Westdale Secondary School Rowing

Information for the Westdale Secondary School 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!!!
Alessandra

(Former Westdale Rowing Coach 2006-2015)


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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.

Versus: 

Inches:

…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.

GOOD LUCK WESTDALE!
Alessandra


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Arrival Times & Checking for Ticks (IMPORTANT)

Dear Westdale Rowers,

CONGRATULATIONS on a FANTASTIC day of racing. Mike and I are very proud of all of you. Regardless of whether you made a final, there was a lot of good rowing today and a lot of goals that were reached in terms of technique and comfort level in the boats.

First and most importantly: 
All parents and athletes should check themselves thoroughly for ticks. One of our athletes had ticks on their body after the regatta, and they can carry Lyme disease.
WHERE TO CHECK (everywhere, but especially these spots):
-neck
-hair
-back of knees & ears
-armpits
-toes/feet
-groin (that region in general)
WARNING – BEFORE YOU REMOVE:
The tick’s heads buries under the skin, so do not pull a tick off your body directly – you need to secure the tick between your skin & it’s body (do NOT squeeze the tick’s body) and then¬†pull¬†the tick out of your skin. If you have regular tweezers, you need to pull slowly and directly upwards. You should only twist to remove IF you have a specially designed tool to remove ticks that requires twisting to facilitate the process, as seen here.
WARNING ABOUT SOAP/ETC.: Although covering the tick with soap/shampoo/chemicals will cause the tick to suffocate and remove itself from your body of its own accord without any pulling, it CAN cause the tick to vomit into your blood, and if the tick carries Lyme disease then this can result in the disease being passed on. This is the same reason why you should not press/pull a tick from its body (it will likely vomit).
MORE INFO ON TICK REMOVAL HERE.


Second, but also very important… ARRIVAL TIMES:
Coxswains: 6:30am
Women’s Jr. 59kg 4+: 6:30am (for weigh-ins)
Women’s Jr. 8+: 6:30am (these girls will later race in their Jr. Women’s 4x)
Men’s Sr.¬†4x: Arrive at 7:00am
Men’s Jr. 1x: Arrive at 7:30am
Women’s Jr. 2x: Arrive at 7:30am
Women’s Sr. 8+: Arrive at 8:40am (in time for first race of the day) (11am at the very latest)

Thanks!
Alessandra


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Training Plan, Clothing Orders, and Chili Cookoff Fundraising Tally

Dear Westdale Rowers,

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to ALL of you for a fantastic job during your first week on the water (yes, we’ve only been on the water for a week, and we’re already ahead of where we were this time last year!). I’m proud to say that Westdale is one of the few schools that has not yet capsized, and that¬†all our crews have been picking up the on-water rowing technique quickly.

Now that we’ve had a chance to settle into the swing of things, there are a few important things to note:

1) Launch Times & On-Dock Rules
Athletes are expected to arrive at 5:15am, set up the coach boats/oars, check their crew boats on the stretchers (this is mandatory), attach your lights, sign-out in the WSS log book, and then be ON the docks by 5:30am. Crews should be pushing off no later than 5:35am. For the Men’s Team, I’ll be timing your crews.¬†If you need more time, then you should discuss an earlier arrival time with your crew. Launch time is 5:30am.

Please remember that running on the docks is not permitted. Crews are allowed 1 min 30 seconds on the docks (an absolute maximum of 2 minutes), so please be efficient and work with your crew to get on and off as quickly as possible without running (it IS¬†possible). The reason for this time limit is to prepare you for regattas, where officials will limit your dock time, and¬†to ensure a smooth flow of boat launchings at LBC. No crew wants to wait around while another crew sits for five minutes on the dock and prevents others from launching. Let’s try hard to meet these time limits – I’m confident that all of our WSS crews can do this, so let’s do it. Excellence is a habit, and it starts with what you repeatedly do on a daily basis at your own club.

2) Chili Cookoff Fundraising Tally
I’m happy to announce that our Chili Cookoff Fundraiser has raised a WHOPPING grand total of $5136 in profits. This is an HUGE accomplishment, as it is $1397 higher than last year, and the funds can be used to purchase new ergs, cox boxes, and much needed rowing equipment upgrades. A BIG¬†thank-you to all of the parents involved (especially¬†our coordinators, Brock & Dina), and to all of you – the athletes – for assisting in running the event so smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without your volunteering and ticket selling. We really appreciate it!!!

3) Clothing Orders
A friendly reminder that athletes interested in purchasing “swag” orders (i.e.: for optional rowing clothes/crew kit items), your order forms and money are due tomorrow at practice (AM or PM). Order forms can be found here:¬†Westdale Rowing Apparel 2015 (Order Forms)

Please print them & return them during Monday’s practice if you’d like to receive your swag before our first regatta (this is the date by which Regatta Sport needs our order numbers). Feel free to contact Alessandra if you have any troubles with the deadline or have any questions about the orders

4) Training Plan (This Week & Monthly Plan Update)
The finalized monthly training plan will be posted later this week, but this week’s training plan can be found below. You can expect poor wind conditions this week during both AM and PM practices, so please remember that you should be bringing running shoes & appropriate clothing to every practice in case of a dryland training day.

Trying to carry a boat in the wind, it's like...

Trying to carry a boat in the wind, it’s like…

We’re already ahead in terms of “number of days on-water” in comparison to where we were last year, but we still have a lot to accomplish despite this advantage. Improvements can be made during dryland workouts too, so just remember that every day between now and CSSRAs is important – regardless of the wind conditions that greet us. You can make a difference by committing to each practice. This is our opportunity to really push ourselves as a team and work hard to reach our goals, both on-water and off. You know what you want, both personally and as a crew. Let’s work for that.

*This week’s boating lineups (i.e.: crew members) for the Sr. Women’s 8+ training days can be found here.¬†

Monday:
Water Р(FOCUS=POSTURE): Warmup; C6 Row 60min; 2x6k r20; add C1 8x(10-10-10) (1/2 boat takes 10 hard strokes, other 1/2 takes 10 hard, all take 10 hard together) *low rates
Dryland Backup – Men on tank/weights first half of practice (60min), Women on run & stairs (60min); then switch.

Tuesday:
WATER –¬†(FOCUS=SHIFTING RATES TOGETHER) Warmup; C4 row 90min; 2x”Bridge-Blockhouse-Lifts” (BBL), rates 18/20/22; 20/22/24 (rates “lift” at bridge and blockhouse; start in Valley each time).
Dryland Backup – 60min LDR followed by “House of Pain” using track near LBC.

Wednesday:
Water Р(FOCUS = DISTANCE & HAND LEVELS) Warmup; C6 row 70min; 12-15k, steady state; add trip of (10-10-10) on square
Dryland Backup – Ergs (2km) & Core & Run

Thursday:
Water – (FOCUS=ACCELERATING TOGETHER ON THE DRIVE) Warmup; C2 row (2x8min; 22/26spm); C6 Tech Row
Dryland Backup – fartlek runs + 7 sets of stairs at highlevel bridge; stretching & core

Friday:
Water – (FOCUS=BODY SWING & SHIFTING TOGETHER)¬†Warmup;¬†C5 row 70′; 2xBridgeBlockhouse-Slip Pyramid (BBSP) (rates 18/20/22/24 both times; change rates at bridge, blockhouse, and entrance to slip)
Dryland Backup – 300 & 40′ run

Saturday:
Water – Intro to Race Day -Skills (Turning, Backing, Start Sequencing, Technical Row)
Dryland Backup – 45min run; Core Circuit 1; Flexibility Session

5) Men’s Team Boating Schedule for Primary/Secondary Boats *2x from Mike’s crews will join as required:
Monday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Monday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Tuesday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Tuesday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Wednesday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Wednesday PM РJr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik 1x, Jocelyn 1x,
Thursday AM – Sr. M4x, Sr. LWT M2x, Jr. LWT M2x (L/H)
Thursday PM –¬†Jr. LWT M2x (W/J), Erik¬†1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn¬†1x,
Friday AM – Luke 1x, Erik 1x, Sr. LWT M2x
Friday PM –¬†Jr. LWT M4+, Erik¬†1x, Luke 1x, Jocelyn¬†1x
Saturday 5:45AM – Luke 1x, Erik 1x, Sr. M2x, Sr. LWT M4+
Saturday 9:30AM – Jr. LWT M2x (W/J)
Sunday 5:45AM –¬†Sr. M2x
Sunday 9:30AM –¬†TBD as required

Crew boats are as follows (a reminder):
Sr. M4x = Luke, Max, Kieran, Erik
Sr. LWT M2x = JJ, Cooper
Jr. LWT M2x (L/H) = Lucas, Harrison
Jr. LWT M2x (W/J) = Will, James
Jr. LWT 4+ = Arnaud (coxswain), Lucas, Harrison, James, Will
Sr. LWT 4+ = Arnaud (coxswain), Lucas, Harrison, Cooper, JJ
Sr. M2x = Kieran, Max
Singles = Erik 1x; Luke 1x; Jocelyn 1x

*If availabilities change, then this schedule will be ammended. I’ll explain the schedule in person tomorrow morning, so if you’re uncertain about something, then please ask me questions and I can explain it all at practice.

See you all in 5.5 hours,
Alessandra


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Chili Cookoff – Signup, Ticket Money Collection, Setup/Arrival Times

Dear Parents & Athletes,

A few notes from our parent reps/coordinators for the Chili Cookoff this Thursday:

1) Food Signup – Please, We Need Some More Help!
We are still in need of more people to sign up to offer a food contribution if you haven’t already signed up or contacted Dina. Many of you have mentioned that the Google Doc wasn’t working before, so it should be working now & everyone should be able to sign up here: FOOD SIGN UP

2) Setup Volunteers – ARRIVE AT 4pm
Anyone who signed up to volunteer for setup & initial tasks should arrive by 4pm (or as close to that time as possible). The event begins at 6pm. You can check to see what you’ve signed up for by checking the following sheets (and you can still sign up for a shift if you want to volunteer):
a) ATHLETE JOBS
b) PARENT JOBS

3) Ticket Money Collection – At morning & afternoon practices
Morning Athletes: Ticket money ($160 for each group of 8 tickets) can be submitted to Brock Gadsdon just before your morning practices at Leander. Parents or athletes should see Brock before the practice begins.
Afternoon Athletes: Alessandra will collect your ticket money on Tuesday (tomorrow) or Wednesday afternoon.

4) Wine Donations – Drop Off Location
Morning Athletes: If you haven’t had the chance to bring in your bottle(s) of wine, Brock Gadsdon will be collecting donations at morning practices everyday up until the Chili Cookoff. Brock will be in the parking lot, so parents can drop off the wine with him there.
Afternoon Athletes: Alessandra will collect any remaining wine donations from parents on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. If parents are unable to bring the wine at this time, please connect with Alessandra for an alternate drop-off option. *please do not send your child with alcohol to school/practice Рwe request that parents bring the bottle(s)*

5) Food Rules/Guidelines – If you’re bringing chili, salad, and/or dessert
Chili: All chili must arrive hot in crock pots (make sure it’s already been heated thoroughly)
Salads & Desserts: Salads and desserts must arrive already prepared & ready to go (there’s no prep area in the hall)
ALL FOOD: All food items should have a list of ingredients accompanying them (helpful for dietary restrictions)
ALL UTENSILS, PLATES, & POTS (ETC.): Please label all your items so that they can be easily identified & returned to you at the end of the night.

6) Share the Event with Friends, Family, Teachers, Peers, etc. – Facebook Link
A Facebook Event Page has been created so that any & all can share the Chili Cookoff information with their friends, families, and peers (etc.). Please circulate to your networks & encourage people to come. Tickets can always be purchased at the door for $20 if they haven’t already obtained a ticket through a rower. Click here for the event link: Westdale Chili Cookoff Facebook Event Page

…that’s all ūüôā¬†Thanks, everybody!

Cheers,
Alessandra


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Training & Important Dates (Parents & Athletes)

Dear Athletes & Parents,

Welcome back from March Break & to the official start of outdoor season training! ūüėÄ

happy minions WOOHOOO OMG WOOHOO

IMPORTANT DATES FOR PARENTS & ATHLETES:

-Wednesday, March 25th, 3-4pm:
SWIM TEST FOR ALL NOVICES @ Dalewood Swimming Pool *mandatory for all new rowers* athletes must wear cold-weather clothing for the swim test in order to mimic falling in the water during the outdoor season – this means LONG SLEEVES & LONG PANTS. Due to the timing, rowers completing the swim test are asked to leave their last period class about 10-15minutes early to give enough time to walk to the pool.
-Thursday, March 26th, 7pm: Parent & Athlete Meeting (Outdoor Season Waivers/Chili Cookoff/Training Schedule) @ WSS Library *mandatory for all*
-Sunday, March 29th, 12-3pm: Tank Session (*mandatory for all*) @ Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)
-Wednesday, April 1st, 3:30-5pm: Women’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *women’s team only*
-Thursday, April 2nd, 3:30-5pm: Men’s Team Rigging & LBC Rules @ LBC *men’s team only*
-Saturday, April 4th, 9-11am + CREW LUNCH: Docks In @LBC, followed by a crew lunch (whole team). Coxswains & bow-persons will be taken in the coach boat during the docks-in session for a loop around the harbour to observe traffic patterns & safety spots if clear. If required, I can provide a ride for coswains & bow-persons to the crew lunch (if your rides have already left). ***Steffan will also hold a special coxing/bowing clinic from 1-3pm for new coxswains & bow-persons only. I highly advise new coxswains & bow-persons to attend (you can go right after the crew lunch).

NOTE: To the men participating in the MCC exam, I also have my OSCE dry-run on April 2nd at 6pm, so I can bring you all to McMaster Hospital if you need a ride post-rigging at LBC. Just let me know in advance.

TRAINING PLAN MARCH 23rd-29th: *Testing & Movement Screening Week*

Monday, March 23rd:
Men – Team Meeting, 30min Erg (20/22spm) + 10min Tech Erg, Stretching & Debrief
Women – Team Meeting, Warmup Run, Weights, Cooldown & Stretching/Debrief

Tuesday, March 24th:
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Overview of Movement Screening; Weights/Movement Screen; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Tech Erg Rotations with Core Circuit (300 circuit/25min tech erg); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Wednesday, March 25th: *Swim Testing @3pm (Dalewood Pool)*
Men – Warmup in Middle Gym, 2km Erg Testing, Core Circuit, Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; Weights; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Thursday, March 26th: *Parents & Athlete Meeting @7pm (WSS Library)*
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Weights & Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 2km Erg Testing; Core Circuit; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Friday, March 27th: 
Men – Warmup in Lower Gym, Cardio & Core Circuit; Movement Screening; Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief
Women – Warmup; 25min Tech Erg Rotations (run/erg/core); Cooldown & Stretching; Debrief

Saturday, March 28th: OFF

Sunday, March 29th: *Tank Session in Welland*
ALL ATHLETES – 12-3pm Tank Session at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (directions here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZLgb9)

…see you all in the morning!

Cheers,
Ali ūüôā


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March Break Training! :D

IT’S MARCH BREAK!!!! OH. EM. GEE.

excited

Now that you’ve had a weekend to get over the adrenaline rush (and potential fangirling) of being free from school for a whole entire week, we thought it’d be super fun to post a wicked awesome list of workouts you should totally do ūüėČ

…but seriously. These workouts will help you maintain your aerobic base & general fitness required for when we come back and complete erg testing (#lolwut). Yes. Erg testing upon return.

To our credit, we’re giving you lots of workout options so that you can manage this training with your schedule/location(s). If you’ve already spoken to me about attending a rowing-specific training camp (e.g.: SCRC/BrockU March-Break Training Camp), then please just keep me posted on your progress & be sure to train smart (no injuries).

Now that we feel all warm & fuzzy inside, here’s the workout plan (including an overview for tomorrow’s supervised practice at LBC):
_______________________
MARCH BREAK TRAINING:

Monday, March 16th – 6am @LBC (Leander Boat Club)
All athletes should arrive at 6am for a 2hr practice at Leander Boat Club (6-8am). We will rotate through ergs, tank, and core, with a strong emphasis on tank-work. This will be your only supervised practice this week, so please attend. It will give us a chance to check-in and ensure you’re set for the rest of the week with the unsupervised training.

Tuesday, March 17th: *ST. PATRICKS DAY*
Option 1: warmup; 40min erg castles (Cat 6 = 6km split + 14s); 1×300 circuit; stretching (at least 10min)
Option 2: 60min steady-state run OR 90min cross-country skiing; stretching (at least 10min)
Option 3: >4hrs alpine skiing (as an alpine skier I’m sad to report that it’s just not as good of a workout as cross-country, so you need to get more hours in); stretching (10min at least)

Wednesday, March 18th:
Option 1: warmup; 3x12min ski ladders (22/24/26/28/30/32 -> should be Cat 4) with 8min rest in between; stretching (10min at least)
Option 2: 30min run + 5 stair runs (total of about 45-60min) OR 60min cross-country skiing; stretching (at least 10min)
Option 3:¬†3hrs alpine skiing PLUS home circuit (jump squat pyramid 25/50/75/50/25; 3×20 pushups; 3×20 crunches; 3×10 glute contractions each leg (this is the physio exercise we normally do)); stretching (at least 10min)

Thursday, March 19th:
Option 1: 20min run; 300 circuit (1.5m rest between sets); stretching
Option 2: 20min erg (5min castles @22/24spm, CAT 5 pace – 6km split + 8s); 300 circuit (1.5m rest between sets); stretching
Option 3: 90min cross-country ski OR 4hrs alpine skiing; stretching

Friday, March 20th:
Option 1: dynamic warmup; 2x30min erg with 3min rest in between (Cat 6 pace = 6km split +14s); stretching (at least 10min)
Option 2: 60min run (or 10-12km distance) OR 90min cross country ski; stretching
Option 3: alpine-ski your butt off for at least 5hrs

Saturday March 21st/Sunday March 22nd: OFF
_______________________

…that’s it, folks!

See you all tomorrow morning @6am at Leander Boat Club,
Alessandra