Around 2:30pm, I met Joe down at the Singles and Doubles Launch Area (SADL) by Riverside Boat Club.
He had already unloaded the boat and gotten rigged, so we were ready to launch and go for our practice run. Practice day for the HOCR is almost as fun as the race. There are hundreds of boats on the course, all trying to rehearse hat they will do and trying to get landmarks to look at for steering. The weather was great. Wind from the ESE about 5-10 mph, and really warm, nearly 70 degrees.
ESE is a nice tail wind. The SADL dock is about 1000m from the start. So on practice day, you launch and join the parade of boats going upstream on the cambridge side of the river. You do the 3700m from there to the finish, and then turn around for the long slow paddle back down river. The paddle back is quite relaxing, or maddening if you are on a tight schedule. The downstream course is very narrow around the turns and they closely control the traffic into them. You are marshalled by officials on the banks to tell you when to stop and go. You continue past the SADL dock all the way to the start area in the Charles River Basin, and then you can do a practice run from the holding area through the start chute and the first 1000m of the course which is a long turn to starboard.
Today, my phone ran out of batteries as we were paddling back down stream, so the map just shows the trip upstream and a little bit of the paddle back.
The intent of this row is just to get accustomed to the course. Last year, I got too excited and rowed it way to hard. This year, I was determined to do a better job of keeping it light and easy. Of course, I failed. I went just as hard as I did last year.
Oh well. It was a very enjoyable row and I felt a lot more energized than tired after we finished.