Interesting conditions this morning. 60F, raining, and a 10-15 mph wind from the North, gusting to over 20. I cartopped down to the lower Charles to row the HCR course again. I’m starting to get the hand of it, but I was still off the ideal line a number of times.
Here’s how the wind overlayed the course.
So, you can see that for much of the row, it was a stiff cross wind, but at times it was a tail or head wind. The toughest stretch was rowing upriver through the Powerhouse Stretch.
- Steady state r18 to r20
- go downstream about 8km, turn at the start of the HOCR course. Row the course upstream to the finish (about 5km), then cool down from there to the ramp (about 3km)
- HR cap at 157
- Work out navigation, technique and aerobic fitness
The trip down river was largely uneventful. There was tons of traffic on the river, but most of it was on the other side heading upstream. And the stuff heading down river with me was roughly sticking around my pace. I would have hoped to see a bit better pace with the tail wind sections, but oh well. The two pace spikes were basically me misaligning to bridges and needing to make some sharper turns.
The water got quite choppy toward the end of the powerhouse stretch and continued to deteriorate as I made the turn to go under the BU bridge into the basin. This seemed to be the time with the stiffest breeze, mostly a cross wind here, but it was trying to toss around my oars a bit.
I continued about 700m past the BU bridge to get to an even 8km, then did a wide turn to go back upriver in a roaring gale. As I approached the cambridge side of the river, I got a bit of a wind shadow and the water was also much flatter, so it was easier going. The wind was a bit more on my bow, so the splits suffered a bit. I was hoping to tone down the exertion level a bit because I was above my 157 cap, but as I was lining up to go upriver, I saw that there was a sculler about 50m behind me and he was gaining on me.
They say that as soon as you have two boats, you have a race. I don’t know if that is true, but I certainly didn’t feel like being passed, so I increased the pressure and tried to maintain the distance. It was hard. He was fast. And young. And fit.
He also stopped at the riverside boat club, about 1500m from the start of the HOCR course. I was a bit relieved, and surprisingly, a bit disappointed too. But soon, I had another challenge. There was an eight right ahead of me and they were sitting dead in the water, so I swung out toward the middle of the river to pass in front of the RBC docks. When I was a couple of boat lengths astern of them, they started rowing. I’m a man who knows his limitations, and I know I can’t out row an eight, but they looked like they were drilling, and the stern pair was setting the boat, so I pressed on. The cox apparently saw some motivational value and called for more pressure. Complicating matters was a bridge about 100m ahead of us. I decided that I should get the hell out of dodge and cranked the rate and pressure to get clear of them and the bridge. That’s the little band of purple.
After that, it was a long slow slog into the wind through the rest of the powerhouse stretch, and then under the bridge by the Weld boathouse. As I passed the Harvard boathouse, they were boating 3 eights. I think they were the heavies, but I’m not sure. I was hoping they’d head down river, but they turned in behind me and started churning upstream. Great. See the little band of green? That’s when I passed under the bridge, and was getting a bit of tail wind and just relaxing. Then I kept pushing the pace more and more to try to stay ahead of these monsters. I managed to make it to the end of the HOCR course. By then, the lead boat was nearly on my tail. The river is pretty narrow up here, so I pulled off to the side and had a drink of water. The first 2 boats passed me and I started rowing more gently upstream. I pulled off again for the 3rd boat a little later. Then it was a bit of a slog into the wind for the finish.
It was a good outing, even with the wind. The river is very rowable with a north wind, and learning all the steering points is definitely taking some time. I hope I can do this every Friday.
Tomorrow: Hard 5.5k on quinsig