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 🙂 :

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!!!
Alessandra

(Former Westdale Rowing Coach 2006-2015)


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Athletic Awards – Tuesday, June 9th @2:30pm in Westdale Auditorium (tomorrow!)

Hello Westdale Rowers!

Hopefully rigging went well today with Mike. Also, congrats to Erik Heinbecker for completing his first June Trials selection event today in Welland (June Trials are one part of the tryout process for the Junior National Team). Erik has not proceeded to the matrix, but did achieve some personal goals for time-trials and Senior Gold Medal Standard percentages. Great job!

Tomorrow is the Westdale Athletics Awards Assembly for any athletes that have won an MVP title this year (Jocelyn, Madison, Katie, Sadie, Lucas, Harrison, JJ, Max). Please come to the Westdale auditorium for 2:20pm for the awards assembly, followed by a BBQ in the courtyard.

Your coaches will be there to hand you your awards, so please don’t leave us standing alone awkwardly on the podium… that would be sad (it happened last year… please come this time!).

Thanks,
Alessandra


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Sunday – Arrival Times, Finals, and Year End Party (with City Champs Medals & CSSRA Pins)

Dear Westdale Rowers,

Congratulations on finishing Day 2 of the CSSRA Canadian Rowing Championships. Today was a first day of racing (heats) for some, and a second day of racing (semifinals) for others, and the day came with a very strong headwind. Both Mike and I are really proud of what you have accomplished. We’ve seen you push hard in conditions that have caused others to falter, and your technique and power together are showing through. While not all of our crews were able to proceed to the finals, we saw very good racing from everyone on the water, and you should feel confident in what you’ve achieved so far this weekend.

Tomorrow’s finals include three Westdale crews: the Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+, the Sr. Men’s 1x, and the Sr. Men’s 4x, so we hope that everyone will join us in cheering on the crews as they compete in their final race(s). After the races, we’ll be heading to Kelsey’s on Main St. West at 7pm for the End-of-Year Party, where we’ll announce this year’s MVPs, Rookie of the Year, Spirit Award Winner, and will distribute City Champs Medals & CSSRA Pins to athletes.

Sunday Arrival Times & Finals Schedule:

-All athletes from the Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+ must arrive early to weigh-in with Mike at 6:30am. 
-All OTHER athletes AND spectators must arrive at 11am. 

A continental breakfast will be available immediately following the weigh-ins for the Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+ in the parents tent (yoghurt, muffins, etc.), and a hot breakfast/brunch will be provided at 11am, once the rest of the athletes and parents have also arrived.

Sunday Finals (Schedule):
Jr. Women’s 63kg 8+ @1:14pm (Lane 2)
Sr. Men’s 1x @1:56pm (Lane 3)
Sr. Men’s 4x @2:48pm (Lane 3)

For a full schedule, please see a copy of the final draw here.

Year-End Party – 7pm at Kelsey’s on Main St. West (across from WSS)

It’s that time of year again… all your bags are packed and you’re ready to go, BUT we’re still having a party and you’re invited. The end-of-year party will be held at 7pm at the Westdale Kelsey’s on Main St. West (across from the school) in the Party Room (downstairs – just ask for Westdale Rowing). ALL athletes and parents are invited – especially athletes whose season concluded with City Champs, because we’ll be handing out the City Champs medals.

We will be handing out the following awards at the party:
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Jr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Indoor MVP
-Sr. Men’s & Women’s Outdoor MVP
-Rookie of the Year
-Westdale Rowing Spirit Award

We’ll also be distributing City Champs medals, CSSRA pins (for those that raced this weekend), and a surprise something for those that have made their first CSSRA final.

Last of all…

I really hope to see you all at the race course AND at the party tomorrow, because this will likely be my final year coaching with Westdale and I will miss you all immensely and will be incredibly sad if I can’t say goodbye before you head off for the summer! So please do come. I would love it if you did 🙂

See you all tomorrow,
Alessandra


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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,
Alessandra


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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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Final Day (URGENT: HELP NEEDED!) – Parents & Food

Dear Parents,

Our hard-working parent reps (Dina & Brock) have been coordinating the food signup & provision for the regatta, but we are still very short of meeting the requirements to offer all athletes (and families) meals, which means we’re still looking for people to sign up today by 7pm at the latest to assist in contributing food for the regatta (You can click here to sign up: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19QGcBLPnAkXrf_mbyEYnfRKv3XYEnkdfTfHKK-9JvIA/edit?pli=1#gid=585143953)

We are particularly short on contributions for tomorrow (Friday) morning. If there’s any chance you can assist, we would greatly appreciate it! Thank you in advance!

Please click here to sign up to contribute: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19QGcBLPnAkXrf_mbyEYnfRKv3XYEnkdfTfHKK-9JvIA/edit?pli=1#gid=585143953 

See you all at 11am this morning (athletes) and 8am tomorrow morning (parents),
Alessandra


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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.

PARENT INFORMATION & FOOD SIGNUP:
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).

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)
-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:
-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)

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.

YEAR-END PARTY:
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,
Alessandra