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.
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.