two Learn to Row days in as many weeks. The first was with our local community, taking one and all for a guided tour around the boathouse, on the ERGs and onto the water! A glorious weekend day was welcomed by dozens of landlubbers wanting a taste of the pleasure and pain involved with our great sport. Attendees came from Alameda, San Francisco, and Contra Costa Counties to get a glimpse of what the EBRC is lucky enough to experience every day, a side of Oakland that is stunning and beautiful on the waters of the estuary.

Next up was a private event with our friends in the Coast Guard. Many cadets hopped off their cutter Stratton and it’s home base in Alameda, right down the road from us. We give them quite a bit of barking each morning at 6am, as the tip of their cutters mark our starting line for the 2k training sprints. I’m sure they get quite a kick watching the occasional boat dump or locking oars from some of our novice boats! A few dozen attendees from the USCG were quick to learn the seaward ways of port and starboard, and they even taught us a few things about knot tying and the tides. We’re looking forward to getting the invite to come and see their boathouse (hint hint).

Come one, come all down to the boat house on Saturday, the 20th of July for our second Learn to Row (LTR) of the Summer. We’re going to be going over standard rowing terminology, proper use of a land rower aka ergometer, take some strokes on the Oakland Estuary and learn all about the sport.

The EBRC Learn To Row Class will be held on Saturday, July 20th, from 10am to 1pm.

Jack London Aquatic Center
115 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94607

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact info@eastbayrowingclub.org

Our two-week LTR program will begin that following Monday the 22nd for all
novice men, and the 23rd for all novice women. The two week learn to row class extends until August 3rd.


National Learn To Row Day – June 1, 2013

East Bay Rowing Club Celebrates National Learn to Row Day

In honor of the national campaign, East Bay Rowing Club is offering a free introductory class on sweep rowing.

Oakland, CA – May 06, 2013 – East Bay Rowing Club (EBRC), a competitive and recreational rowing club, announced today that it will offer a free Learn to Row class on National Learn to Row Day- Saturday, June 01, 2013.

USRowing, the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States, and Concept2, the oar and ergometer manufacturer, have encouraged rowing clubs around the country to introduce newcomers to the sport of rowing. More than 100 clubs throughout the United States are expected to participate. EBRC will open its doors for a free introduction to rowing in a fun and inspiring environment.

Participants can expect to:
– Tour the boathouse and get acquainted with rowing terms
– Learn the basics of the rowing stroke on an erg (indoor rowing machine)
– Understand basic boat handling
– Apply new skills with a short row in our barge and get a taste of rowing on the water
– Learn about opportunities to join our men’s and women’s teams

The session will take place from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Class size is limited, so participants are encouraged to register by sending an email with contact information to info@eastbayrowingclub.org. Drop-ins and all fitness levels are welcome. This event is designed for adults; however, if youth are interested in this program, please contact us for special arrangements.

Location:
Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero Ave, Oakland (South of Jack London Square – please note some GPS units do not route to the correct address)

What to wear and bring:
Comfortable but tight-fitting clothing, hat, socks, sunscreen, sunglasses and a bottle of water.

NLTR-2013-Flyer-EBRC

About East Bay Rowing Club

Founded in 2007, EBRC is a non-profit organization with a Master’s rowing program consisting of approximately 90 rowers, and a Youth rowing program that runs the Oakland Technical High School rowing program. Additionally, EBRC engages with military veterans and adaptive rowers. Through participation in the sport of rowing, EBRC emphasizes fitness, sportsmanship, safety, etiquette and environmental awareness of the Oakland Estuary, its wildlife and surrounding waterways. EBRC also trains athletes to compete in regional and national rowing competitions. Members of the Master’s team range in age from 22 to 74.

EBRC is always looking for new members to join the team. Oakland and San Francisco Bay
Area residents interested in the sport of rowing, experienced or not, should send an email to info@eastbayrowingclub.org to learn more.


Super-Row Sunday!

Generating enough wattage to light up the Superdome!
Generating enough wattage to light up the Superdome!

The EBRC competed in the Peninsula Indoor Rowing championships a few hours before kickoff of the Superbowl last week, and scored a touchdown (along with the extra point) by coming away with eight medals! The erg chains were white hot by the time we were finished with them! Congratulations to all the rowers on burning off the buffalo wings ahead of time.


EBRC’s Inaugrual Team Building Event

EBRC Team Building Event

Thank you so much to WorkFit U for working with EBRC on a wonderful team building event on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon. The WorkKit team showed their grit and determination, going from a group of wide-eyed, novice land-lubbers to a in-sync team of salty veterans of the oar – all in the course of an afternoon! Whether it was helping set the balance of the boat or getting the cadence of the stroke seat, their team was eager and willing to become a tight crew, moving the boat together.

To book some time for your team out on the estuary, contact EBRC today – we look forward to working with your corporation to have a great event.


EBRC has Strong Inaugural Showing at Head of the Charles Regatta

HOCR2012 EBRC - Women's 4+

East Bay Rowing Club made a very strong showing its first year at the Head of the Charles Regatta! Demonstrating the power and the potential of the club, two of the three boats entered through HOCR’s lottery system will be automatically entered into next year’s regatta based on their 2012 performance.

The women raced Saturday morning in the Women’s Senior Masters 4+ event, led by Pauline Velez in stroke seat. Passing a boat in the second mile of the course between the Weeks and Anderson bridges, the four finished 10th of 28 in an extremely competitive row. Congratulations to Pauline (4), Annie Mudge (3), Lisa Warhuus (2), Frederika Horton (1), and Elizabeth “Biz” Bernal (c) for such a fine showing!


Next up on the water for EBRC was the Men’s Masters 4+ in the early afternoon. Despite erratic winds, a mostly novice crew, and a broken collar on Luke Olona’s oar in stroke seat (which only became worse as the race wore on), the guys passed three boats through the course, finishing 11th out of 22 entries. Gina Gozinsky, coxing Head of the Charles for the first time, has definitely earned her merit badge. No one was as prepared for this course as she was, and it showed. Luke (4), Chris Groves (3), Devin Kelley (2), Charlie Noyes (1) and Gina (c) are thrilled with their results, and are already missing the balmy Cambridge weather.

EBRC’s final entry, the Men’s Master’s 8, followed after the Men’s 4+ in the afternoon as the sun came out and temperatures rose into the mid-70’s. Although they were passed early on by the 1st and 3rd place boats, the men held off all other boats with a clean row to the finish line in 18 minutes 30 seconds. Led by stellar coxswain Cait Hart from Austin, TX, the stroke pair of Paul Norberg (8) and Gil Gazda (7) set the pace at a 30-31 SPM over the 5K course, with rowers Ken Lutz (6), Luke Hunter (5), Steve Clark (4), Paul White (3), Nick Cawthon (2) and Jim Gotch (1) driving strong across the finish line and leaving it all out on the water.

HOCR, 2013, here we come!





East Bay Rowing at the 2012 Head of the Charles Regatta

EBRC men’s and women’s crews are headed to the 48th Head of the Charles
Regatta in Boston the weekend of October 20th & 21st! EBRC will join an
international field of competitors for the first time at this legendary event, and the
excitement in the boathouse is palpable.

Needless to say, competition for seats in the Men’s 4+, Men’s 8, and Women’s
4+ was fierce, and all of the EBRC athletes put forth their best efforts as the
coaches put them through their paces for weeks worth of erg testing and seat
racing.

Congratulations to: Pauline Velez, Annie Mudge, Lisa Warhuus and Fredrika
Horton – Women’s Senior Master 4+ (50+), and to Luke Ohlona, Chris Groves,
Devin Kelly, Charlie Noyes – Men’s Masters 4 (40+), Paul Norberg Gil Gazda,
Luke Hunter, Nick Cawthon, Steve Clark, Paul White, Ken Lutz, and Jim Gotch
– Men’s Masters 8 (40+), for driving hard and making the cut. The entire EBRC
team is incredibly proud of you!

Since its origin in 1965, the Head Of The Charles Regatta has welcomed the
world’s best crews to the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day
rowing competition. The race, named the “Head” of the Charles because of its
distance of 5k/3.2 miles, is the largest 2-day regatta in the world, with nearly
9,000 athletes rowing in over 1,900 boats in 61 events, and attracting roughly
300,000 spectators during regatta weekend. This year the 2012 HOCR will
welcome crews from 28 nations, 37 states, 383 cities, and 705 clubs – a new
record.

The 3.2 mile long course stretches from the start at Boston University’s DeWolfe
Boathouse near the Charles River Basin to the finish just after the Eliot Bridge,
and is renowned for the river’s challenging bends and bridges. Coxswains must
safely steer their crews under 6 bridges with the Weeks and Eliot Bridges falling
at sharp turns in the course, often resulting in collisions and near misses. Good
luck to all the rowers and to women’s team member, Gina Gozinsky, who will
participate in her first Head of the Charles Regatta as coxswain of the men’s 4+.
Watch out for those bridges, Gina!

The remaining Oakland-based members of the EBRC team will gather in the
JLAC boathouse on the 20th to support the racers with an erg test and will stay

to watch the webcast of the race on the big screen! Come down and join us to
show your support as East Bay Rowing Club (and the city of Oakland) makes its
mark!


Learn to Row Day : July 21st @ JLAC

East Bay Rowing Club is hosting opened its doors to the public on National Learn to Row Day, Saturday, July 21st, 2012. Visitors toured the boathouse, got a crash course in indoor rowing (erging), along with the basics of the rowing stroke and a brief overview of the equipment used and programs offered at East Bay Rowing Club. Despite the somewhat windy conditions, visitors got out on the water with a quick trip out into the estuary in an “eight” with an experienced coxswain and rowers to guide them. Looking forward to our next event in January.