Pete, Dick, Mike Strong and I spent much of the last week up in St. Catharines, Ontario, for the 2010 World Masters Rowing Regatta. Pete, Dick and I were all competing as well as working at the Concept2 oar service trailer, which meant that Mike was often left holding down the fort solo. Luckily, he’s an experienced “C2 roadie” and ably handled the load until we were back to help. Thanks, Mike!
World Masters is a wonderful combination of competition and reunion. It’s a chance to see old rowing friends, connect with long-time Concept2 customers and meet new rowers, too. The races are “just” 1000m long—half the standard 2000m distance. On one hand, this means they don’t take as much time, but on the other hand, they are more intense! They are all run as heats, with no progression through reps, semis and finals. This saves a lot of time—they simply give a medal to the winner of each heat. Because the races are shorter and heats-only, there’s a tendency to sign up for more of them, encouraged by the fact that more races means more chances to hop into a boat with old friends. I was signed up for 7 races: 3 quads, 2 fours and 2 doubles. High wind caused the cancellation of two of my races; I ended up filling in as a last-minute sub in another, so I had 6 races in 4 days. Whew. It’s been several days and I’m still not feeling fully recovered.
The weather wasn’t ideal. It started out very hot, windy and dusty, then a cold front came through with a thunderstorm that forced a 90-minute delay of racing on Friday, and then high winds forced the abandonment of all races after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. But overall, the organizing committee did an amazing job of holding to their schedule of starting races every 3–4 minutes all day long. Impressive!
At the Concept2 trailer, we did the usual maintenance and repairs to well-used oars, and answered questions about everything from blade and grip options to the theory behind the new dynamic erg. Lots of rowers had a chance to try the latest prototype of the erg and we heard lots of great feedback.