i headed out to Lake Quinsigamond, and during the drive, I noticed the flags at all the car dealerships snapping in a brisk wind out of the north. When I got to the lake, there was a lot of chop and some whitecaps.
In a moment of foolishness, I thought that it would be a good idea to get some rough water practice in case conditions next weekend are less than ideal. What I actually learned is that if it’s blowing this hard and the water is this awful, don’t bother to go race. It was awful.
There were 8 of us this morning, so we had a coxed 4, a double and me in a single. We headed down lake with a hefty tail wind and lots of lumpy waves. This wasn’t so bad. At least until we got waked three times in a row. The last one was the worst. The angle of the wake was perfectly aligned to my direction of travel so I was rowing in it for at least a minute. I think I got maybe two good stretches of a thousand meters or so but the rest was just wave slappingly horrible rowing.
As we turned at the south end of the lake, it became clear just how bad the wind was. Just paddling in it as a crosswind was very difficult. We got lined up and started back up the lake right into it as a headwind. At first, I found I could not row with any pressure at all. It was all I could do to stay balanced in the confused waves at the mouth of the cove. Over about 5 minutes, I got more comfortable and started to get a bit of a better rhythm.
I passed the four and the double right before the narrows in a stretch of reasonably flat water and as we came around the point, the waves and wind hit me and practically pulled an oar out of my hand.
Around this time, rowing in motion decided that what I was doing did not resemble rowing closely enough and stopped reporting paces and stroke rates. Good thing too, because I was working hard to see anything faster than 2:50 as a split anyway. I bashed my way to the bridge and managed put some clear water between me and the other boats, but I was not havin. g much fun.
I continued north another 1500m until I saw the double turn back for the dock. With a feeling of relief, I turned and headed for home. Rowing with the tailwind and was a nice relief. It was still a real challenge to deal with the chop, but I was much more able to get into a groove and deal with the water going downwind.
Pit was even a challenge getting lined up with the dock in cross wind and chop. I basically slid out of the boat onto the dock.
It wasn’t much of a workout. I wish I had taken it as a rest day and gone tomorrow morning instead.
All together, it was about 10k of rowing which took about an hour and twenty minutes. Ugly. Just ugly.