NSR 1: Day one completed!

Special. That’s a word for today.
Despite all the chatter about the weather, my racing schedule was only slightly affected–positively, in fact, as I ended up racing my night time heat about 30 minutes earlier than the original time. Speed order events, however, were not so lucky (M2-, M2X, LM1X, LW1X, LM2-) and their racing for this afternoon was canceled.
Overall, a good day of racing and a good test of people’s ability to handle schedule changes, last-minute decisions, and some…interesting… conditions on the course. A rundown from this morning:

I came second in the time trial to Kate Bertko. I have been struggling on finding a good base rhythm and maintaining length while racing the single, so I thought this morning was a good step in the right direction, especially given my distaste for bad water. The conditions on the course were on the edge of being unrowable, with a building tail wind that produced some impressive white capping swells in the last 500. People seemed to be in good spirits, regardless of the weather and all it brought to this morning’s results… even the folks in VanDusens which seemed to win the prize for “most water taken on” today. And that’s saying something from a Fluidesign girl.
Anyway, we came back this evening not sure what to expect as I pulled in to a full 2k course of white caps rolling by at Lake Mercer around 4:30. By a little after 5:00 the water was calming, and USRowing had decided to call the speed order events in order to prioritize the NSR 1 events (M1X and W1X), looking for any possible window to run the six races. We didn’t have to wait long, and started racing a little after 6:15pm to conditions that we thought might be comparable to or even better than the course this morning.
Wrong again! The third 250 on the course was a bit like… well, I’m not sure there is much that compares to trying to row at a 32 in that. All I kept thinking was “get through these 40 strokes and just keep moving away. All you have to do is keep moving away. Everyone has shitty water, just keep your hands moving–and don’t snag that buoy. Or that one…” It got crazy fast, and I went from the middle of the lane to the starboard buoy line in about one stroke. The Fluid is not really a rough-water boat (as I have announced to almost every crew racing at NSR 1 at one point or another).
I had a nice row for the first two thirds of the race–then got a little flustered by a crab after the 1000 and didn’t recover in my usual suave, classy style (though I did refrain from screaming profanity this time). I slipped back through the last 750 and came 2nd to advance to tomorrow’s semi.

A big thank you goes out to the dock master staff, and the W1X competitor who had the misfortune of being on the dock as the same time as me while I was attempting to launch for the heat this evening. I thought after putting my oars into the oarlocks that my boat would stay on the dock while I sprinted back into the boat bay to retrieve my water bottle… wrong. On my return sprint, I saw my boat starting to blow off the dock and as I was hauling ass across the apron, frantically screaming “NO NO NO NO!” my hat blew off, while my calf guards simultaneously fell down, whilst my hands were flailing in the air (we’ve all been there). This girl did a flying leap from a seated position in her single across the dock to grab my oars and spare me the agony of having to jump in after the damn thing. So thank you… I didn’t get a chance to thank you in all of my self-created mayhem.  And you’re welcome to all who witnessed and were entertained by my idiocy.

Time to put on the Al Green and wrap it up for the night, people. Up again at 4 for some more early racing. Possibility of running Finals tomorrow afternoon if the forecast for Saturday remains poor.

Great job to all racers for coming across the finish line upright and alive today. More antics tomorrow, of course. This is NSR 1, after all.

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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