Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Temporary Pause Due to Strike Action

Hello folks!

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but we just received an e-mail saying that there will, in fact, be a strike tomorrow. Unfortunately, this means that there will be no practice at Westdale until things are settled. It’s hard to say how long that will take, but we have been told at least until the 11th.

I know this is disappointing as you’ve all been working hard, and I’m sorry that you have to miss out on training on the ergs for a bit.

That being said, get outside for a bit of cardio while the weather is still nice!

We will update you as soon as we know more.

-Ms. Duncan

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Practice Structure

This is a message out to the novices.   It is also a good item for the experienced athletes to have reinforced.

It is important to understand that all practices have the same basic structure regardless  of whether we are doing dry land training or on the water training.

These steps are all necessary to complete a well rounded effective practice.

All practices start with a warmup which involves low intensity activities such as running and/or dynamic stretching.    This should not be done at any high intensity.  The purpose of this warmup is to gently warm the muscles and prepare them for the body of the practice.   It should be a duration of roughly 10 minutes.

The body of the practice is where the bulk of our training takes place.   At the current time we are looking to get you to be able to do 45 to 50 minutes of high volume low intensity activity.   The goal is consistency and keeping your heart rate at a reasonable level but not excessive.  You should not be gasping for air but able to carry on conversations with your training partner.   We’ll discuss target heart rate in an upcoming practice.

The last step is a cool down.   This involves a 15 minute proper stretch with the purpose of allowing the muscles to cool down and to also train the muscles to be more pliable long term.   It is very crucial that you perform this step for every practice.

The coaches will be providing more details on these steps and what you can do become more proficient in executing them.

Do not hesitate to ask the coaches if you are unsure of any activity.


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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 🙂 :

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. 😉 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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Wednesday Practice for Sr Mens Eight

The Sr Mens Eight is practicing tomorrow at the regular 5:30 AM morning time.   The lineup is as follows:

Senior Mens 8+
Cox Astara Truman, Keiran Ray-Daniels, Cooper Wylie, Graham West, Evan White, Lucas Austin, Kieran Gargarello, Harrison McCann, Erik Heinbecker

This is the eight that will be racing this Sunday at SNRC and everyone needs to be at practice.

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Indoor Rowing Practices Start Monday, November 9th

Our indoor practices start on Monday at 6:30 AM.    If you were unable to attend the Parents Meeting last night you can still participate.  See our Teacher Rep Carolyn Craven and get one of the white Student Information Forms.   All athletes (including returning athletes) need to complete a white form.   See Carolyn.

The practices are held in the middle gym.

As stated last night you should come in comfortable athletic gear, nothing loose, and with running shoes.   Your own water bottle is a necessity.

If you are interested in rowing but can’t make practices next week please contact me:  coachroche@bell.net   There are always accommodations that can made and none of the coaches want to see an interested athlete not be able to take part.   Talk to us.

On Monday we’ll do a deeper overview of the sport and what we are planning do over the course of the indoor season.

I hope to see you on Monday


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UPDATED: Men’s Team – Boating Lineups until CSSRAs

Dear Men’s Team,

Please see the following UPDATED schedule for your boating lineups and training days until CSSRAs:

Monday, June 1st:
Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke
Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 2x (Bishop Ryan) – Max & Kieran

PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (Justice) – JJ & Cooper with Alessandra

Tuesday, June 2nd:
Sr. Men’s 1x – Luke
Jr. Men’s 1x – Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper

PM: Sr. Men’s 2x (Stocks) – Max & Kieran with Alessandra

Wednesday, June 3rd: (Derig/Trailer Loading)
Sr. Men’s 4x (Ad Astra) – Luke/Max/Kieran/Erik
Jr. Men’s 2x (Justice) – Harrison & Lucas
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper
*derig the Ad Astra, Justice, and Stocks after practice and load to the trailer

PM: Club 1x (Luke) option with Alethia before car-topping & transporting 1x to St. Kitt’s

Thursday, June 4th (St. Kitt’s Practice Day):
Practice at LBC:
Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x (STM) – JJ & Cooper
Practice at St. Catherine’s: *Luke & JJ away for graduation formal
*Meet Alessandra at 11am in Westdale Secondary School parking lot by the gates to the football field. The bus will leave immediately following attendance.
Jr. Men’s 1x
Jr. Men’s 2x
Sr. Men’s 2x

Friday, June 5th – Sunday, June 7th = CSSRAs (info can be found here). 

Please review this schedule carefully and contact me if you have any questions/concerns.

I’m aware that some of you are being asked to train occasionally during the PM session in order to accommodate equipment availability. Please understand that this is due to equipment limitations and boating ratio limits. If anything changes, I will let you know immediately. I appreciate your flexibility during this final week.



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 – it’s a tradition to wear non-school clothing so that other crews can’t tell which school you’re 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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Weekly Training & City Champs Recap

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Congratulations on a job well done at the City Championships. Here’s a quick recap for those who missed it:

Recap of City Champs & Results:
-Men’s Team entered 9 boats in 8 events
-Women’s Team entered 14 boats in 11 events
-Points were awarded for 1st and 2nd place finishes (listed below)
First Place Finishes:
-Jr. Men’s 4+
-Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+ (winning both the 63kg and Open categories)
-Sr. Women’s 8+
-Sr. Men’s 1x
-Sr. Women’s 1x (Vamosi)
-Jr. Women’s 59kg 4+
-Jr. Women’s 63kg 4+
-Sr. Women’s 2x
-Sr. Men’s 4x
-Jr. Men’s 2x
-Sr. Women’s 4+
-Sr. Men’s 8+
Second Place Finishes:
-Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x
-Sr. Men’s 2x
-Jr. Women’s 2x
-Jr. Men’s 1x (racing in the Sr. Men’s 1x event)
-Sr. Women’s 1x (Murray)
-Jr. Men’s 72kg 2x
-Jr. Women’s 4x

Based on points, the Women’s Team finished first place overall, with Ancaster taking second place. The Men’s Team finished a close second overall to St. Mary’s. As a whole, The Westdale Rowing Team won the City Championships with a cumulative total of 293 points. Way to go Warriors!

Fun “First” Facts:
-This is the first time Westdale has won the City Champs since 2012
-This is the first time every athlete on the men’s team has received a gold medal at City Champs

Please Note: Medals will be available later this week, once they’ve been distributed by Steffan.

Weekly Training AM Crews:
The training plan can be found here: WSS Rowing 2015 Training Schedule (A. Gage – MAY & JUNE)
WEEKDAYS: Arrival time is 5:15am for weekdays, and end-time is 7:40am.
WEEKENDS: Practice is held on Saturday morning at LBC at 5:45am, with an end-time of 8:00am.

Weekly Training PM Crews:
The training plan is the same as in the above link, but your training time is 3:30-5:30pm, Monday-Friday. Peter, Tom, Alessandra, and Hudson are the coaches who will supervise the PM training on a rotational basis.

Boating lineups will be given by your coaches.