Humboldt Bay Rowing Association
The second regatta of the season starts off with a nice calm morning at the farm house we are staying at in Petaluma, an excellent breakfast and the warm sun beating down on the outside patio where we eat. Just three hours later we are at the San Pablo Reservoir surrounded by boats and hundreds of rowers and coaches preparing for a huge two day race featuring 18 teams from all over California, San Diego to Humboldt. Each event seems to have no less then 15 entries necessitating multiple flights with up to 9 lanes across. For several of the higher profile events like the quad and the eight each boat is scheduled to run twice so that everyone gets to race as many boats as possible. This is an unusually large event for one of the first races of the year.
Race conditions were a sunny 68 degrees with a slight breeze from the north end of the lake. Times were fast all day long. Races went well for the doubles with both men and the womens boats holding the back of the middle of the pack. The girls finished and the boys lightweight finished third and the open-weight boys finished third. The fours were a bit more challenging for the team as both boats slipped to the back. This result was not a surprise for a team that does not train in the sweep style of rowing and who has not practiced in these boats all year. The rowers all had fun though and the girls even came off the water excited that they held the pack all the way through the 1k meter mark before loosing contact.
Race conditions were slightly cooler then Saturday with light ripples and a slight breeze most of the day. The morning races where a bit cooler then Saturday afternoon and the girls had a bit of trouble keeping warm in their first quad race. Sunday was all about the quads. Both the girls and the boys would race in the morning at around 8:00 am, and again at the end of the day around 3:00. In the first race the girls finished fifth and the boys finished in second. In the second race with slightly different opponents the girls took fifth again and the boys took third in a much closer and more exciting battle.
Full results can be found at herenow.com under Faultline Faceoff. The race by race report can be found below
Race by Race Report
First up for the team was the women's double with Cecilia and Emma. The girls held steady with the leaders for the first 500 then slid back into fourth place behind San Diego. At 300 meters to go Stanford C in fifth made a hard charge to pass the girls but they stayed true to their plan to sprint late and ended the charge holding on to fourth. All smiles on the dock with their well run race plan.
The boys four was up next. This was an event the team was more interested in as a warm up then an actual race, sweep rowing not being our focus. Even the start line officials were confused when they got to HBRA on the boat call out prior to the start. Apparently there was more then slight pause as the lead official conferred that, yes, HBRA did have a sweep boat in this event. In short, this was not our race and that became relatively evident right from the start as the other boats pulled away. By the end of the race HBRA was more then a minute behind the leaders but the race was not a complete loss. The boat was mostly set with a few bobbles throughout the entire race, which is a huge win for us. And their was power in each stroke. Rowing at a 26 - 28 for the entire race and keeping up with boats that were holding a 34-38 is no small task. Not to mention this boat has not been practiced or rowed in by the juniors at all this year until today. The boys were satisfied with their race but are content to stick with sculling.
After a brief brake the boys were back out on the course again in the boys doubles. First up was Isaac and Henry. Stanford took the lead pretty early with the boys holding second ahead of Nor Cal till about 750 meter where they slipped behind. The fight with Nor Cal was a bit frustrating for the team as they felt Nor Cal kept steering towards them and disrupting their rhythm. In the end it got to them and the other boat was able to pass. They finished the race on Nor Cal's heals in third place, unable to really find their rhythm again. The boys did acknowledge that it was a relatively strong race and with a few tweaks we can definitely get more speed out of the boat.
Boys ltwt 2x
The lightweight boys found their rhythm early but spun their wheel a bit more then the other boats and took fourth. Scott and Carson said they definitely gave it their all and race at a very hight rate. They felt good and had a lot of fun but would like to see if they can take the rate down a bit with more power next time they race the boat.
The girls four finished off our day and went in a similar fashion to the boys four with one big difference. While sweep rowing is clearly not our focus the girls were able to hang with their competition for the first 1k before loosing steam and dropping the rate. Cecilia exclaimed, "that was so much fun!" which is pretty big for someone who is usually quiet. Exhausted but happy with their race the girls would consider giving the four another look.
With Saturday completed most of the team ate dinner at Sol Food in San Rafel. A great little Puerto Rican Restaurant. After being well fed the team went back to the ranch house and straight to sleep, exhausted and concerned about having to wake up at 5:30 am for the next long day of racing.
Sunday started very early but the team made to the course on time for the first race at 7:48am, the girls 4x. With a good start the team was able to hold on to the pack for about 500 meters. The slipped back into fifth but felt good and relaxed for the entire race. They were excited to give it another go against different opponents later in the day.
Feeling much better in the 4x then they felt in the 2x the boys had fine race finishing second behind Stanford. Stanford A had the lead right from the start and walked away a good distance looking impressive but the battle was behind as Nor Cal tried to make a move at the 1k. Instead HBRA dropped their rate and pulled away from both Nor Cal and San Diego. They increased their lead and held their rhythm all the way through to the finish.
Girls 4x take 2
As the day went on the race official were getting excited for the end of a long weekend and kept moving the races earlier in the day. Unfortunately the coach and team not paying attention to the changing race times and assumed the race was being run on the original schedule so the boat was a bit late to the start. Fortunately everyone was very relaxed at this regatta so the officials just slid HBRA into the second heat which meant that most of their opponents were the same as the race earlier in the day, but at least they got a second go down the course. Again the girls raced a good hard race but came in 5th. They were a little closer to 4th placed Stanford C in the end but it was clear that the girls were extremity tired after a full weekend of racing.
Boys 4x take 2
The boys quad had a much tighter pack of boats in the second race then they had in the first. Artemis took an early lead a little less then a boat length in front of the rest of the pack. HBRA fought hard with Stanford C and San Diego over second place the whole way down. At about the 1k mark the boys had a slight lead over Stanford and started to try to move on Artemis. Their power and rates where much more consistent in this race then the last and that helped them edge back towards Artemis and slowly push ahead Stanford C until about 500 to go. Stanford then pulled back to less then a seat down off HBRA and Artemis held steady in front. All three boats had an impressive sprint with Artemis holding their lead for first, and Stanford was able to just edge out HBRA. The boys took third with 9 seconds over San Diego in fourth. The boys felt good about their second race and acknowledged a couple of mistakes they made. They definitely felt the exhaustion of two days of racing settling in but said they were able to deal with it during the race. They had a fantastic sprint which is something they had worked on after last weeks race and are excited to race Stanford again. They brought home some medals for the weekends efforts and were pretty happy about that.
Two days of racing is a lot to do. The girls were complete zombies by the end and the boys were visibly exhausted. The parents had a nice quiet drive home back to Humboldt. It was a very good weekend for the team. Next up is a weekend of racing on our home course then off to Redwood Shores for the Shamrock invite.
Girls 2x, Cecilia and Emma walk on competitors at finish line
Long line at the launch area. Lots of boats this weekend
Isaac and Henry put their boat in for their second race of the day
Isaac and Henry in the 2x
Our injury prone Isaac at it again. He slipped on the dock while getting his oars out of the boat. He and team member Scott seam to be pretty proud of the battle wound.
Humboldt Bay Rowing Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of rowing for community members of all ages and abilities. HBRA is located in the Adorni Center and the HSU Boathouse on the Eureka Waterfront. Please call 707.677.3214 for further information.