Here we are at my alma mater, Northeastern University. We were launching out of the NU boathouse and had stretched on the mats while we waited for our turn.
The weather wasn't quite what the forecasters had predicted the day before, which was sunny and temperatures of 55 degrees, but it wasn't too bad either. The officials ended up shortening the race course due to choppy conditions by the starting line.
"Ladies," an official in a launch called out over his megaphone to the 36 women's 8's that were corralling in the basin. "Do NOT come through the BU bridge!! It is not safe. Waynuff, turn around and remain on the other side until you are called to the start. We are rowing a short course."
My Crew had passed under the BU bridge into the basin during our warm-up because it had grown too crowded near the new starting line. As we began to turn around with the other 7 boats that went through, wave after wave slapped our boat, jostling us from side to side. Thankfully I ate a teeny breakfast that morning.
Once we returned to the other side of the BU bridge where it was relatively calmer, I happened to look up and saw a banner hanging on the side of the bridge that struck me as very funny:
I leaned forward, pointed to the banner and said to my pair partner, "Hey, FYI, it's a short course."
She started laughing. It was just a random thing to have hung up in a such a place. It wasn't very obvious, nor did it serve much purpose to the rowers or spectators.
The race itself was good, albeit a little choppy. I had invited a lot of people to come watch and was so surprised-- and pleased-- to hear my name being cheered at 6 different points in the race. I didn't think people would really come, especially given how chilly it was. Plus there were other fans of the team that cheered for the boat as a whole, so that was cool. It's much more motivating to race in such an event with encouragement.
I don't have any pictures of us racing yet, but I'll post some as soon as I receive them. We placed 19th out of 36, which we were VERY thrilled with. I have a hunch the team will do even better next year. The Northeastern Alumnae boat beat us, having finished 15. Even though they did better, I was happy to be with the Gentle Giant boat. I worked hard to get there.
After the race was over our cox'n was nice enough to take a photo of us in the boat:
I can't believe how fast the Head of the Charles came and went. 3 weeks of 4:50 a.m. wake-ups Monday through Friday... ugh. I'm officially retired for the season and have a LOT of work to do for winter training between now and April.**
I'm especially motivated to work harder than last year because I know the competition level will be significantly higher for next year's team. I loved this year's group and don't want to lose my position with them to ANYONE next year. Shorty or not, I'll turn myself into quite the force to be reckoned with.
So yay for a great team and even greater friends!
**Although today I'm useless and slept pretty much the entire day because, lo and behold, I'm very sick right now. This seems to be the new pattern as of last year... if I don't sleep enough for a long time between October and February, I get the flu. I didn't get a flu shot last year, nor am I able to get one this year either. I suspect that is the cause of my new vulnerability to it. Sucks. My throat is on fire and each time I cough, it feels like I am getting kicked in the chest. Thank GOD I have a vacation day scheduled for tomorrow.)