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
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!).
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!
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.
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 🙂
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+).
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.
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.
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):
-back of knees & ears
-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)
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!) BECAUSE THEY ARE MISSING YOU SO MUCH.
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.