Just a friendly reminder that tonight is the year-end rowing party for all athletes, parents, and coaches. Please be there for 7pm at Kelsey’s (Main St. West, across from Westdale Secondary School) in the downstairs party room 🙂
We’ll be presenting City Champs medals, CSSRA pins, and MVP awards. PLUS we’ll be celebrating the end of the season, so it’s just going to be fun all around. Come join before you head off for summer!
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.
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.
More information will be given at our year-end party on Sunday, June 7th (7pm at Kelsey’s in Westdale), but here are a few quick links to help navigate the summer rowing opportunities and options for athletes of all ages:
1) Summer Rowing Information & Registration – Wednesday, June 10th, 5-7pm @LBC Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/352936471571273/
This is for club competitive and bantam, as well as other programs you’d like to learn about (like Learn to Row (LTR) and Adult Recreational Rowing). Come meet the coaches, ask some questions, and see what works best for you and your availability/interests! Summer rowing is a great way to stay involved, fit, and on-top of your rowing technique before the school season starts again. You’ll also meet some great people!
2) Heart & Stroke “Row for Heart” – Signup Available Contact: email@example.com Flyer: Heart and Stroke – Informational Flyer Registration Form: Heart and Stroke – F15 Team Registration Form
LBC’s Row for Heart program still has a few spots remaining for teams, and the coordinators are hoping to have each highschool represented. You do NOT need any prior experience to compete in Row For Heart – the coaches will teach you everything you need to know, and the program accepts participants aged 16-years-old and up.
Row for Heart is a great way to try rowing, have a fun with friends, and meet new people. The Ancaster Royals already have a parents 8+ that’s keen to challenge parents at other schools (including Westdale!) to make a team and compete for fun during this summer session. If teams are unable to find 8 crew members, then the coordinators are allowing teams to row in a 4+ instead, still competing in the final regatta on July 19th. Row for Heart is a keystone program that supports both highschool rowing programs and club rowing. Keen to try it? Contact Andrea Jansen for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Friends & Family “Learn to Row” Day – Saturday, June 27th, 9am-12pm @LBC Event Link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/friends-family-learn-to-row-day-tickets-17158527618
Highschool rowers and club rowers are invited to bring a guest (friend or family member) to a fun “Learn to Row” day, where you get to row with your guest and coaches will be available to answer questions about the sport and/or summer rowing opportunities at all ages and levels of fitness.
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.
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).
TRAINING & RACING INFORMATION:
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)
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: -water
-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)
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/
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.
Regatta Sport has just contacted us to confirm that the visors have arrived and are ready for pickup by a coach tomorrow afternoon (I’ll go to pick them up). This means that visors can be distributed Saturday morning at practice (or at your next practice at the club).
The jackets are still in production (I know, we can all collectively sigh in frustration) but they should be done soon and the staff at Regatta Sport will keep us posted.
Thanks for your patience – trust me when I say the coaching staff shares in your desire to have the order completed!
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:
-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.
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.
It’s been a while since our last post, so we’re happy to say that we’ve got all sorts of fun info for you in this one!
Info for Mom!
First off, THANK YOU to all athletes for being so patient while we addressed equipment changes/availability and boating changes these past two weeks, including changes to race entries. We appreciate that you’ve all been very understanding.
Next here’s everything you need to know for the next two days:
Saturday, May 9th – Practice & Trailer Loading @5:45am at LBC
All athletes should arrive at 5:45am for a final practice before trailer loading. Practice will run from 5:45am-7:30am. Trailer loading will begin at 7:30am, and ALL boats must be fully derigged and loaded by 8:45am. The trailer will leave the LBC compound at 9am.
Sunday, May 10th – Mother’s Day Regatta (THANK YOUR MOM’S)
The Mother’s Day Regatta will be held on Henley Island in St. Catharine’s, Ontario (close to the Port Dalhousie area). Full information about event times and directions can be found here at Regatta Central.
Directions can also be found here on the Westdale Rowing blog, or here on Google Maps. *Directions say 45 min (approx.), but plan for 60-75min just in case you get lost or encounter traffic. This has happened to at least one athlete every year that we’ve coached.*
The Final Race Draw hasn’t been posted yet, but will likely be made available tomorrow on Regatta Central. Based on the Regatta Central preliminary schedule, these are the race times:
Event 6 – Sr. Women’s 63kg 1x – 9:10am (finals at 2:25pm) Event 7 – Jr. Men’s 72kg 4+ – 9:24am (finals at 2:32pm) Event 14 – Jr. Women 63kg 8+ – 10:20am (finals at 3:21pm) Event 15 – Sr. Men’s 72kg 2x – 10:34am (finals at 3:28pm) Event 18 – Sr. Men’s 1x – 11:09am (finals at 3:49pm *HOTSEAT REQUIRED) Event 19 – Sr. Women’s 4+ – 11:30am (finals at 3:56pm) Event 23 – Sr. Men’s 4x – 12:12pm (finals at 4:24pm) Event 24 – Sr. Women’s 1x – 12:19pm (finals at 4:31pm) Event 29 – Jr. Women’s 4x – 1:15pm (finals at 5:06pm) Event 12 – Jr. Men’s 1x – 3:07pm (straight final *QUICK CHANGE REQUIRED) Event 35 – Sr. Women’s 8+ – 5:48pm (straight final)
“Hotseating” is when an athlete goes straight from one race into the next race, and the boating change is made on the dock. “Quick change” is when an athlete has a tight turnaround time after their first race, but still has enough time to return the boat before launching in their next race.
Weigh-Ins: There are NO weigh-ins at this regatta. Instead, the regatta runs on an honour system.
A Message for Moms: If your athlete’s crew makes their final and finishes top three, then moms are invited to give the medals to their athletes. Please stick around if you can 🙂
Arrival Times: Athletes in the Sr. Women’s 63kg 1x & Jr. Men’s 72kg 4+ should arrive by 6:30am. All other athletes should arrive AT LEAST 3 hours before your race (or in time for the first Westdale race of the day, which is at 9:10am).
Supervising Coaches: Alessandra will coordinating/supervising the Men’s Team, Eben Prevec & Anise Truman will be supervising the Women’s Eights/Singles/Fours, and Peter DeNew will be supervising the Jr. Women’s Quads. Tom Beshoff will be assisting in the morning.
Rigging Post-Regatta: Please plan to rig boats on Sunday evening when we return to Hamilton. There MIGHT be an option to rig on Monday morning, but this will be dictated by the Club Manager (Steffan Wagner). We’ll let you know as soon as we have information.
What to Bring:
-Long-sleeve top to race in UNDER your unisuit (often requested by race officials if weather is cold, windy, or rainy *the forecast is thunderstorms, so please bring this just in case!)
-Change of clothes (and extra socks – trust me!)
-Water (lots of water)
-Healthy snacks (trail mix, nuts, apples, granola bars, cliff bars, etc.)
-Lunch (and breakfast if needed)
-Rain gear/weather appropriate clothing (*BOOTS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
-Sunscreen (*HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) *CHECK THE WEATHER – BRING BOOTS FOR THUNDERSTORMS*
What We Expect of You: You are expected to rig your boat, bring your blades down (when required), and ensure your crew is together. You should also know your race plan & be prepared with water/race-gear/food. Please be & remain with your crew once there’s 1.5h left to go until your race. If you have any questions, please find me (Alessandra), Eben, or Peter and we can assist you. Generally speaking, you should go to your primary coach if you have a question.
Resources for Parents: Our lovely parent reps, Dina & Brock Gadsdon, have kindly put together some informational material for parents planning to attend their athletes (what to expect, how to get there, Henley Island rules, how to avoid heat stroke, etc.). Please see the following documents for useful parent information:
1) Mothers Day Parent Information
2) Heat Stress Awareness Guide
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) *TEAMPHOTOAT11:18AM– MEETINWESTDALEFOYEROUTSIDEAUDITORIUMIN GREEN/GOLDROWINGGEAR* Thursday PM: Erik (1x); Will/James (StM 2x) – with Alessandra/Hudson
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).
1) Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring an extra change of workout clothes every day. This will help ensure that you are ready for both on-water AND off-water practices (you need those runners & those layers!), and will ensure that you’ve got something to change into if your boat capsizes. This is very important as we want you all to be healthy and safe. Hypothermia (or even generally being cold) isn’t fun – let’s do everything we can to avoid the cold weather risks.
2) Clothing “Swag” Order deadlines have been extended until tomorrow (Tuesday, April 21st) morning’s practice. I will also collect final forms tomorrow afternoon at the PM practice. We’re lucky to have been given the one-day extension, so if you didn’t have a chance to place your order today, then please ensure you’re ready with your order form & payment by tomorrow. If you need to print off an order form, you can find one here: Westdale Rowing Apparel 2015 (Order Forms)
3) Coach Tom has a message for everyone, so please see below for his post 🙂
The other day in my introduction, I shared with you the quote that means the most to me in rowing: “What the mind believes, the body will deliver”. There are a couple of stories that I’d like to share with you.
In 2007 while I was coaching at Christchurch Girls High School in New Zealand, a 14-year old girl showed up to training. I knew Grace because I coached her sister and I had Grace pencilled in as a potential coxswain. At the time, she was under 5 feet tall and weighed 49kg (108 pounds). Grace insisted that she wanted to row, and as was our policy, she was not denied the opportunity to try. At a December erg test, Grace pulled 7:59 on her 2K test. That is not a misprint. Adjusted, that is an erg score of about 6:35. Not bad for a 14-year old!!!! I’ve posted a picture of Grace below at our January 2008 training camp at Lake Rotoiti. It’s one of my favourite pictures. She rowed 14km that day and had the biggest grin I’ve ever seen after it!
Grace went on that season to stroke the U15 4+ of girls not much bigger than she was, to a bronze medal in the biggest event of the program at the NZ Secondary Schools Championships of 64 crews. She then put on a growth spurt and represented her country at the 2011 Junior World Champs, winning a bronze medal. She is currently a junior in the University of Washington Women Huskies Varsity 8+. To this day, that erg test, and what this kid accomplished in that season, is the most amazing thing in rowing that I’ve ever seen.
A close second, and a great example of “What the mind believes, the body will deliver” is again, a Kiwi-themed story. Below is a picture of the gold medal winning double from New Zealand at the 2012 Olympics in London. Joe Sullivan and Nathan Cohen overcame a significant size difference, not to mention a deficit in the final 500 metres, to make a stunning run home to the finish and take the gold medal.
What do these stories tell us? I think they tell us that heart and an absolute will to get the job done, are tools that are as essential as anything else…maybe even the MOST important tools you can have. We never want to limit our potential based on what we THINK is a limitation. The common belief in our sport is that “Tall will Beat Small”, and that does happen too. But no matter who you are: tall, small, novice or experienced, I encourage you to open up your mind to the possibilities of what you can achieve and GO FOR IT LIKE NEVER BEFORE! It’s a great attitude to have in a boat….and one that will allow you and your crew to aim for new heights every time out.
One final thought. I encourage and challenge all of you to do something to make your crew better. Improving YOUR erg scores gives you a faster boat. Improving YOUR flexibility gives you a longer stroke. Making technical improvements to YOUR stroke pattern limits the drag on boat speed. YOU are responsible for YOUR speed on the water.