How Slow Can We Go?
Photo by Kaitlyn Gold
(From left to right) Jayne Goodwin, Sam McFeely, Rikki Oden, Ariana Gastelum, Penelope Gallardo, Kelsey Davis and Lauren Felske
The women’s team is working to place substantially higher than last year at Head of the American. This year, they are practicing different drills with low ratings to better their technique.
By Ariana Gastelum
This morning, varsity practiced in an eight apart from the novices around Marine Stadium.
In the past couple months, the team has mastered some very unusual pieces. It’s not uncommon to find the women rowing with their feet out of their shoes, their outside arm behind their backs or double-pausing during the recovery.
Today, the team practiced a new drill. Our rating could be no faster than…not a 20…not a 15…but a 10. At bow, I could sense everyone’s anxiety even with their backs turned toward me.
“Ian!” Coxswain Sarah Dresser exclaimed. “My cox-box is blank!”
Apparently, the cox-box could only detect ratings of 10.5 and above. For another large portion of practice, the team rowed at full pressure with a rating of 12-14. Keeping the set felt almost impossible.
When everyone gathered to discuss the last two hours, we learned the importance of practicing at a low rating. According to women’s coach Ian Simpson, rowing at a slow speed with power is more difficult than rowing with a quick rhythm. Once we are able to connect with longer recoveries, it will be significantly easier to row at a fast pace.
Although these pieces are tedious and frustrating, I look forward to improving and eventually mastering the low, capped rating.