Senior World Championship Trials wrapped up yesterday, and the remainder of the 2013 US National Team has been named. Among the Trials athletes named yesterday were the Women’s Four crew out of the USRowing Training Center in Princeton.
The Four is an interesting creature in Women’s Rowing; it is no longer an Olympic event for women, and so is somewhat of a lower priority for the openweight women’s program in the US. It is, however, an awesome opportunity each year for sweep athletes who have usually just missed out on the 8+ or 2- to travel, represent the US, and get some international racing experience. Anyone who has ever rowed the 4- knows that it is an evil, evil boat and one of the most difficult to make feel “good”. But the experience you get trying to find “it” is invaluable and monumentally character-building. US athletes who have taken their turn in the W4- include: Erin Cafaro, Esther Lofgren, Elle Logan, Adrienne Martelli and Kara Kohler, to name a few. Even I have done my duty in the W4- and, indeed, started my international rowing career in the BW4- in 2005. The rage fits it caused me are still legendary among my U23 teammates.
In any case, the W4- had a near-miss in recent history as it was removed from the international program after 2011 as per FISA regulations after a series of undersubscribed events at the World Championships. We in the US lamented the loss of such a surly but somehow-still-awesome event, until it was voted back in to the program this spring, which means the USA W4- is going to be back in action in Chungju.
Because the W4- is a non-Olympic event, however, the funding for their trip is only partially covered under the USRowing budget (like all other Trials boats). The women of this year’s Four are working hard to raise funds in order to get to South Korea and defend the USA’s World Title from 2011 when Emily Regan (now W8+), Sarah Zelenka & Sarah Hendershot (now Olympians), and Kara Kohler (now Olympic Bronze Medallist) won gold for the US in Bled. All of those women were racing on their first Senior National Team, and all of them will tell you that their experience racing the W4- that summer helped them prepare for 2012 and beyond.
Please consider donating to support these four women who will continue to be a part of the US Women’s legacy during the build up to Rio. They have all the potential to bring home a medal for the US from Chungju this summer, but need your help to get there. They have already raised a significant portion of their goal – can we help them get the last 25%?
Any amount helps – thank you from me, and from your 2013 USA W4-.
Long Live the Dream,