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Craftsbury Pair in California, NSR 1 Lead Up

18.Mar.2016 by Andrew Reed
Suited up for practice, in front of Newport Aquatic Center

Suited up for practice, in front of Newport Aquatic Center

Parker and I left Florida on a very high note after a very solid block of training where we saw good strides both in strength, speed, and boat skill. When we arrived in Florida we began a new training plan design by Dave Gleeson and Larry Gluckman. Though Parker and I were apprehensive about making large changes we have adapted very well to the new plan and have found his sweat-drenching lifting sessions to be particularly beneficial.

 

The trip to Newport Beach California, while a little circuitous, went smoothly.  We woke early last Monday morning (3:00 AM early) and drove Parker’s car to the Orlando airport parking, where we then hopped on a 7:00am flight to Seattle, the flight went smoothly and I did some reading, which was quickly disrupted by a showing of the new Star Wars movie.  A first viewing for Parker who enjoyed it very much despite a couple interruptions from a fairly large flight attendant passing out drinks.  In Seattle airport we did a quick dash to our terminal with a detour to Runway Burgers, whose prices felt more like runway robbery. We boarded or next flight and flew down to San Diego. From there we took a rental car and made a detour to take a quick look around Lake Otay and the Olympic Training Center.  Finally, we entered the home stretch and arrived at the Hogans’ house in Newport Beach.

 

The Hogans, John and Sue, are great.  They have welcomed us into their lovely home, which has been a perfect place for us to rest and also play with their three wonderful dogs: Merry, Henley, and Sammi. Additionally, they have treated us to some delicious home-cooked meals and a seemingly endless supply of hilarious stories.  Parker and I rowed with their son JP in college.  JP is a bit of a Newport rowing legend; winning Youth Nationals twice in the 8 and giving America its best ever result in the Junior Worlds pair.  Interestingly, while at Harvard, JP was my first major instructor in how to row the pair well. I remember morning sessions we spent doing release-to-catch drills finding that calm and confident entry into the water.  There is some sort of poetical significance that after helping me get my start in the pair, his family is helping Parker and I achieve our ultimate speed in the same boat class.

 

The training in California has gone smoothly.  We have been assisted by Steve Dani who helped us pick up our shell and allowed us to train out of the Newport Aquatic Center.  NAC has a terrific facility and while we initially struggled with the concept of tidal rowing, we have been able to get a lot of value out of both our steady state and more intense pieces.

 

In addition to training we have also been able to have some fun. We tried a bit of the local fair with Tom Graves as our guide; we hit a section of the beach that the Hogans affectionately called “the warzone,” although we found it to be rather tame; we went to Irvine Spectrum to watch 10 Cloverfield Lane in dazzling IMAX quality (a slight upgrade from the Bijou in Morrisville); and we were able to visit the JL Racing factory store and do some modeling as well as help make one of this year’s racing unisuits.

 

Leading up to the NSR next week we feel proud and confident in our speed and the work we have done. It can be difficult training in isolation, but the downside training separately has been mitigated by the awesome work we have done with our teammates. Back in Fellsmere we trained against Erik and Hugh, and on our last hard day we did some 2ks versus Willy and Steve, which really elevated our performance. Here in Newport Harbor we did competitive pieces with Tom. We know our speed, now its time to execute and find out the speed of the competition.

 

Lake Otay

Lake Otay

Hogan family dogs. Merry, Henley, and Sammy

Hogan family dogs. Merry, Henley, and Sammy

Another pic of the cuddle monsters.

Another pic of the cuddle monsters.

Pudgy the weight room pug

Pudgy the weight room pug

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JL Racing factory floor!

Fresh gear being made at the JL Racing factory store

Fresh gear being made at the JL Racing factory store

Steve's racing shell from the 2013 Chungju World Championship. Now being used by the US training center with GRP sticker still intact!

Steve’s racing shell from the 2013 Chungju World Championship. Now being used by the US training center with GRP sticker still intact!

 

 

 

 

Montreal Trip to Bassin Olympique

28.Jul.2015 by Andrew Reed

The athletes competing at trials and I went on a two day trip to train at the 1976 Montreal Olympic 2k course late last week.  We left early Wednesday morning crossing the border at 7:30 AM and made it on site at 9:30.  We rigged the boats and went for a light row to check out the course and shake out the cobwebs.  The course is 7 lanes wide with no warm up zone.  Luckily, we had the course mostly to ourselves aside from a few elite canoe/kayakers.  The course was quite flat, but for the duration of our stay there was a moderate to strong crosswind that made for tricky steering and some inconsistent times.  After some Subway and a short nap at the Hotel Le Dauphin we hit the course again for some 1250m pieces.  We broke into two flights: one with the 4x and a second with the 2x, 2-, and 1x, which made for some fun racing in the small boats.  At night we made a brief sojourn into Montreal for dinner.  After, a lot of sitting in traffic we made it into the city and ate at first place we saw, an italian restaurant named Da Giovanni, which had simple, but good food.

Day 2 of the trip we started out with a full steam 2k down the course.  The 2- and 1x went down the course against a u23 4x from McGill University followed by the 4x and 2x.  After the solid piece we went for a delicious breakfast at Eggsquis.  Before heading home we finished off the trip with one more hard practice of 250m pieces focusing on making the boat move as fast as possible over the distance.  Most of these pieces we did four across with a staggered start making for some tight finishes between the different boat classes.  All in all, our short excursion to Montreal was great training experience that brought us closer to achieving our goals at trials and we hope to return in the future for more solid work.  Enjoy the collection of photos below.

Early morning departure

 

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A view of the Montreal Biosphere from the course

A view of the course and grand stand

Dragon Boat drag racing

Dragon Boat drag racing

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More Dragon Boating

Gondala rower, sign her up!

Gondala rower, sign her up!

Canoers have great glutes

Canoers have great glutes

Trying to translate the parking meter

Trying to translate the parking meter… it was in english

Team dinner at El Giovanni

Team dinner at El Giovanni

Un pre-practice croissant for Monsieur Pierre

Un pre-practice croissant for Monsieur Pierre

The trials squad

The trials squad

One last look at the course before heading home

One last look at the course before heading home