Good morning all–I only have time for a short post while Ellen is in the shower before we hit the road for Boston in order to compete in this year’s Head of the Charles Regatta.
I’m pretty excited about this year’s regatta.  Though it’s meant to be the crappiest weather that we’ve ever had in my years attending, this year we are going to have the strongest USRowing Training Center presence we’ve had since I’ve been on the team; and Ellen and I are going to be taking advantage of the 2009 rule change that allows Team Members to double up into Champ sculling and Champ sweep events.   Look for us:

  • bow #5 in the Championship W2X on Saturday @ 4:02 p.m. (USTC)
  • bow #2 in the Championship W4+ on Sunday @ 3:44 p.m. (Old Glory)

These races mean entirely different things for us this weekend.  This is the first time in our time together that Ellen and I have been able to race the 2X together at the Charles.  Back in 2007 we tried to substitute Ellen for my then-partner, Stesha, who had been hit by a car and couldn’t race.  We were denied then; and the following year when Ellen and I entered after going to Beijing, she wasn’t healthy enough to race.  But now, by some stupid stroke of serendipity, we’ve taken on a 2X entry without having planned to, and so we’ll be taking to the course in sleet/snow/horribleness and going for the win.  It will be my first time steering the course, but we’ve got a toe rigged in our double which I am pretty pumped about.
Fortunately I’ll only have to steer the course once, as we’ll have cox Evan Thews-Wassell (yes, he’s a man) on board for the W4+ to take care of all those “turns” and “bridges” for us.  I can’t lie: I’m pretty pumped for the four race.  Our line-up is pretty sweet.

(s) Brett Sickler: six-time national team member; two-time world champion; world record holder; Olympic alternate; 2009 team alternate
(3) Margot Shumway: three-time national team member; Olympian; 2009 USA W1X
(2) Megan Kalmoe: three-time national team member; Olympian; 2009 USA W2X
(b) Ellen Tomek: four-time national team member; Olympian; 2009 USA W2X

Let’s see if scullers remember how to sweep!  I am going to be rowing port side for the first time ever, since we have three starboards in the boat.  Margot and Ellen adamantly refused to switch, so I said I would do it.  A few sessions in the tanks and port is feeling at least as good as starboard ever did (I think).  Now let’s see if I can remember not to feather with my outside hand at a 30.

All of this fun “racing” stuff along with getting to see many old friends is going to make this weekend one to remember.  I can’t wait to get up to Boston and start the party!

See you up there–make sure to stop by the NRF tent and say hello if you’re down by the Eliot Bridge.

Long Live the Dream,