Newman School Crew athletes are now in training after taking off in the frozen winter months.
This hardy group must set their alarm clocks for 4:00 am to make the transit to Community Rowing in Newton, MA, in time for a 5:45 am practice. An added obstacle is the late sunrise with the switch to daylight savings time. The sun is still barely peeking above the horizon, which can cause the slippery docks and ramps to be treacherous.
Nonetheless, enthusiasm is high with nearly 15 girls and five boys committing to the rigorous practices. Community Rowing's facility is a state-of-the-art structure that is the busiest venue in the world. It includes a weight room and a room with
46 rowing ergometers, a machine designed by two rowers that allows indoor training of the specialized motion of rowing, without the need to balance a wobbly shell.
"Mr. Childs and I hope to dovetail our hardest physiological training inside the boathouse on the ergometer machines with the necessary technical instruction and refinements on the water....in the limited time available before school starts, " stated Head Coach Tom Tiffany.
Rowing in the spring puts an even higher premium on technical proficiency with the blade, since the races are shorter than the fall events, and the cadence (rate of striking/minute) is higher and more demanding. In the fall Head-style racing the racing beat is usually about 30 strokes/minute. In the spring that increases to 34-36 beats/minute, and the intensity of power and focus is greater by many orders of magnitude.
"We are looking at the long term, big picture for Newman Crew, particularly in terms of the coxing talent. We have two capable coxswains who can steer the shells well now, but it is important to train more confident, assertive helmsmen and helmswomen to grow the program in the fall season," Tiffany confided. "When we get to the stage where we can have two or three even crews racing up the river, we will be a program that has come of age. You only get faster by racing, and the most intense racing is usually intrasquad contests."
Textile River Regatta in Lowell, MA on Sunday, October 3
Boys 4+ race is at 9:30am
Girls 8 race is at 12:45pm
Head of the Charles in Boston on Sunday, October 24
Boys 4+ is at 10:31am
Girls 4+ is at 11:59am