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Last Day in Newport

12.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes

Written by: Alex Spaulding

Newport really shined for us on our last full day of our training trip! We were blessed with great water and some serious sunshine!

Our day started with our first all singles practice of the trip! Steve took us out for some Lido Laps where we did a mixture of drilling and steady state. It was great to be able to slow it down and get some solid technical work in during our last day! It was just icing on the cake that we had some glassy water.

After our final siesta of the trip, we headed back to the Newport Sea Base boathouse for one last row. We were able to take out some 1xs again, which allowed us to take advantage of all of the little canals that the waterway has to offer. We circled behind Balboa Island (where we stayed during the trip) and crossed the main channel to finish the trip with one last Lido Lap!

After our PM practice, we said goodbye to our oars (which we conveniently sold to a local club), and thanked our friends at SoCal Scullers for having us! We then headed home and Chef Steve whipped up some gluten free protein-banana-waffles. They were served with syrup and a hefty dose of sarcasm – but they were DELICIOUS. 

We ended the night with packing, cleaning and some reminiscing about what a great trip we’ve had. It was really awesome to be able to sharpen our skills and check back in to confirm that we do actually still know how to row :). We are excited to be headed back to Craftsbury for 4 more weeks of winter training!

Till next time!
Alex (Spaulds) Spaulding   

12.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes

Sunday Funday!

Written by: Mickey Fili

What day is it?!?!? RAAACE DAAAAY!!!! After a handful of days of solid rowing we finally got to race!! We woke bright eyed and bushy tailed around 4:20am to catch our carpool ride by 5:20. We arrived at Long Beach Rowing Association to participate in one of their winter series 5k head races. Alex, Bridget and I raced the quad with a local club member named Sherri who steered an amazing course! Sherri is an accomplished sculler who won a silver medal in the Lightweight Women’s Quad at the 1998 World Championship’s held in Cologne, Germany. She was incredibly helpful, giving us tips and instructions to help us row as efficiently as possible. We finished at a blazing 19:01 over 5.2k, almost 2 minutes ahead of the next fastest crew! The water was smooth and clear even though we got caught in a bit of rain the last 2k of our race. Fortunately, the rain was gone by the time we cooled down inside on the ergs and dried off. We even had a couple of retired rowing pals drive up from San Diego to watch us race!

Sam Stitt (US National Team Alum, Georgetown + Potomac Boat Club Coaching Alum) + Laura Carroll (Northeastern University Rowing Alum) yelling at us to pull harder


After the race, we went and had breakfast at a Greek restaurant called Pietris Bakery with authentic food, coffee, and baked goods. Delicious and nutritious! Afterwards, we promptly took our afternoon nap to recharge for our afternoon session. Steve had us do a 30 minute erg and an hour lift to finish off our day.

Steve experiencing FOMO over a missed Greek Coffee opportunity
Greek Coffee!!!


Once we were home we had some pasta and brussel sprouts for dinner and watched the Grammys before another early bedtime! California dreaming of sunshine and blue skies for our last day of rowing!

Fast & fierce women!

Day 5: “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” in Newport Beach

11.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes

Written by: Bridget Schodorf

Day 5 started off with some 1-minute pieces in the morning. Alex and Mickey in a quad with Maggie and Julia were up against two junior men in a double. The row had some ups and downs in difficult conditions, but the pieces were good, and competition is always fun. I was in a single, working with Steve on my spinning ability, starts, and 1-minute pieces.

The morning started off dry, until storm clouds came through, and we rowed a bit in a downpour. At least it calmed the water down toward the end of practice (and rain in Southern California doesn’t last more than a few minutes, it seems). We decided to do a double a.m. practice. So, after we dried off, we headed out for coffee and snacks in preparation for our second workout.

A.M. #2 started with a core circuit and then a 50’ sweat sesh on the erg. As nice as it is to row on water, sometimes you just need a good long erg. Afterward, we headed home for a much- anticipated meal.

With the afternoon off, we decided it was time for some exploring!  Alex headed out to watch the Duke vs. UVA basketball game with a friend from LA. Mickey, Steve, and I jumped on our bikes and took the ferry to Balboa Peninsula, in search of fish tacos and coconut water—straight from the coconut. We met up with Julia at Bear Flag, a seafood restaurant Steve discovered during his last training trip. We ended the evening with a dinner whipped up by Mickey and Steve, followed by a viewing of one of our favorite shows.

Day 4: SUN!!!!!!

9.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes
Written by: Alex Spaulding

Day 4 of our trip gave us our first real dose of sunshine! It also was the first day that we started to feel like normal again. Days 1-3 were filled with some pretty energetic mornings and overly-tired afternoons. The first rows of the trip were a bit foggy-headed and lacked sharpness, but the group felt that this morning was a big change and all crews said they had some really solid rows!

The sunshine also helped. It was 60 and sunny during our morning row and we were quick to strip off our long trou and splash jackets in an attempt to soak up as much Vitamin D as we could. We must have looked pretty ridiculous (wearing only our unis) to the Californians who remained bundled up for the entirety of the row. But sunshine wasn’t the only highlight of the morning session. Mickey and I rowed a 2x together and were able to enjoy some flat water as well as the company of the resident 2x (Maggie & Julia) to keep our steady state engaged and productive. We took advantage of the flat water and rowed all the way out to the OPEN OCEAN! We rowed about 50 meters beyond the opening of the canal and took a look around at the open Pacific Ocean. While the water was relatively calm, there are still some pretty big swells on the open water. Mickey was having a blast, splashing her hands in the water and rocking the boat. Whereas I was “respecting the power of the mighty Pacific”– gripping my handles more tightly with each rock. But, I relaxed a bit when a playful seal started jumping and diving in the water around our boat!

After a long AM sesh (20k for the 2x and 17k for Bridgey in the 1x), we headed back to the apartment for the usual lunch and nap. Steve and Jen hit the road on the beach cruisers and visited a local chiropractor while Bridgey, Mick and I enjoyed some late morning siestas.

The PM sesh was another solid workout. Thanks to a resident athlete stepping in to row with us, we were able to take out three 2x’s for a few laps around Lido Island! Once again we enjoyed the sunshine and relatively calm water. However, day 4 has been the breaking point for most of our hands…. That’s right, the blisters are opening up. And. It. Is. ROUGH. Showers are becoming more and more painful, athletic tape is going faster than toilet paper, and rather than dealing with the pain of gripping, I rode my bike home with just my fists on the handlebars.

All that to say, Day 4 was a great one and it was capped off with a wonderful dinner, as Bridget fired up the grill for the first time and pumped out some DELICIOUS burgers!!

Till next time, y’all

Alex (Spaulds) Spaulding