Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Christening at Mac 2×4

As mentioned at today’s practice the new Westdale Cox Four will be christened at the Mac 2×4 regatta on Saturday.    Tom and I are asking all the Westdale athletes that are participating at the Mac 2×4 to stay for the christening.   The christening will take place just after the awards ceremony and the awards ceremony will be at 11:00 am.

Please dress in your unisuit for the christening and you can wear any other Westdale gear that you have.  If you do not have your unisuit then see me Saturday morning.   I will have all the unisuits with me.

Let’s do everything we can to make the christening a success. Be on your best behaviour, represent the school well, and most of all represent yourself.

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Here are Westdale’s entries for the March 5th event at Ridley in St. Catharines.  Text me as soon as possible either if you want to race and don’t see your name….or if you don’t want to race, but see your name.

Kieran Ray-Daniels, Miriam Loukidelis, Meaghan Hines, Taylor Marof, Meegan Crossley, Madeline Battersby, Kenzie Brochu, Becca Henderson, Liz Li, Zaiga Barrie, Grace Heinbecker, Lucas Austin, Harrison McCann, Cooper Wylie, Kai Ray-Daniels, Sadie Boyter, Kat Ciupka, Katie Yungblut, Astara Truman, Sophia Stavropoulos, Lauren Gadsdon, Victoria Collins, Erik Heinbecker, Kieran Gargarello, Evan White, Hannah Kruizenga, Alex Jones

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Race location is in the atrium of the McMaster Student Centre.  Google McMaster Campus Map and the site will pop up.  Look for number 51 on the map–it’s pretty much right in the centre of the campus.  Please be at Mac 45 minutes before your race time, but all teams would love as much support as possible.  As Mike mentioned this morning, please have your Westdale racing unisuit with you for the boat christening to take place at 11:15.  If you don’t have one yet, please wear something with Westdale colours on it!  We want all Westdale rowers to be in school colours to welcome our new boat!!!  All rowers need to be there until after the boat christening ceremony.  This should be finished around 11:30.

8AM:  JR HS GIRLS LWT 135 #1:  Chloe, Kenzie, Meegan, Erin

8AM:  JR HS GIRLS LWT 135 #2:  Kate McG, Pam, Zaiga, Liz

8AM:  JR HS GIRLS OPEN:  Grace, Sarah, Miriam, Meaghan

8:40AM:  JR. HS BOYS OPEN:  Alex J, Alex N, Kieran R-D, Ahmed

9:20AM:  SR GIRLS LWT 135:  Sadie, Katie Y, Astara, Becca

9:20AM:  SR GIRLS OPEN:  Lauren, Victoria, Allie, Taylor

10AM:  SR BOYS OPEN #1:  Eric, Lucas, Harrison, Kieran G

10AM:  SR BOYS OPEN #2:  Cooper, Kai, Graham W, Evan

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Below are the teams for Mac 2×4.  If you see your name here and aren’t racing, please let me know ASAP.  There are a three of you who have entered, but are not listed below—there may still be a racing opportunity for you if we can find a fourth.

JR GIRLS LWT 135 #1:  Chloe, Kenzie, Meegan, Erin

JR GIRLS LWT 135 #2:  Kate McG, Pam, Zaiga, Liz

JR GIRLS OPEN:  Grace, Taylor, Miriam, Meaghan

SR GIRLS LWT 135:  Sadie, Katie Y, Astara, Becca

SR GIRLS OPEN:  Lauren, Victoria, Allie, Kat

SR BOYS OPEN #1:  Eric, Lucas, Harrison, Kieran G

SR BOYS OPEN #2:  Cooper, Kieran R-D, Graham W, Evan


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First, good job on this morning’s workout.  That is NOT an easy one.  It is as much a mental workout as a physical one…the lesson being, “how do I find a way to get through this?”  When most of you face your next 2K test, either at Ontario’s or the day after Ontario’s, you can take confidence in knowing that the degree of difficulty on this morning’s session was about as tough as it gets!

A couple of changes for the rest of the week:

TUESDAY:  Outdoor run—DRESS WARMLY IN LAYERS!!!  Let’s watch a sunrise and break the chains of the gym for a day!!!  The key to enjoying cold weather runs is to KEEP MOVING!!!

WEDNESDAY:  Mac 2×4 practice.  Bring duct tape and cardboard please.

THURSDAY:  Mac 2×4 practice.  Bring duct tape and cardboard please.

FRIDAY:  PD Day.  Optional practice 8am at the school.

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Hope you’re taking care of your leg muscles after this morning’s workout.  Massaging the quads, an epsom salts bath or three, as well as walking will help!

Not many weeks left, ladies, until we’re ON THE WATER!!!  For those who haven’t experienced it yet, there’s nothing quite like a flat water morning with the sun rising and feeling the boat speed underneath you!!  Here are a few things that are happening between now and then:

–the two remaining indoor regattas, Mac2x4 on February 27 and Ontario Indoor Rowing Champs on March 5.

–March Break is the week after that.  I will put together a land training program for the week we’re away.  I’m away for that entire week, so there likely won’t be anything organized at Leander.

–We will have at least one further week of training at the school when we return from March Break.  During this time, we will have a final erg test for those who didn’t do Ontario’s.  I will also have one on one meetings with you all to tell you what the spring holds for you.  Following these meetings, I will officially post the selected crews.

–Once we hit the water, I will be taking at least one week, possibly two, to mix up the crews with experienced and novice athletes.  I find this speeds up the learning curve immensely for the novices, and allows the seniors to re-find their stroke pattern.  Following that 1-2 week stretch, we will be in our regular crews for the duration.

–A few other things to take note of.  You are only allowed to row once a day, but we’ll be trying to utilize both morning and afternoon time slots.  Expect that you will have some mornings and some afternoons scheduled.  This should also help your sleep patterns.  There may also be some days you don’t row at all.  At the moment, we just don’t have the coaches or coach boats to be able to accommodate everybody for six days a week.  If you don’t row on a particular day, you will be expected to do a land session to keep up the training.

Any questions, please ask.

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Now seems like a good time to post about what we envision for the program, our coaching goals and where we want to get you to.  Rowing at Westdale is a competitive sport.  As such, the expectation is that you will want to row on the water in the spring.  Mike, Peter and I aren’t athletic trainers and this is not a “Get Fit Fast Fitness Class”.  We are rowing coaches and this is rowing training.  From now on, we expect that everybody who goes to training is there with the intention of trying for a seat in a boat.

There are many different reasons why you are part of our program and each of you have certain goals and expectations.  Our task as coaches, is to find the group that best fits what YOU want to achieve and what you’ve proven you are willing to give to make that happen.

We want to push crews off the dock who will be competitive in their races.  While we all like to win, the main point for me is that we see you race as well as you can and to create the best racing situations that give you your best chance to succeed.

The two biggest recipes for success in our sport are; 1) fitness and training, and 2) belief in your crew, that it contains athletes who have done as much work as you have.  So, while there is no guarantee that ‘if you do the miles you will be a champion’, I can guarantee you that if you DON’T do the miles, you WON’T be a champion!

I don’t know whether there is confusion about what the rowing season is and what leads to success.  Is there a feeling that ‘I can take it easy in winter and turn it on for the spring?”  Is there a feeling that winter training is optional and everybody makes a boat?  I hope not, because in most cases, crews are pretty close to being selected and the winter train is leaving the station.

I’ve been calculating overall mileages that you have done on the erg.  These mileages are COMPLETED long ergs (i.e., if you were doing 30 minutes and stopped after 15, that doesn’t count).  They also include 2K tests/competitions.  They do NOT include speedwork sessions.  I LOVE these calculations for two reasons.  A) it’s a built in attendance chart; and B), a reason close to my own heart.  I was never the fastest person in the group.  But I showed up every day and ‘put in the miles’.  We have a number of rowers here who fit that bill—not the best raw scores, but working hard, putting in the time to get better and ‘putting in the miles’.  WELL DONE!!!

Below are the top five in each of the women’s categories for straight mileage.  Well done!  I have the numbers for the rest of you in my book–just ask.


GRACE:  64,713 metres (9 ergs, 4 tests), TAYLOR:  50,074 metres (7 ergs, 3 tests),  ZAIGA:  47,764 metres (7 ergs, 4 tests), LIZ:  47,629 metres (7 ergs, 3 tests), KAT:  45,784 metres (6 ergs, 4 tests)


VICTORIA:  99,304 metres (11 ergs, 3 tests), LAUREN:  95,121 metres (10 ergs, 4 tests), SOPHIA:  74,388 metres (9 ergs, 3 tests), MIRIAM:  72,183 metres (9 ergs, 3 tests), ASTARA:  72,091 metres (9 ergs, 3 tests)

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We will be on the ergs Tuesday and doing a land session on Wednesday.  Tuesday will be either a 30 minute session or 45 minutes, depending on whether you are experienced or novice, with a few 300s thrown in if your group isn’t on the erg.  Wednesday, we will do House of Victory in the hallways!  Thursday and Friday are TBA, but note that I will not be there on either day, as I’m working in Toronto those two days.

I know you aren’t huge fans of the erg.  It is the “Buckley’s Mixture” of rowing—it tastes terrible, but it works!  Just ask anybody who set PBs this past weekend and this morning.  Their improvements….in some cases SIGNIFICANT improvements can be traced to their work done on the ergs.  We are getting better, folks…so it’s time to jump on the PB Express and ride it into the outdoor season!!!!