Deadly Women (with Matt Fullerty)


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Capital Rowing Club

Check out my new rowing club, Capital!

The club shares a boathouse - the trusty Anacostia Community Boathouse - with other clubs, but this doesn't stop any of the fun. Rowing is every night Monday to Thursday which makes it really flexible, but I can't help thinking that my Oxford days were far more competitive. There are regattas that I'm looking forward to, but it's a bit confusing to have the people in the boat change, and your own position in the boat change, every time. I miss knowing where I sit! That's the price, I guess, for trundling down to the boathouse only when you feel like it...anyway, I ordered my T-shirt so I gotta keep rowing!

Last night I had to cox for the first time, though, which was a minor disaster. I make three errors, all of which I excuse for my novice status. It's hard enough to steer and put your arm in the air to tell the coaches you can hear them. Anyway, I had to steer around a battleship and go through a bridge, but I swung close to the ship, then crossed the river, basically not hearing the coach properly. Then we did an "all 8" only to snag some guy's fishing line from the bank quite spectacularly, dragging it maybe 100 feet, until he was calling out. I could see it stretched out, very thin and green-looking, along the river, and it must have snapped and flung back or something. Anyway, the next moment we're off and I was supposed to overtake the boat in front - a dawdling 4 - riverside, but it swung out and I decided to undercut it (rather than swing further into the river). My mistake. The 4 should have stayed close to the bank, but with him edging in the river, and with the bridge coming up, we had to "way enough" or "easy oar" as I would say, confusing anybody.

So what happened? well, they had to swap me out of the boat. Kind of humiliating! But they put me in as a rower for compensation I guess, but on the other side. I've never rowed starboard before! (bow side). As you can see, all the rowing terms are different between the UK and US as well, and that doesn't help. suffice to say, I took it easy (universal term) rowing strangely with my right arm, and made it back. I just wanna row stroke-side!

Anyway, it doesn't always look like this, but when you cruise steady after a tough piece of rowing, and the boat sits up, it can feel like this.

Where was that picture taken anyway, the Amazon?
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Aw, sweet boy, I'm sure you did *fine*! I've coxed on that river hundreds of times and I still snag those darn fishing lines! I mean, who wants a fish from the Anacostia anyway?!

    Someday (hopefully soon!) I'll move to the UK and you had better believe I'll be coming to you beforehand to teach me all about the backwards boats and the screwy terminology :o)

    -Mandy :o)