Congrats to CRRC for a great first regatta! The varsity squad traveled to Milwaukee early Saturday morning to race in our first big regatta of the season. Rowers and families departed Madison at 5:30a.m. The kids arrived promptly to rig up their boats and get ready for the competition of the day. After unloading the trailer and rigging all the boats, the kids then get ready for their races. They will have a small snack, make sure to get hydrated, and then about an hour before their race they meet to check over the boat, stretch out, warm up and have a pre-race meeting. All this happened for the Girls 4s before 8:00a.m.! Gotta love the early morning hours of this sport! While the kids unload and rig, the coaches and coxswains also attend the Coaches and Coxswains meeting to get all the race day instructions and find out about any last-minute updates for the day.

At this race, the Girls 4s were followed by the Boys 8s, and then Girls 8s. Final race of the day was supposed to be the Boys 4s. But due to high winds that were ever increasing, the Boys 4s were unfortunately cancelled. It was an excellent decision by the race committee to keep everyone safe. But, it’s always disappointing to not get your race in. No doubt the boys are very much looking forward to the Tail of the Fox to get those races in!

Overall, CRRC had a very strong first showing. With all the new coaches this year, the varsity kids are making some big changes in the way they approach rowing. Every coach has a unique take on the balance it takes to make a team gel – both on and off the water. The kids have been very receptive and very responsive to the changes. In many ways, it’s very hard to have a race so soon after the beginning of the season. Because while the rowers are certainly capable of racing down the course, it takes some time to really incorporate a new coaches style. I know the coaches are looking forward to the next two weeks to really zero in on some of these goals before we face competition again!

So…what is this new style, you might ask? The coaches are building on the foundation the rowers already have. All coaches can agree that rowing technically well, pulling hard and being fit are critical components of a team having their best performance. Beyond that, however, there are many successful interpretations of what the rowing stroke should look like, of how the race plan should be executed, what the team dynamic should be, etc. etc. Look for a more detailed description from the varsity and novice coaches in the upcoming Oaracle newsletters. The regattas are also a great time to meet and chat with the coaches to learn more about this awesome sport and to see what the coaching philosophy looks like.

Finally, many thanks to the parent volunteers who drove to the regatta, set up the tents and cooked for our kids. We couldn’t do it without you! Thanks also to all the parents who came by to cheer us on. We had lots of CRRC blue and grey cheering for the kids as they raced down the winding waters of the Milwaukee River. Downtown Milwaukee provides a very unique and fun setting for this event. We look forward to seeing everyone at our next all-team competition in De Pere, WI on the banks of the mighty Fox River. The scene on the St. Norbert campus is uniquely tranquil and provides a great place to view the kids as they cross the finish line! Go CRRC!

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