Thanks for asking about the races.
Tara and I had a really good race, again, until the very very end. We led from the start and all the way through the race with our boat overlapping the women on our port side. The Carolina women were on our starboard and struggled at the start and were super slow. To their credit, the young woman in stroke had only been sculling for a month, so with Becka in bow, they did well enough to get out there and race. The other boat pulled ahead of us in the last 10-15 strokes and beat us by around 2 seconds, I think. They took up the rate a lot and just flew. I think more head-to-head and race-specific practicing would have helped us keep hold of our lead and power through at the very end. Tara and I never practiced a final sprint and only did a small handful of 1k pieces before the race. I did feel like I gave it all I had and that we rowed long and strong despite a really really strong head wind, but I think training harder doing race pieces against another boat may have given us (or at least me) the confidence to know that I had even more in the tank to take it up just one more notch at the end to keep the lead. Tara did a great job stroking--staying long and managing the rate like a champ. It was a good experience overall, and, most importantly, inspired me to have a stronger focus on winning (not just rowing for fitness and fun) for the fall.
Regarding being so slow in my 1x, I don't feel too bad since I only decided to race my single about a month ago and have only raced it one other time in the past 9 yrs. I've heard it said that nothing helps one get better at racing than racing, so at least I'm back out there. I think Tara may have had a bit more fire in her belly than I did and I know she was a little pissed that we didn't hold off that other 2x at the end. I did a personal best on the erg early last week and was consistently improving my 1km on-the-water time with each outing so I'm more encouraged than discouraged.
From their report, it seems Tara and Tim had a very fun time on the way up to the start, enjoying rowing in a 2x together for the first time every and taking an "eco-tour" through some tall grass near the grandstands to the amusement of on-lookers. Sounded like they had a great, strong, fast row until getting waked by a fisherman - a wake that went over the riggers and put a few inches of water into the boat, causing them both to crab and almost flip. Tim especially was really mad as this was such a safety hazard. I am pretty sure a lesser crew would have flipped over. Seems like it was only their composure and strength that kept them upright. They recovered quickly though and got back up to speed but didn't have enough distance left to take back the lead so the Kyles walked home with some more hardware.
The wind was pretty bad--up to 17 mph at one point according to someone I spoke with who also said the regatta had been called off before when winds reached 16 mph. After peaking mid-morning, it calmed down a little bit, so I don't think Tara and Tim were rowing in the worst of it. Otherwise the regatta was well organized and well attended with some very fast rowers. I'd definitely do it again. The Canuck couldn't have done us any better. She made it up and back without a scratch and drew lots of gawking from drivers in other cars.
Tara and I started our head race training this morning, doing a 5k SS piece at a 20 with a focus on consistent power, then did some shorter pieces to finish out the day.
I was thinking of putting together a list of fall races that were within driving distance so we could see who was interested in racing when and then use this info to plan accordingly.
The PS from Tim:
I was second to the line in my singles race. Tara and I were second to the Kyles (1/2 boat) , with about 200 to go , and we were just getting ready to sprint, when a fisherman zoomed next to us (we were in lane 1) , and we were swamped. Needless to say , the Kyles escaped, and it took us about 5 secs to recover, then finish. I was miffed.
Carol and Tara were ahead all the way till final sprint.