Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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CSSRAs: From a Former Coach

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Mike, Tom, and Peter have kindly allowed me to write a¬†post to all of you in light of the upcoming CSSRA races this weekend, so here it goes ūüôā :

Throughout this past year I’ve had the privilege of seeing the blog updates from Mike and Tom in regards to your hard work, training, and racing results. It’s been incredibly awesome (in the true “awe inspiring” sense of the word) to see how much you’ve all developed athletically and progressed.

I’ve missed coaching you at Westdale, but I know that this year’s team has been doing a great job – both the athletes and the coaches. As you move into your final regatta of the school year, I want to leave you with this:

You’ve worked so hard for this. For many of you, you’ve been training multiple years for this. “Good luck” is something that I could say, but I reckon that “luck” is not as important as executing what you already know and have been trained for. You KNOW¬†what to do. Go do it. Make it yours. And have fun. ūüėČ Knowing that you’ve left everything you could on the water after rowing to the best of your capabilities as a team is the most important thing. Yes, even more than your final numerical placement on a scoreboard.

I’ll be cheering for¬†you, across a different kind of pond, in a slightly different continent. My heart is at the regatta this weekend.

Miss you all… and sure, I’ll still say it: GOOD LUCK!!!

(Former Westdale Rowing Coach 2006-2015)

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CIRC Waivers

Everyone under the age of 18 must have a waiver form completed  to be able to compete this Sunday.   This is an online form that must be completed by a parent or guardian.

The form can be found at:  https://waivers.regattacentral.com/circ2016/athleteSearch.jsp

If you have trouble completing this form it is likely that I have transcribed your birthday incorrectly, or you have given me a nickname or short form name.  Please send me an email (coachroche@bell.net) with your name and correct birthdate.  I will update the roster.  Please do not leave this till Saturday, complete it by Friday.

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CIRC Entries – Need ‘Em

I have very few confirmed entries for CIRC and the entries are due Friday, January 29th 2016 at 5:00 PM EST.   This means that if I do not have the entry in the system by that time you will need to make a late entry the day of the regatta.   This also means that I need your entry by Thursday, January 28th.

I am asking each of you to confirm your racing entry.   If you are not racing then please do NOT email me.  I only need confirmations from those racing.

I need an email sent to coachroche@bell.net with the following standard format:

Subject: <insert your name here> confirmation for CIRC

Body of the email must contain:
Name: <insert your name here>
Event: <one from the list below>
Date of Birth: <insert your DoB>

Please ensure that you give your name.   It  speeds the process.  Many times I have no idea who an individual is solely from the email address.

Note:  Jr B is essentially grade 9 and 10.  (16 or under as of December 31, 2016).
Junior A is grade 11 and 12.  (18 or under as of December 31, 2016).

9am/915am: Jr B Lightweight girls (135 and under)
9:30am:  Jr B Lightweight Boys (165 and under)
9:45am:  Jr. B Girls
10am:  Jr. B Boys
10:15am:  Coxwains
11am/11:15am:  Jr. A Lightweight girls (135 and under)
11:30/11:45am:  Jr. A Girls
12/12:15pm:  Jr. A Lightweight boys (165 and under)
12:15/12:30pm:  Jr A boys

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Tentative schedule for 2016 Leander Indoors.

Event times may change one the race draw is drafted.

Event # Time of Race Start Race Distance Compressed Event Info.

3 8:30:00 AM 2000m 8:30 3 Open/U23 165 Men

4 8:45:00 AM 2000m 8:45 4 Open/U23 135 Women

5 9:00:00 AM 2000m 9:00 5 Open/U23 Women

6 9:15:00 AM 2000m 9:15 6 Open/U23 Men

1/2/7/8/21 9:30:00 AM 1000m 9:30 Rec. & Masters Women/Men, Coxswains


9 10:00:00 AM 2000m 10:00 9 Jr. HS Men

10 10:15:00 AM 2000m 10:15 10 Jr. HS Women

11 10:30:00 AM 2000m 10:30 11 Jr. HS 150 Men

12 10:45:00 AM 2000m 10:45 11 Jr. HS 150 Men

13 11:00:00 AM 2000m 11:00 13 Jr. HS 135 Women

14 11:15:00 AM 2000m 11:15 14 Jr. HS 145 Women

14 11:30:00 AM 2000m 11:30 14 Jr. HS 145 Women


15 12:15:00 PM 2000m 12:15 15 Sr. HS 150 Men

16 12:30:00 PM 2000m 12:30 16 Sr. HS 165 Men

17 12:45:00 PM 2000m 12:45 17 Sr. HS 135 Women

18 1:00:00 PM 2000m 1:00 18 Sr. HS 145 Women

19 1:15:00 PM 2000m 1:15 19 Sr. HS Women

20 1:30:00 PM 2000m 1:30 20 Sr. HS Men

Leander Boat Club

Indoor Rowing Championships 2016

Note: This is a tentative schedule. Event times may change one the race draw is drafted.


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LBC Indoors 2016 – Details

Over the next few days I will be asking each of you whether you are committed to racing at the LBC Indoors.  The list of race categories are given below.  These are based on age and weight.   The Junior (Jr) category is generally grades 9 and 10 and Senior (Sr) is grades 11 and 12.   However, I will need birth dates to confirm what you can enter.

Race Date: Saturday January, 16th
Entries Due: Wednesday January 13th.   Please note this date.  I will need confirmation the morning of Wednesday the 13th

If you are under 18 you must have a parent or guardian sign an Informed Consent Form and bring it to the race.   Just select the link in the previous sentence.

Here is the list of events.   The number in the categories are the weight required in the event.   You must be under that weigh to race in the event.

Junior HS Men
Junior HS Women
Junior HS 150 Men
Junior HS  165 Men
Junior HS  135 Women
Junior HS  145 Women
Senior HS  150 Men
Senior HS  165 Men
Senior HS  135 Women
Senior HS  145 Women
Senior HS  Women
Senior HS  Men
Coxswain’s Crawl (1000M)

The final race schedule will not be available until next week.



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2015/2016 Indoor Rowing Fees and Unisuit Order

If any of you have trouble with paying the unisuit cost or racing fees then please see me (Coach Mike).    I will work with Carolyn Craven (teacher rep) to accommodate you.   No athlete will be prevented from rowing due to financial issues.

It is time to order the team racing unisuits and I will be collecting details from each of you this week (namely size).¬†¬† The unisuit is the only mandatory item of clothing you need.¬†¬† You will need to wear it each of the regattas both indoor and outdoor. I do have sample unisuits to verify size.¬†¬† Not a lot of women’s unisuits so for some sizes you may need to guess.

In the New Year we’ll be collecting fees for the indoor racing season.¬†¬†¬† So you do not have to pay for regatta fees until after Christmas.

However, I will request that if you indicate that you need a unisuit then please ensure that you are firmly committed to racing.   I will be asking each of you to provide me with a cheque (or cash) for the unisuits.    The team has been left with a number of unclaimed (and unpaid) unisuits which represents a big hit to our reserve funds.    You can pay me between now and the Christmas break.

I am also arranging with RegattaSport for optional clothing such as tights, long sleeved shirts, rowing jackets, etc.   The details will be posted when I received them.

The team is scheduled to attend 4 indoor regattas (dates to be published next week) and each of the regattas has entry fees.   The fees are in the $10 to $15 dollar range.    There is also an additional cost for the planned indoor tank sessions in March.    Here is a breakdown of costs for the regattas.

Canadian Indoors – $15

Hamilton Indoors – $10

Ontario Indoors – $15

McMaster 2×4 – $10

Total regatta fees are approximately $50.

The rental fees for the tank are approximately $30 per person.   This brings us to $80.

This means $85 for racing fees plus $85 for unisuit .¬†¬† Total is $170.¬†¬†¬† For those with unisuits already the cost is $80.¬†¬† Some of you will ask if you can prorate the racing fees which means that you only want to attend certain regattas.¬†¬† This is okay but please ensure that the coaches are aware.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† I will strongly encourage everyone to plan on racing at the Hamilton Indoors and McMaster 2×4.¬† These are both held locally and the McMaster 2×4 is an extremely fun but highly intense regatta.



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Saturday – CSSRA Times & Recap

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

Today was a tough day of racing: the first day is when we meet our competition (from across the continent!) and determine conditions for our heats. The changes in wind direction (from tail to cross to head) definitely tested our crews, but everyone pushed despite the weather.

We have two crews from today’s races that have proceeded to Saturday’s Semifinals: the Sr. Men’s 1x and the Sr. Men’s 4x. We had some close calls as well, with a few boats missing the semis by just 0.6 seconds or 2.6 seconds, but we pushed hard and we’ll now look forward to doing our best¬†tomorrow and cheering hard for other crews that are just starting their competitions.

Without further ado, here are Saturday’s Racing Times:¬†
Sr. Women 63kg 8+ – Heat 1 @9:52am
Jr. Men 1x – Heat 1 @10:55am
Jr. Women 63kg 8+ – Heat 2 @11:44am
Sr. Men’s 1x Semifinal – 12:40pm OR 12:47pm (TBD by draw)
Sr. Men’s 4x Semifinal – 2:04pm OR 2:11pm (TBD by draw)
Jr. Women’s 4x – Heat 1 @3:42pm
Sr. Women’s 8+ – Heat 2 @5:27pm

Women’s Arrival Times:
Mike has already spoken with crews about your arrival times. Coxswains and Midweight crews must arrive earlier to weigh-in with Mike. Women’s crews that race later in the day should either arrive in time for the first race (9:52am) or at least 3 hours before your race if you’re racing at the end of the day (Sr. Women’s 8+).

Men’s Arrival Times:
Jr. Men’s 1x (Erik) – 8:55am
Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke) – 9:40am
Sr. Men’s 4x (Max & Kieran *others already there) – 10:45am

Athletes that aren’t racing on Saturday should plan to arrive by 9:30am in order to cheer on the team in the first race of the day.

See you all in the morning,

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Friday – CSSRA times

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

The time has come! It’s the day before the races. The boats are rigged, washed, and ready to go. The blades are set. You should all feel confident that you’ve done absolutely everything you can to prepare for the regatta – because you have. As coaches, we know that you’re ready for this.

As it is a Westdale tradition, I’d like to leave you all with two short clips to watch before your races. Remember: this is your time. Go out there, give it your best, and have fun. Anything is possible.



…bring your passion, bring your spirit, and bring your A-game. You CAN do this.

Now, for the arrival & race time information:
General Info:
-Weigh ins are open from 7-11am. You ONLY weigh-in on the day(s) that you are racing.
-Coxswains must weigh-in with their coach (or crew, if applicable)
-All athletes must bring current, valid student ID or photo ID (driver’s license, passport), team unisuit, sunscreen & water
-It is strongly recommended that athletes bring a tent or place to stay in the shade
-Additional information is listed here

Arrival Times for Athletes that ARE NOT racing on Friday = 9:30am
We ask that all athletes that have Friday “off” from racing arrive at the course by 9:30am. This is to support and cheer on the other crews racing, in time for the first race of the day (the Sr. Men’s Double). For the women’s team, this includes anyone racing in the eight races (Jr/Sr/Mid/Open) and in the quad

Arrival Times for Racing Athletes: *if you agreed to bring food, please ensure the food arrives for its deadline too
Sr. Men’s 2x (Max & Kieran) – 7am
Jr. Women’s 4+ (Stephanie, Tristan, Kate, Drew, Hannah) – 8am
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (JJ & Cooper) – 9:50am *in time to cheer on the Sr. Men’s 2x race
Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke) – 11am
Sr. Women’s 4+ (Arnaud*, Lauren, Allie, Victoria, Taylor) – 11am *Arnaud will arrive earlier to weigh-in with Mike
Sr. Men’s 4x (Erik *others have already arrived) – 12pm/noon
Sr. Women’s 1x (Madison) – 1pm
Jr. Men’s 2x (Harrison & Lucas) – 1:30pm
***times listed indicate the LATEST time by which you should arrive. Athletes are always welcome to arrive earlier to support and cheer on the other crews***

A reminder that food should be brought to the Parents’ Tent by the time indicated on the sign up sheet here.

Official Race Times:
Sr. Men’s 2x – Heat 5 @9:54am
Jr. Women’s 4+ – Heat 1 @10:03am
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x – Heat 1 @12:02am
Sr. Men’s 1x – Heat 3 @1:19pm
Sr. Women’s 4+ – Heat 1 @1:33pm
Sr. Men’s 4x – Heat 3 @2:50pm
Sr. Women’s 1x – Heat 2 @3:11pm
Jr. Men’s 2x – Heat 5 @4:42pm

Final Notes: Jackets will be distributed tomorrow at the races. City Champs medals will be awarded at our year-end party (yes, the medals have arrived!), and the 70th Anniversary CSSRA pins will also be distributed at our year-end party to athletes competing at this year’s CSSRAs.

That’s all, folks. See you all tomorrow on the Island.



CSSRA Championships – Full Information

Dear Westdale Rowers,

You’ve made it! We’re now heading into the final few days before our biggest regatta of the season, the¬†Canadian Secondary School Rowing Championships, hosted by the Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association (“CSSRA”).

Now that the races are just a few days away, I’m posting some very important information about the training, racing, and year-end party.

Please see an overview of what to expect at CSSRAs by clicking here: CSSRA Champs – Info for Parents & Athletes

*Extremely Important* As explained in the document, Dina Gadsdon (parent rep) has been coordinating the food signup for the Parents’ Tent. If each family can sign up for approximately $30-40 worth of food, then food costs for the full weekend will be covered. You can sign up to contribute food items by clicking here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19QGcBLPnAkXrf_mbyEYnfRKv3XYEnkdfTfHKK-9JvIA/edit?usp=sharing

Any questions regarding food signup (explained in the Parent Info document) should be sent to Dina Gadsdon (Dina’s contact info is also listed in the info document).


1) De-rigging on Wednesday, June 3rd
All boats must be derigged on Wednesday morning and loaded on the trailer following practice.

For the Men’s Team:
The following boats must be derigged & loaded on Wednesday AM:
-Ad Astra (Luke/Max/Kieran/Erik)
-Stocks (Max/Kieran/HSC athletes)
-Justice (Harrison/Lucas/JJ/Cooper)

The following boats can be derigged anytime before Thursday’s practice in St. Catharines:
-Gadsdon 1x *must be car-topped (practicing on Thursday AM)
-Heinbecker 1x *must be car-topped

2) Thursday Practice (June 4th):
All athletes racing CSSRAs are expected to attend Thursday’s practice in St. Catharines, unless otherwise discussed with a coach.¬†All athletes should meet me (Alessandra) at 11:00am at the entrance to the football field at the back of Westdale Secondary School. We will then take attendance & board the bus. I’ll be supervising the bus ride, and the other coaches will meet us there. For liability reasons, all athletes are expected to take the bus.

Practice Plan:
-Arrive, rig boats & clean, eat lunch
-Session 1 (approx. 1-2:30)
-Debrief & snack
-Session 2 (approx. 3-4:30pm)
-Debrief & pack up
*Each session enables crews to go in primary and secondary boats. Session time includes warmup, cooldown, and stretching. If you only have one boat to practice in on Thursday, then please bring extra homework/etc.

You must bring:
-food (bring a lunch & LOTS of snacks – we’ll be at the course from 12-5pm)
-change of clothes
-workout/training clothes (ideally NOT showing Westdale colours ‚Äď it‚Äôs a tradition to wear non-school clothing so that other crews can‚Äôt tell which school you‚Äôre from until the day you race)
-yourself, on time (11am)

Practice rules & regulations can be found here, but I’ll review them with all crews before the practice: http://www.cssra.ca/#/practice-times-procedures/4564679972

3) Preliminary Race Draw:
The preliminary race draw has not yet been posted, but will be made available soon on the CSSRA website. Please check the main website to find a copy of the draw once it’s posted by clicking here: http://www.cssra.ca/

4) Weigh-Ins & Race Procedures:
Weigh-in times for coxswains & lightweights can be found here: http://www.cssra.ca/#/weigh-in-rules/4564679539
Race procedures and course patterns can be found here: http://www.cssra.ca/#/cssra-rules-of-racing/4564680197

You must bring your unisuit, student ID (or photo ID with date of birth), food/water, sunscreen, and change of clothes. We also recommend that you bring a tent or place to rest in the shade. Arrival times for crews will be posted on Thursday, June 4th, once the race draw has been finalized.

Our End-of-Year Party will take place at 7pm at the Westdale Kelsey’s on Main St. West (across from the school) in the downstairs party room (basement section). All athletes and parents are invited. This includes athletes that practiced in afternoons OR mornings, injured athletes, and/or rowers that have already completed their season with the City Champs. The event is for everyone.¬†

We will be handing out the following awards (***oooooh, ahhhh, awards!***) at the party:
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Men’s & Women’s Rookie of the Year

We will also be announcing any relevant information concerning Summer Rowing & Heart and Stroke Rowing opportunities.

See you all on Monday morning,

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City Championships (Race Draw & Parent Info), Crew Dinner, Swag, and CSSRAs

Hi Rowers & Parents,

There’s a lot of information in this post, so please bear with me:

City Championships Info:
Parents Information –¬†Hamilton City Champs – Parent Information
Arrival Time – 6:30am ALL ATHLETES
Race Draw –¬†City Champs draw v.2 – UPDATED FRIDAY
*WARNING: City champs involves wet-launching, so please bring extra socks. Also, please leave your cellphones in your bags to avoid losing or damaging your phones in the water (this happens almost every year).* 

Men’s Team Boating Allocations (Mike has already posted for the Women’s Team):
Event 1b @8:39am – Jr. Men’s 4+ (Arnaud, Lucas, Harrison, James, Will) – New Hudson
Event 3a @8:57am – Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (JJ, Cooper) – Justice
Event 3b @9:06am – Sr. Men’s 2x (Max, Kieran) – Stocks
Event 10 @10:18am – Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke) & Jr. Men’s 1x (Erik) – private boats
Event 15 @11:22am – Sr. Men’s 4x (Luke, Max, Kieran, Erik) – Ad Astra
Event 17a @11:32am – Jr. Men’s 72kg 2x (Will, James) – St. Mary’s Double
Event 17b @11:42am – Jr. Men’s 2x (Harrison, Lucas) – Justice
Event 20 @12:09pm – Sr. Men’s 8+ (Arnaud, Luke, Max, Erik, Harrison, Lucas, Kieran, Cooper, JJ) – Wagner

Crew Dinner Info:
The crew dinner will be held at the Mandarin on Upper James Street (1508 Upper James Street, L9B 1K3) at 6:30pm. This should give you ample time to finish your ice-cream at Hutches and change after the races. The reservation has been made for 40 people, which should accomodate all 37 athletes, plus coaches. There will be two long tables of 20 seats each.

Rowing Clothing/Swag:
Swag will be distributed tomorrow morning at the regatta. After reviewing all the items received from RS, there are still items we’re waiting on (jackets and visors). We have hats, hoodies, tee-shirts, and most other items. We are following up with Regatta Sport to obtain the rest of the order.

All athletes are expected to be available all day from Thursday, June 4th – Sunday, June 7th for the CSSRA national championships regatta in St. Catherine’s. Please speak to employers, teachers, and anyone else who should know (other coaches, etc.) to book the time off now.

We have already begun the process of booking our bus for our CSSRA practice. All athletes should be aware that they are expected to practice at Henley Island on Thursday, June 4th, during the day. A bus will transport all athletes to and from the race course, leaving from Westdale Secondary School.

*WARNING FOR GRADE 12s: This is the same day as prom, if you need special accomodation then you need to let your coaches know immediately.*

See you all at 6:30am,