PS Head of the Hooch: E-Mail from a clearly (un)happy member

I always say that you should learn at least one thing a day, and this is what I learned at this years Hooch:

1. I really can row above 18 stokes a minute!

2. it is not advisable to look at your cell phone at the river's edge!

3. it is not best to keep one's credit card in the phone case!

4.  this is really a great group of folks we have, Rob gave me cash and Felix offered to give me his credit card because I couldn't get out of the parking deck with an AmEx

5.  we really are clearly happier rowers!!  Great Team!!

6. Great weekend of rowing by all!


Head of the Hooch 2017: success (except for cars and iPhone)

Records broken this weekend:

  • Dock master William started launching boats with a 90 minutes’ fog delay and caught up to normal race schedule by 3 PM (23 years of experience paying off). Thank you again for the preferred boat storage location
  • Tracy totaled 1 car, delivered babies till 4 AM, got rear ended in the other car, dropped her iPhone in the river (and her credit card with it) and still managed to stroke a perfect race in the mixed quad
  • Richard broke his own all-the-cookies-you-can-eat record between posting the fastest time in the Masters 4x and the 55+ 1x
  • Tim raced 3 races within 24 hours, placed 3rd, 7th, and 9th, and then drove the trailer home for the next 9 hours
  • Celia competed for 2 clubs in 18 hours, got one steering penalty and won gold
  • Avram finished in the top ten despite of only rowing with one leg (after losing important parts of his foot stretcher). Speaking of one-legged: Felix (together with Tim) posted 1:40 splits for the first 500 meters with a completely cramped up right hamstring
  • Richard S and Rob posted personal bests in the category of engine-room to boat-speed conversion thereby easily beating their results from last year!

All boats starting for CHaOS and with CHaOS members finished in the Top 10 of their respective event:

  • Celia: 1st in the Women 55+ (still not sure whether that result counts for Atomic or CHaOS)
  • Tim, Rob, Felix, Richard: 3d in the Masters 4x (best raw time of the event)
  • Tim & Felix: 7th in the Masters 2x (3rd fastest raw time in the 50+ category)
  • Richard: 6th in the 55-64 1x (fastest raw time)
  • Celia, Richard, Rob, Tracy: 8th in the Mixed 4x
  • Tim: 9th in the 55-64 1x (3rd fastest raw time)

Social notes:

  • Felix had a flat tire and no Fat Tire – even though the 4 months racing season is finally over and Tim now allows him drinking beer again
  • Friday night carb-stuffing-dinner at the AirBnB saw no leftovers and taught Richard that finding a grocery store in downtown Chattanooga is as difficult as finding an iceberg in the Caribbean
  • Dinner at St. John’s Restaurant was good but chaotic – at no fault of CHaOS. Thank you Tim, Rob, Richard, Richard, and Felix for the invitation, thank you Alex, Avram, Celia, Debra, and William for joining us.
  • Saw a trailer full of Tesla Model 3s – they do exist – despite of what the Wall Street Journal writes.

See you next year!


Italian Beauty - with a globalization detour

We decided we wanted a stern coxed 4+. Why?

Our cox Kylie with the future son inspecting the coxswain seat in our brand new Filippi 4+

Our cox Kylie with the future son inspecting the coxswain seat in our brand new Filippi 4+

Because we are family friendly.

If a club is fortunate enough to have great coxswains, the club owes them boats that accommodate their life (and hopefully our future rowers).

Finding a new stern coxed 4+ is easier said than done. Nobody wants to be old fashioned. We found one on the other side of the world - courtesy of the boatman of the Australian national team:


So here she is, our very own Italian Beauty - made in Donoratico by Filippi boats.

This boat closes the last gap in our fleet (and lets Hades rest in peace). We now have every boat class in every weight class.

Next goal: have enough rowers to row all of them at the same time.

Come and join us!

(Rowing) Mecca seems to be in Boston: CHaOS at the Head of the Charles

"Ours" results for the Head of the Charles are in:

Rick was the first to take the water: Event number 6 in the 50+ eights. His "Orleans" boat came in 55th out of 57. Given that they got a 1 minute steering penalty, that is pretty good - and much, much better than 2 years ago when their boat came in DFL. This year, he lived up to our club motto "look good and do not come in last". The many early mornings in the 1x and on the erg really paid off.

In Event number 8 (Masters 4+) the  “under cover” boat of Ken, Andy, John starting under the club “Orleans” came in 42nd out of 43 boats finishing the course. True to the club motto, they did not come in last. The pictures prove that they also looked good. Quite an achievement for never having trained together on a course as tough and a race as competitive as the Charles.

In Event 11 Richard and Tim came in 16th out of 47 classified boats. Knowing them, they will complain about the result. However:

  • They are 1 of only 5 entries who managed to break into the phalanx of ephemeral top clubs. They are only 75 seconds behind the Narragansett guys who have been winning this event forever (course record in all age groups) with the stroke man who beat us by almost 30 seconds in the 1072 meters of the Diamond States sprints earlier this year.
  • They beat our benchmark (Duluth) by 74 seconds. 2 years ago, they beat CHaOS by that much. This is an indication that Tim must have steered an almost perfect course.

Our "guest" women Stacy came in 6th out of 20 in the Master Women 4+ in the 40+ age group with Carolina Masters - an amazing result!

Congratulations to all of you!

CHaOS Challenge: in its second year and a BIG SUCCESS

Here the letter from William - organizer and Grand Master of the CHaOS Challenge:


Attached you will find the results of this year’s Challenge.  Congratulations to all!  The course was roughly 3,600 meters and a good start for the head regatta season.  Small regatta’s such as ours, owe thanks to the many folk who make it happen and my sincere thanks to:

  • US Coast Guard Auxiliary for their help on the water keeping the fishermen out of the course;
  • UNC Men for their buoys and their launch and helping spread the message,
  • For Harrison and his team from the University of S. Carolina for making the drive – Thank you girls!
  • Jordan Lake Rowing Club for the great breakfast table, water, and use of their launches
  • Crosswinds Boating Center for the use of the facilities, and buoys;
  • Urs Graf, who on vacation, helped with the course,
  • Claire Coffee for helping me on the water lining up the boats, keeping us on track, and help in general,
  • Reid Wilson for using his “outside voice” making announcements and keeping us informed of the race
  • Sheri, fresh from the World Championships for boat checks and gathering of race numbers after each race,
  • The rowers and coxswain’s,

And especially all the families who came to support their teams this morning!

If I did not name you individually, I apologize and thank you for your contribution!

I did not use Ernst and Young to verify the results.  Perhaps if I had, I would not have made an error on one event where I failed to deduct the handicap. (The 2x of McDonogh and Bukowski were the winners – Sorry Yuri and Micah).

Fastest raw time of the day goes to the UNC Varsity 8 of 11:39

Fastest adjusted time goes to CHaOS MM4x 11:11

Longest drive to the regatta: University of S. Carolina (Thank you for coming)

Oldest competitor:  Avram Gold (76) who looked great coming through the finish.

Youngest coxswain today was 11 and our youngest rower was 12.

Once again, my sincere thanks



Link to results

Finally independent: our very own trailer

All aluminum: lightweight, easy to handle, nothing to rost

All aluminum: lightweight, easy to handle, nothing to rost

And yes, the lights work!

And yes, the lights work!

CHaOS is finally independent. With our very own trailer we can race and row wherever we want whenever we want.

Travel plans (come and join us):

  • Head of the Hooch 2017 (medal to defend)
  • Diamond States Regatta 2018 (medal to win - one is allowed to dream)
  • Canadian Henley 2018 (see where Tim grew up)
  • FISA World Masters Rowing Regatta in Sarasota (see whether Felix will panic again in the crosswinds ...)

A big "THANK YOU" to the all the sponsors who made this purchase possible!

Running out of slings: why that is good news

The last few weekends, there weren’t enough slings to accommodate all boats that launched.

For a club that is only two years old, launching seven singles, two doubles, a 4+ and a 4x at the same time is quite an achievement.

Of the boats, 3 were doing 5 k race pieces, 2 were training for the upcoming head races and the quad gave two trainees of Coach Claire their first experience of the real thing after spending hours and hours on her simulator. Every rower on the water focused on something he or she wanted to become better at.

How did we get to this point?

The President’s answer (instead of a review of CHaOS 2nd year):

Long time coming: lost a rower, found a miracle

6 months after her birth, Becka’s daughter Maya finally was allowed to leave the Intensive Care Unit and go home to a proud mother and father. After several return visits to the hospital the great news was: Maya drinks – 80 ML– by herself.  We all consider that a miracle.

Becka won’t be able to row with us for a while. We are holding a seat open for you – and promise there will be one in 15 years (or so) for Maya, too.

Valor games: they needed a certain amount of CHaOS

In June, our friend and supporter Ashley Thomas from BridgeIISport again organized the Valor Games.

Our cox Kate was in charge of the indoor rowing event. Nervous, she was, whether she would find enough volunteers to accomodate all the veterans who wanted to compete in rowing.

CHaOS did not let her down. Nine of our members helped the motivated and enthusiastic athletes succeed.

Thank you very much to all of you for contributing your time!!!

PS: As the foreigner and a stranger to all things military, I couldn’t help but noticing that a Jew, a Muslim, representatives of all Christian denominations, and a few atheists coming from Scotland, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey, New York and other strange places all joined to help US veterans of foreign wars. Utter CHaOS.

An almost accident

2 boats with 3 old men pushing the boundaries of the traffic pattern had an encounter on the lake. Oars were crossed. One rower went for a swim. Nobody got hurt. Only a small crack in the splash-board of one boat.

The incident was analyzed. Report filed.

The other good news: the number of scullers wearing PFDs more than doubled in the aftermath.

Safety first.

We are not done yet – but getting there

With the new 4+ we closed the last gap in our fleet (see separate post).

With the new trailer – our very own trailer – we gained the independence to go wherever we want whenever we want (see separate post).

Our rowers went to the World Master Regatta in Bled and won medals at the Master Nationals in Oak Ridge.

Let’s hope the next 12 months will be as successful and safe as the last 24!

PS: We ordered more slings.