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Green Racing Project Blog

Pair Racing: Senior Trials and Royal Canadian Henley

23.Aug.2015 by Parker Washburn

On the last day of July, Andrew Reed and I (along with the rest of the GRP heavyweight men) traveled to Princeton, NJ to compete at the Senior Trials for a chance to represent the US at World Championships in the pair (not a sculling boat!!).  We had rowed together for two and a half weeks leading up to the Trials and were very excited to finally test ourselves against some of the best pairs in the country.  Our event had five entries, which meant that it would have a full progression of racing (time trial, heat, repechage, and final) to determine a winner.  The trials began with a 1900 meter time trial on Sunday night, and we place 4th, but not far behind the other boats.  The next morning we raced in a heat in which the winner would qualify directly for the final and the other crews would be relegated to the repechage (second chance race for qualification).  We did not have our best row in the heat and ended up finishing 3rd; we knew that racing together would be a learning experience and we took several lessons from the heat and were determined to improve in our next race.  In a second opportunity to make the final, we raced in the repechage on Tuesday morning.  We tweaked our race strategy from the day before, knowing that we had to beat only one crew to advance to the final.  We finished second in the repechage (beating out the US lightweight pair), and earned a spot in the four-boat final on Wednesday.  In the final, we had a much more aggressive race plan prepared and we held with the leaders for much race.  In the end, we finished 3rd in a time of 6:34, behind the two crews from the USTC, the winning time was 6:29.5 and 2nd place was 6:32.  Our immediate reaction was disappointment in not having won the final and a spot on the national team, but we were also encouraged by the result.  In only 2.5 weeks we found the speed to compete with some of the best pairs in the country.

A few hours after our last race in Princeton, we loaded up the car and headed west to St. Catharine’s in Ontario, Canada to race in the Championship Pair event at the Royal Canadian Henley.  Members of the GRP and SBTC were already in St. Catharine’s and had a delicious meal of French toast and sausage ready for us when we arrived at 7pm on Wednesday night.  On Thursday, our first full day in Canada, we rigged up our boat and took a paddle to work off the car ride from the day before.  Canadian Henley is one of the most popular regattas of the summer and the racecourse is a packed with boat trailers and rowers.  Luckily, we stayed at Brock University (about a 20’ drive from the racecourse) and were able to escape a lot of the hustle and bustle between practice sessions and races.  Our event started with a heat on Saturday morning and final on Sunday.  On Saturday we lined up against crews from the Canadian National Team training center and pairs containing college rowers doing the summer racing circuit.  Weather conditions on Saturday morning were great; there was a slight cross-headwind but the water was flat and we were primed to race hard.  We had a good start and took a lead quickly.  By 750m into the race we felt very much in control and could relax and conserve some energy.  We won our heat and posted the fastest time of the event, which gave us some confidence going into the final on Sunday.  The good racing conditions of the day before didn’t last and Sunday was a real battle against the wind and water conditions.  A stiff headwind created a lot of choppy water, especially in the first 1000m of the racecourse.  We put together a solid race and were not deterred too much by the conditions.  We won the final by 7.5 seconds!  It was a great way to end a long week of racing.  After collecting our medals and loading our boat onto the trailer, we packed into the car for 10 hour drive back to Craftsbury.  Time to starting thinking about next year…

Here are some pictures from the final in Canada:

RCH Final

Leading in the final 250m of the race.

RCH Awards

On the award dock with the trophy and a new decoration for the dining hall.

Vegetables and beyond in the Craftsbury gardens

14.Aug.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

The gardens at Craftsbury are flourishing! Seeing them every day, working on garden projects with the other GRP women, it’s easy to take the nutritious beauty for granted. So I wanted to share some scenes of growing things and garden work, before the season passes!

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Kait and Heather picking herbs. The leafy green plants are flourishing with all the rain and sun we’ve had – pictured here is kale, dill, radicchio, beets, basil, parsley. Of course the weeds are flourishing too, but we try to stay on top of it as much as possible, and just staged a major weed knockdown yesterday (after this picture was taken…it’s a bit messy here) which helped a bunch!

Trees of kale

Trees of kale

Vibrant rainbow swiss chard

Vibrant rainbow swiss chard

 

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Bumblebees on echinacea flowers near the herb and vegetable gardens. If you’re in the area it’s worth walking by to see the flowers too!

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Heather clipping tomatoes, using the handy features of straps to store some extra clips. We clip the tomato vines up along strings to help support their weight.

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Stunning clusters of fruit

Cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor, such a treat!

Cherry tomatoes bursting with flavor, such a treat!

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Kait and Pam spot a big “sucker” – if we don’t watch out the tomatoes will try to grow into bushes, instead of the way we want them growing vertically. Careful pruning of the suckers prevents this from happening, but they grow quickly and often get away from us.

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One night the skiers decided to stay home and cook our own dinner, partially for the fun of collecting and preparing so many local ingredients – zucchini, kale, tomatoes and more, to go with fantastic hamburgers and homemade buns. Cooking for ourselves one night reminded us how nice it is that we are able to eat amazing meals at the dining hall, cooking for yourself takes serious planning and time, especially in a house of 12+ athletes!

Our house smelled amazing with so much basil

One day several of us skier GRP girls worked on the project of making pesto. First we picked the basil from the COC garden, leaf by leaf, then processed it with walnuts, cheese, oil, and garlic. Our house smelled amazing with so much basil around.

Fresh garlic piled up for processing

Fresh garlic piled up for processing

Liz on the food processor and Heather drying basil leaves

Liz on the food processor and Heather drying basil leaves

Heather, Kait, and Liz checking the pesto... have to make sure it tastes good!

Heather, Kait, and Liz checking the pesto… have to make sure it tastes good!

Heather samples the favorite snack of the day, fresh pesto on a walnut. Great fuel for our strength workout coming up!

Heather samples the favorite snack of the day, fresh pesto on a walnut. Taste = verified to be amazing! Great fuel for our strength workout coming up!

Liz clipping garlic scapes. The COC dining hall made excellent scape pesto when they were in season.

Liz clipping garlic scapes. The COC dining hall made excellent scape pesto when they were in season.

Raspberries and spider webs in the early morning

Raspberries and spider webs in the early morning

Wild black raspberries. It was the best wild berry year I've seen yet in 4 years at Craftsbury!

Parting photo of wild black raspberries. It was the best wild berry year I’ve seen yet in 4 years at Craftsbury!

 

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

 

A Week with the International Biathlon Team

28.Jul.2015 by Susan Dunklee

Tonstad isn’t a very big town. Tucked against rocky cliffs in southern Norway, it has a grocery store, a bakery, a peaceful lake, narrow twisty roads, sheep ranging through bucolic pastureland, and a 30 point biathlon range. It also has some very talented visitors.

The French biathlon and xc ski teams have become a familiar presence at the Sirdal sports school every July leading up to the Blink Rollerski Festival. This year another group of international visitors has joined them, a group I am grateful to be part of. We have been calling ourselves the International Biathlon Team.

Organized by the Canadians and Norwegian shooting coach Joar Himle, our small group has athletes from four different countries, including 3 world championship medalists. We are united by our desire to become the best biathletes we can be. We are here to learn as much as we can from the staff as well as from each other. Along the way we’ve been able to do some training with the French team and Norwegian women’s team. Tomorrow everyone will travel to Sandnes together to compete at the Blink Festival.

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Our International Biathlon Team, L to R: Matthias Ahrens (Canadian coach from Germany), Brendan Green (Canada), Nathan Smith (Canada), Katja Yurlova (Russia), Kaisa Mäkäräinen (Finland), myself, Rosanna Crawford (Canada), Joar Himle (shooting coach, Norway). Not pictured, Megan Tandy (Canada). Several pictures courtesy of Matthias Ahrens.

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An afternoon ski with Katja and Rosanna

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Running back to town from the shooting range

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Team relay drills together with the Norwegian ladies

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Agility and coordination drills

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Rollerskiing with Megan and the Norwegians

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Katja enjoying the scenery

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Rosanna hiking toward the famous Kjeragbolten rock

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The Kjeragbolten, suspended between cliffs 1000 m directly above the Lysebotn Fjord. This picture is actually from last year. After climbing out on this rock once and getting shaky legs, I resolved I’d never to do it again.

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Exploring the roads above Lysebotn with Katja and Kaisa. We saw patches of snow.

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An outing with the French to our host Frode’s farm

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The French men enjoying a volleyball match in their spare time

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Dinner!

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View from the sports school where we are staying