Westdale Rowing Community

Information for the Westdale Rowing Community

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Rowing Swag, City Champs, Crew Dinner

Dear Rowers,

A few updates:

Rowing Swag: Yes! It has arrived! I’m reviewing the order today to ensure that we’ve received everything correctly before distributing to athletes. Jackets and visors are still on their way, but hats are already in, as are t-shirts and hoodies. I’m still checking the status of the 1/4 zip hoodie and other items.

City Champs (General Schedule): 
6:30am – Arrival time for all athletes is 6:30am at Leander Boat Club. Athletes needing to weigh-in must do so immediately upon arrival. All other athletes should set up the coach boats & take out the required blades and equipment.
7am – Row all boats over to Bayfront Park and place on stretchers or grass.
8:30am – Start of races
12pm – Tentative end-time of races
1pm – Awards Ceremony (plus the obligatory post-race ice-cream at Hutches)

Crew Dinner: We’ll be holding a crew dinner following City Champs to celebrate the end of City’s & the start of the final two weeks leading to CSSRAs. Location is between the Mandarin or Boston Pizza or East Side Marios. Preference will be decided via a team meeting tomorrow morning after practice.

See you in the morning,

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SNRC Recap, Training Plan, and City Champs

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Great job this weekend at the SNRC Highschool Invitational Regatta. The regatta has given us some much needed racing experience for all crews, and I’m happy to report that we’ve broken a new record in the history of the Westdale Rowing Team: 

Records broken:
-Highest total number of events (both men’s & women’s) where we’ve achieved medals, with 2 golds, 3 silvers, and 1 bronze (medals in 6 events total).
-First time in Westdale Rowing history where the Men’s Team has achieved medals in every event they entered (5 events total: 2 golds, 3 silvers).

Results Recap (for those that were unable to attend):
-Westdale entered a total of 15 events (5 events for the Men’s team, 10 for the women’s team).
-7 crews raced in 5 events on the Men’s Team, one crew from each event made the final (5 crews, 5 events)
-11 crews raced in 10 events on the Women’s Team, 6 crews made it to the finals in 6 different events.
Women’s Team Finals & Medals:
-Jr. Women’s 2x & Sr. Women’s 63kg 1x both placed 5th in their final
-Jr. Women’s 59kg 4+, Sr. Women’s 8+, and Sr. Women’s 1x all placed 4th in their finals
-Sr. Women’s 63kg 8+ placed 3rd in their final, securing bronze medals for the crew
Men’s Team Finals & Medals:
-Sr. Men’s 4x, Sr. Men’s 1x, and Jr. Men’s 1x all placed second in their finals, securing silver medals for their crews
-Jr. Men’s 2x & Sr. Men’s 2x both placed first in their finals, securing gold medals in their crews

…Congrats, rowers! SNRCs is a great indicator for CSSRAs, as it’s a larger regatta and provides everyone with race experience against a broader (and deeper) field of competition. We still have three weeks until CSSRAs, so there’s still lots that we can work on to better prepare us for our national races.

Training Plan for this Week:
See training plan PDF here – WSS Rowing 2015 Training Schedule (A. Gage – MAY & JUNE)
Men’s Team – you’ll be in the Sr. Men’s 8+ with Arnaud as coxswain on Friday in order to prep for City Champs.

City Champs:
City Champs is this Saturday. Please expect to remain from early morning until mid/late afternoon. We’ll be holding a crew dinner following the regatta (and following the ice-cream devouring) to celebrate the end of City Champs & the start of the final two weeks leading to CSSRAs. Also, because food. When is food ever wrong? Answer: never.

See you all tomorrow morning, bright and early, at 5:15am.


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Training Plan & Lost Items (We Found You!)

Dear Rowers,

Are you missing your favourite yellow-capped water bottle? (Featuring: water! included! FREE!)
How about your beautiful blue water bottle? (Featuring: humid precipitation droplets! included! ALSO FREE!)
Or even your lovely green Thinsulate Woods “Lite-Loft” insulation bag to carry your crucial camping gear? (Featuring: NOTHING ELSE, JUST THE GEAR! what a win! TOTALLY FREE!)

They want to go home. Please, give them a home. They don’t like living with me. Seriously. I’m cruel and leave them alone in the den gathering dust. This is no life for a water bottle or air-mattress carrier.

So, if these are your items OR if you think you know the items’ owners (even if they’re from another school), please contact me so I can return these sad, lonely items to your possession.

In other news, TRAINING PLANS! YAY!
Please see the following PDF for an overview of the training schedule from now until CSSRAs: WSS Rowing 2015 Training Schedule (A. Gage – MAY & JUNE)

See you all in the morning *yawn*,

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Wednesday and Thursday Womens Seating

We are doing our normal eights tomorrow.

On Thursday we are practicing in secondary boats.   Here are the Thursday AM and PM seating’s.

Thursday AM

Sr Mid 63 kg eight

  • sadie
  • astara
  • sophie  McD
  • Katie Y
  • Samara
  • Sofia S
  • Clair
  • Maddy  McD
  • COXIE (Alles)

Singles      Madison    Jocelyn

Thursday PM

Jr 2x   Lauren Victoria

Jr 8+

  • Kenzie
  • Sarah
  • Drew
  • Kate S
  • Hannah
  • Miriam
  • Meaghan
  • Meegan
  • COXIE Arnaud

Stephanie gets a day off!


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Mother’s Day Recap, Lost and Found & Weekly Training

Dear Westdale Rowers & Parents,

CONGRATULATIONS on finishing (surviving?) the first regatta of the outdoor season!

I think I can safely speak on behalf of all coaches when I say that we were all very impressed with the rowing we saw yesterday. Yes, there are things we need to work on, and yes, it will take hard work and hours of practice, but we’re off to a really good start.

For those that weren’t able to catch all of the races, here’s a little recap:
-Westdale entered a total of 12 crews in 11 events
-7 crews made it to finals in 7 different events (2 of these were straight finals, 5 were progressions from heats)
-Jr. Men’s 72kg 4+ (Arnaud, Lucas, Harrison, James, Will) placed 6th overall in their final
-Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+ (Arnaud, Katie, Sadie, Astara, Tristan, Sophie, Samara, Kenzie, Stephanie) placed 5th overall
-Sr. Women’s 8+ (Alessandra, Maddy, Madison, Lauren, Allie, Jocelyn, Victoria, Sophia, Claire) placed 4th overall
-Bronze medals were won by the Sr. 63kg 1x (Jocelyn) and Jr. Men’s 1x (Erik) for their third place finishes
-Silver medals were won by the Sr. Men’s 1x (Luke) and the Sr. Men’s 4x (Luke, Max, Kieran, Erik) for second place

Quick note for future regattas: All highschools are expected by Leander Boat Club to remain at the regatta until the trailer is fully loaded, unless officially dismissed by the Club Manager or acting Head Coach. For SNRCs, please plan to stay the full day (we know, it’s long… but now that you’ve all experienced the Mother’s Day regatta, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect).

Lost & Found: A number of items were left behind at the regatta, including a green bag and two water bottles (one blue plastic with a blue pastic top, the other clear plastic with a yellow & white plastic top). If these sound like your items, please let us (your coaches) know.

Weekly Training:
Training this week will happen every day at 5:15am for the rest of the week until Friday morning. On Friday morning, all crews will have a short row followed by a de-rig and trailer loading for the SNRC regatta. Focus for this week is working on the finish. A full training plan will be posted tomorrow.


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Weekly Training Plan (Boats & Workouts), Team Yearbook Photo (Thursday at Lunch!), and More!

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Please see below for some important notes regarding boatings, weekly workouts & coaching arrangements, and our team yearbook photo booking.

1) Team Photo for Yearbook – Thursday, April 30th @11:18am (start of lunch) meet in foyer (by auditorium doors)
We just received notice (today) that the Westdale Rowing Team is to be photographed for the Yearbook this Thursday, April 30th, at the start of lunch – 11:18am – just outside the school’s front doors. All rowers should meet in the foyer just outside the auditorium on the first floor at 11:18am sharp. Please wear either green & gold coloured rowing gear (jacket/sweater/unisuit/etc.), or other Westdale athletics gear.

2) Men’s Team Boatings & Coaching This Week

Wednesday AM: *I will be in the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) morning for an EEG, so I’ll come to drop off the lights with Tom before heading to the hospital & Tom will coach you for practice.
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Kieran/Max – 2x (Chuks)
JJ/Cooper/Harrison/Lucas – 4x (Ad Astra)
Luke – OFF
Wednesday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson

Thursday AM: *depends on boat availability – if reduced availability, primary crews will be sent out (4x/2x/2x)
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Luke – 1x (Private)
Kieran/Max/Harrison/Lucas – 4x (Ad Astra)
JJ/Cooper – 2x (St. Mary’s)
Thursday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson

Friday AM: 
Erik – 1x (Blue Pill)
Luke – 1x (Private)
Max/Kieran/Cooper/JJ – 4x (Ad Astra)
Friday PM: Arnaud/Lucas/Harrison/Will/James (Hudson 4+) – with Alessandra/Hudson

Saturday @5:45AM: *Tom will be covering for my coaching as I will be in hospital. There will be no 10am practice this day.
Max, Kieran, Harrison, Lucas – 4x (Ad Astra)
JJ, Cooper, Erik, Luke, Will, James, Arnaud – OFF

If changes need to be made to the boatings then I’ll be sure to inform you before practice. This week we’ve got some boat-juggling to do based on numbers, equipment repairs, and athlete availability given Junior National Trials, so please be patient.

3) Women’s Team Boatings (AM/PM) & Note for the PM Rowers

For the AM athletes: Mike will provide a breakdown of the women’s crews this week, but please expect to be split into smaller groups for secondary crews (i.e.: training in smaller boats), pending boat availability. Remember: Thursday at 11:18am is our team yearbook photo. Please meet in the foyer just outside the auditorium at 11:18am sharp.

For the PM athletes: Tom & Peter will be coaching you this week at the regular practice times in regular quad boatings or quad/double groups. Focus will be on rowing all four together (timing and blade depth), and learning how to “push” or connect with the legs off of the catch and during the drive. Also, please note that our team photo will be taken at 11:18am for the yearbook (meet in foyer outside auditorium).

4) Weekly Workouts:

Wednesday – 2x29min pyramid (5/4/3/2/1; 5min rest) starting SRs = 18; 20 (top SRs = 26/28) *quick turns in valley & slip
Thursday – 2x2km Time Trials (SR 22; SR 26; 5min rest); 30min tech row after TTs are done
Friday – 3x2km Leap Frog (SR 24 “off”; SR 32 “on”); focus on ratio & power efficiency at higher rate
Saturday – 2x12min (1′ hard, 1′ light); 6min rest between pieces; focus on solid pressure; follow up with tech row & practice starts (1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full, build five, hold 10, settle *can be amended slightly for each crew).


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Pogie Contest Winners!!!!!

The winners of the pogie contest are Erik and Allie (not the coach and not the coxie).   They were the first to correctly answer that Jackie Pearce won the High School Single race at the 1956 Royal Canadian Henley while representing Westdale High School.   He was the last high school sculler for Westdale to win either the Henley or CSSRA in a single scull race.

Bonus points to Erik for including a newspaper article showing Jackie Pearce with his medal.    Also more bonus points for Erik for mentioning that Leander won the most medals at the 1956 Henley.

Bonus points to Allie (not the coach and not the coxie) for mentioning that my dad (Jim Roche) won the Jr 145 lb single.   That wasn’t the contest but the thought was nice.

No one got the real bonus points for mentioning that Jackie Pearce and Jim Roche also won the Jr Heavy Double representing Leander Boat Club.

There you have a bit of a history lesson that includes both Westdale and Leander.

More contests to follow in the weeks to come.

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Junior Midweight Women Eight

I’m asking all the Junior Midweight Women to continue with the 10:00 am practice tomorrow.  I know there is frustration with the fact that we have not been able to get on the water the past few days.   Through injury and other reasons we have not had a full complement.    The crew is down one coxie and two members for this weekend.   It is also likely due to injury that we will be missing one member next week.   This is requiring reallocation of oarswomen from the afternoon athletes.

Please be patient.  Tom and I need to assess where various crews are and identify someone that can fill in while members come back.  We will be boating an eight and a number of smaller boats tomorrow at 10:00 am.

You will also have an eight with a working cox box and speaker system.   The repairs have been made.

Coach Mike


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UPDATE: Senior Women Eight seat assignments have changed yet again!

Apologies for the changing in seat assignments.  Again!!    This reflects the loss of Breanne to the program.

Here is our seating for the weekend (Friday and Saturday)

  • Cox: Alessandra
  • Stroke: Maddy
  • 7: Madison
  • 6: Lauren
  • 5: Allie
  • 4: Jocelyn
  • 3: Victoria
  • 2: Sofia
  • Bow: Claire

I still need to talk with Tom and Peter and which of the afternoon juniors can fill in for the midweight eight.    Hold steady and I hope to clarify for Saturday’s practice.


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Dress Code

Hi Rowers,

Since some of you may not have seen the dress code info in Mike’s last post, I’m re-posting as a separate blog entry so that everyone sees it:

The weather is forecast for -2 to 0- Celsius with wind chill at -5 to -7 Celsius.  Combined with the speed of the rowing shells this can be quite cold.

Athletes must wear ‘full body’ coverage including layered clothing on the legs and torso.

As well as multiple bottom and top layers, a toque is required as well as a wind resistant jacket.

Please ensure that your crew moves quickly to launch and get moving.  Once an athlete warms-up they can generate and retain very comfortable conditions.

Pogies are HIGHLY suggested in these temperatures.***

See you in the morning, bundled up appropriately. Seriously.

***If you don’t have pogies, please bring in some large, old, thick socks and I’ll make you a pair in the morning using my scissors.