Well, that was AWESOME!
I am visiting Linz Austria, which is on the Danube river. So, while I when I was on my way, I googled “rowing club linz”, and remarkably, got a hit for Linzer Ruderverein Ister. More remarkably, the boathouse was 250 meters away from my hotel. Even more remarkably, after I arrived, I walked over to the club, met a nice gentleman, who hooked me up with another gentleman, who found someone to row with me this morning. The club is at the end of a 1km long inlet, shown with the pin on this view.
I met Antonis, a friendly greek expatriot physicist who has been working in Austria for the last 7 years. He was an very good rower, much better than I am, and has been rowing since 1992. We went into the boat storage area (which incidentally is a concrete bunker that used to be a military installation), and he picked out a beautiful wooden double for us to use. The boat was apparently used by the Austrian Team in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. It has been meticulously cared for since then because it felt stiff and light when we rowed it.
I rowed stroke and he was in bow.
The Danube is an impressive river. There is a significant current, I think about 4 km/h or so. So when we went up river Antonis tried to hug the bank, and then coming back down river, we tended toward the center of the river.
We rowed about 4 km upstream through downtown Linz to what he told me was the old boathouse location. It is now a private residence. Apparently up stream another few km is a world class 2K venue.
I have to admit that I was not thrilled with how well I rowed, In some stretches the boat was nicely set and running well. At other times, it was quite sloppy. I can’t help think that I dragged him down to my level. It was a terrific workout and a once in a lifetime opportunity to row in an incredible location, so I not going to get too picky about form.
Here’s a map of our row.
Here is the pace and rate
Upstream, against the current, our pace was around 3:00/500. Coming back down stream, we averaged about 1:50/500, My best guess is that we had about 30 seconds of pace impact from the current heading up stream and maybe 40 seconds of benefit heading down stream.
Here’s the view of the boathouse from the dock:
Antonis and the Olympic double
Tomorrow: I will probably go for a run along the river in the morning, then fly back to the US in the afternoon.