Updated: Oct 17, 2018
2018 Tail of the Lake Regatta
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Event #7: Mens Jr 2x
M. Hoyal/J. Couwenberg 17:48.6 (10th/17 overall)
G. Diaz/G. Romero 18:50.5 (15th/17 overall)
J. Cooney/A. Anandam 19:59.4 (17th/17 overall)
Event #8: Mens Open 1x
N. Alinger 19:25.9 (18th/20 overall)
E. Shoemaker 19:35.5 (19th/20 overall)
Event #12: Womens Open 1x
C. Brown 20:11.1 (10th/14 overall)
Event #17: Mens Open 4+
Seattle Scullers (Shoemaker, E.) 17:36.6 (8th/8 overall)
Event #22: Mens Open 2x
A. Russell/D. Hissong 16:33.4 (2nd/8 overall)
A. Brown/G. Maggiore 16:38.8 (3rd/8 overall)
Event #31: Mens Open 4x
Seattle Scullers (Hissong, D.) 14:21.7 (3rd/11 overall)
The Tail of the Lake regatta marked the first time Seattle Scullers competed as a fully formed team. It was also an unusual weekend with Max and Coach Matt in Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympics. Our goals for the regatta were about attitude and presence more than anything else: hold yourself accountable, be professional, and row the best race you possibly can.
We faced certain challenges before the day of the regatta even began, as these things tend to go. Our shiny new fleet of shells had yet to arrive, so we were writing our equipment schedule around the two other programs sharing the Lake Union boathouse space. This meant that certain athletes would be rowing boats too small or too big for their weight class, racing against masters in open events, and racing with oars that they were not necessarily accustomed to. But is race day really race day without a few logistical obstacles to overcome?
The first flight of races was busy for the team--we launched 6 small boats in the span of half an hour. We had a lucky sighting of an eagle as we launched the first boats, an "omen" as we like to call it on the team. Nothing like some positive symbolism to kick off a day of racing!
The Mens Jr 2xs faced some difficult competition, and not just in terms of speed. 2 of our 3 boats came off the water with reports of several rogue crews who weren't following the traffic pattern, making it difficult for our athletes to safely navigate the race course. However, it was nothing we hadn't prepared for, all that was important was that we did what we could to keep our boats safe and began looking ahead to the next race.
We had some strong showings from our Mens and Womens 1xs. Tail of the Lake does not offer a Jr 1x event, so we had three lightweights racing in an open category against some much bigger and more experienced rowers. Looking at the results, we would have cut our field of competition nearly in half had we had not been competing against Masters rowers. For all three boats, this was a great opportunity to get an idea of their base fitness and skill levels in the 1x.
Evan and Nic both put up solid times, especially considering both rowers had few practices to get used to their boats. Due to some equipment breakage earlier in the week, Nic was racing an open water 1x, giving him a little extra unwanted resistance through the water. We expect Evan and Nic to race the 1x again before the year is up, so this race provided some helpful data to create their individual training plans going forward.
Cece had an excellent showing in her 1x. She was one of the few athletes on the Seattle Scullers team who actually got to upgrade her equipment come race day! An LUC member very kindly lent us her Fluid 1x for the day, giving Cece a better feel for the Fluid shell she will race at Head of the Charles this weekend. Cece rowed a tough race and fought her way right into the middle of the juniors pack. Pretty impressive for a lightweight sophomore, and lots more speed to be gained!
Like the 1xs, the Mens 4+ raced in the open category against masters rowers in addition to fellow junior athletes. Because of the steep competition, we kept the focus on consistency and rhythm throughout the race. And we came away with a solid time, one that would have put us right about in the middle of the pack in the Jr 4+ event. Not bad at all for a boat that had only practiced their lineup twice before race day!
The Mens 2xs brought the first sets of hardware for the day, finishing second and third overall behind a fast Seattle Rowing Center crew. Both these boats reported having had poor race pieces, mostly due to equipment issues. While the athletes were disappointed that they didn't have the opportunity to race their best race, we all agreed that it was exciting to know that even in the worst of times they were still holding their own against the best crews in the Seattle area. These 2xs will also be racing in Boston at Head of the Charles against a much tougher field of competition, and Tail of the Lake provided the ideal testing ground for the changes they've been making the past couple of months.
Last to race was the Mens 4x, with a majority of the lineup more or less hot seating from their 2xs. They were told one thing as they pushed off the dock and headed to the staging area: "Whatever frustrations you had with that last race, take them out on the oars." And did they ever! The 4x pulled a rippin' fast time 14:21.7, the third fastest 4x time of the entire regatta, and earned themselves a third place ribbon. True to form, as soon as they hit the dock the guys were discussing what they can do better next time to close the 40-second gap on first place. A tough race, for sure, but we've got the stubbornness of a team that refuses to quit. I'm confident that these athletes will put in the work required to close that gap as we prepare for the Coxed 4x event at Head of the Lake in November!
All in all, Tail of the Lake provided an excellent baseline for our fall racing season. We were able to scope out some of our local competition and hone in on some areas of focus moving forward. One message in particular bears repeating: the results are not always indicative of an athlete or crew's personal progress or failures. We can row the best race we're capable of and still lose out to ten other crews, and sometimes we can even row a terrible race and still cross the finish line in the top three. Medals are great, but long term progress is better.
What a great debut for the Seattle Scullers fall racing team. Onwards to Head of the Charles!