Thursday, July 28, 2011

Edge of Glory Playlist

  The past two weeks have been all over the place, with coming back to Princeton, jumping right into selection, some weather delays (oh, New Jersey! It wouldn't be selection without 100°+ weather and thunderstorms...at the same time!), and then some interesting trials still coming next week.

  I've been changing gears quite a bit this spring, and last week got a chance to try for the eight, which ended up going well. I'm excited to have the opportunity to race again with my boatmates from last year's eight--including our entire four from 2009, now three years in a row together!--and I think Susan and Caroline coming in have brought some great talent and experience to the crew.

Racing with Susan, Meghan, Amanda, and Jamie
(all in this year's 8+) in Lucerne last year!

  This playlist has been in the works for a while, but it's all about racing. The excitement and deadly calm just before the race starts. The energy of surging off the line. The focus of base pace. That incredible feeling of knowing that in two strokes you are going to unleash an unstoppable move--what the line "I'm on the edge of glory" reminds me of. And, of course, the sprint--being deep in the pain cave but finding it in yourself to will more speed out of your legs, out of the hull.

  So, enjoy this musical tribute to the best part of our sport! Good luck to everyone racing at Canley--the most fun week ever--and trials! (**Except for the Wugazi song, which is available for free on the linked website, all links go to previews of the tracks. All songs are available on iTunes, or for free if you are one of the first 20 to retweet this or share it on Facebook!)

1. Slow Like That -- Wugazi
2. Drop -- Ying Yang Twins
3. Give Me Everything -- Ne-Yo ft. Pitbull, Nayer, Nadia
4. Liv Tonight -- Nelly & Keri Hilson
5. The Edge of Glory -- Lady Gaga
6. Call Your Girlfriend -- Robyn (**The official video is here, but the more awesomer video made by my teammates Mara Allen and Adrienne Martelli is here!)
7. Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock) -- LMFAO
8. Hello -- Martin Solveig & Dragonette
9. BodyBounce (feat. Akon) -- Kardinal Offishal
10. Temperature -- Sean Paul
11. I Wanna Go -- Britney Spears
12. Get Up (Extended Mix) -- Stanton Warriors, Ruby Goe & Hollywood Holt
13. S.C.O.M. (feat. Ryu, Juelz Santana & Mike Shinoda) -- Celph Titled
14. Blind Faith -- Chase & Status
15. Fortune Days -- The Glitch Mob
16. Make Some Noise -- Beastie Boys
17. Off That (feat. Drake) -- Jay-Z
18. Otis (feat. Otis Redding) -- Jay-Z & Kanye West
19. Dance With Me Remix (feat. Beanie Sigel) -- 112
20. Dancing With the DJ (Chiddy Bang Remix) -- The Knocks
21. Feel It In My Bones (feat. Tegan and Sara) -- Ti√ęsto
22. Houdini -- Foster the People
23. Shine a Light -- Wolf Parade
24. Girl Is On My Mind -- The Black Keys
25. The Magic -- Joan As Police Woman
26. Furr -- Blitzen Trapper
27. Worn Me Down -- Rachael Yamagata
28. Drive It Like You Stole It -- The Glitch Mob
29. Sweet Disposition (Yes Giant Remix Radio Edit) -- The Temper Trap

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finals: Sunday in Lucerne

Final strokes of the rep!  Photo courtesy row2k.com
After a good solid race in our rep yesterday, we are feeling confident and excited coming into this afternoon's final. Reps aren't always a good way of gauging your speed, because you never know what other countries' race strategies are to qualify for the final, but we had a solid and aggressive piece that we are ready to build off of for today's final.

We are lining between Great Britain, the defending World Champs, and Australia, with Germany (World Cup leaders this year), New Zealand, and Ukraine filling out the rest of the starting blocks. Our race goes off the line at 1:29pm (7:29am Eastern/4:29am Pacific), and there will be live video streaming through the World Rowing website at http://www.worldrowing.com/video. You can also see the splits and results via live race tracker at http://www.worldrowing.com/live-results.

The weather has been interesting here--alternating lovely sunny skies with rain and occasional thunderstorms. There will be variable weather this afternoon, but whether 70, sunny and tailwind or 60, bumpy and pouring, we're excited to get to the line and drive down the race course with everything we've got.

Some USA crews have already raced this morning in the B finals, and we will have crews racing throughout the morning in the A finals, so be sure to tune in to the live streaming video starting at 10:15am to see the racing! Thanks for the support, and GO USA!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lucerne 2011: Day One Done!

Off the line in our heat!    Photo courtesy row2k.com
We had our first race together today, and while we definitely have places to go, it was a solid starting point. We lined up against Germany (World Cup 1 and 2 winners), Australia (who I raced last weekend at Henley), China, and Russia. We ended up a second and a half off of Germany, and will be racing in the rep tomorrow with a solid field, including Ukraine (World Cup and Worlds medalists from the last few years). We’re racing at 3:12pm (9:12am Eastern, 6:12am Pacific) and you can see live results at http://www.worldrowing.com/live-results.
Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols dominating the LW2x
USA overall did very well for Day 1, with some extremely strong performances to boot. The lightweight women’s double of Julie Nichols and Kristin Hedstrom won both their heat and quarterfinal races, making it look easy in the heat by nearly a length of open). The women’s pair of Taylor Ritzel and Caroline Lind also moved out to open water in winning their heat, and the women’s eight won their heat by a length after a fighting back through the field. Our men’s eight also had a great race today. Our guys went for it against defending World Champions Germany, were within a second of them the entire race, and nearly caught them in the sprint. The other heat of the men’s eight featured a 0.01 second win by the Netherlands over Worlds silver-medalists Great Britain—a big sprint that produced one bowball’s lead and avoided a trip to the reps for the Dutch.
M1x Ken Jurkowski
Another exciting performance of the day was from men’s single Ken Jurkowski, who took second in his heat before winning his quarterfinal (Mahe Drysdale took third) to advance to the A/B semi tomorrow.

The women’s double of Sarah Trowbridge and Kate Bertko finished a tight second in their rep this afternoon after finishing a tight second in their heat this morning, and advanced to the A/B semi tomorrow. Our men’s double of Will Miller and Glenn Ochal put on a good sprint to win their rep and also advanced to tomorrow’s A/B semi. Our other pair, Meghan Musnicki and Susan Francia, finished second in their heat to advance to the A/B semi, where they will face off against USA1.
Banks, Stitt, Monaghan, and Stafford in the M4-
There was also exciting racing by our men’s fours. Both took a trip through the reps after tough draws this morning, and both won their reps, including a win by Silas Stafford, Ryan Monaghan, Sam Stitt and David Banks over defending World Champions France. The two fours will face off tomorrow in the A/B semifinal. The second women’s lightweight double of Ursula Grobler and Abby Broughton also made it through to the semifinals after a trip through the reps, and will race alongside USA1 in the A/B semi tomorrow.

Our men’s pair, Justin Stangel and Tom Peczek, will race in the C final tomorrow, as will our lightweight men’s four and men’s quad. After an extremely close rep, women’s single Gevvie Stone will also be racing in the C final tomorrow.

That’s all from Lucerne—bedtime here! Check back tomorrow for more updates and photos. Go USA!

***All photos courtesy USRowing.***

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ready to Race: Lucerne World Cup 2011!

After a whirlwind of racing last weekend and traveling on Monday, we have gotten in a good few days of training and are all gearing up to race tomorrow. The last few days have been pretty uneventful, but this afternoon we had a freak rain/thunder/hailstorm at the course! We just managed to get our boat racked and tied down before the deluge started...our lightweight men's four, however, wasn't so lucky, and had to row through the craziness just to get in.
video

We haven't had much of a chance to explore, but I have managed to take a few photos around the city and at the course. I put together a little slideshow here:

I am racing tomorrow in the women's quadruple sculls at 12:30pm Lucerne time (that's 6:30am Eastern, 3:30am Pacific, in case you're still up!) My boatmates Natalie Dell, Megan Kalmoe, and Stesha Carle and I are all excited for our first race together and to get out there and go! You can follow along at http://www.worldrowing.com/live-results to see both the live race results and a list of race results from the day.

First glimpse of us in action--this afternoon's race against the thunderstorm!

Thanks for all of the support and cheering during last week's racing...it means a lot to me and all of the other rowers here. This is our first official race of the season, and we can't wait to get to the starting line tomorrow. Boom. Go USA!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Henley Sunday: Double the Fun!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to post—Saturday and Sunday of this week were a bit crazy, and I’ve finally just started to feel like we’re settled in here in Lucerne.
The USA ladies of the 8+ and the 4x with the Remenham Challenge Cup (8+) and Princess Grace Challenge Cup (4x)!
Sunday was another adventure at Henley. It started off with a bit of a bang-up during our paddle in the “Tall Quad” (rhymes with “awkward”) in the morning. I didn’t realize that motorboats were allowed to double-park inside the booms, and took off half my rigger during our trip down. Thankfully, aside from my rigger, the rest of the equipment was fine, and everyone was fine as well. After we got in from the row, I found out that unfortunately my teammate Erin Cafaro wasn’t going to be able to race that day. Thankfully, she’s doing much better, and is back in the 8+ for our racing this week in Lucerne.
The aftermath.
I headed down to the course ready for a day of racing and resting. We launched the eight and had a solid warm-up down to the start. After making sure we were aligned and both sitting ready, the official in the launch started us, and we were off! Our race was solid, if not quite as fast out of the blocks as the boat’s race Friday. We pushed towards the end, including a big move where we all pulled for Cafaro. We ended up tying the course record that the eight had set on Friday, which was really exciting to find out afterwards. The British national team definitely pushed us, and I’m sure there will be some good hard US-GB racing here in Lucerne.
Last strokes of the Remenham Cup final!
After our race, I felt like a crappy boatmate, but I was told to go recover and rest while the rest of the boat derigged and prepped the eight for travel to Lucerne. Luckily, the showers at Henley are freezing, and I had packed plenty of snacks, recovery drinks, and water, so I was good to go. About 40 minutes after I finished my cooldown from the 8+ race, my 4x teammates arrived to start warming up for our Princess Grace final! So, it was back to work.

We launched and had a much less eventful row up to the start than our paddle that morning (thankfully!) We were early to the start, and were hanging out waiting to pull into the starting blocks when we started being heckled by some tipsy teenagers on the bank. “Where are you from?” I pulled on my uni so they could see the “USA” down the side. “Oh, USA, huh? Well…row this one for Sarah Palin! I mean, for KFC!” Luckily, before they got to Walmart, it was time to row it up to the start.

Final strokes of the Princess Grace Challenge Cup. Photo courtesy row2k.com.
We had a really solid start, and as we lengthened down, we discovered we were in the middle of the best piece we’d had together as a boat. We executed our race plan and were able to push out, bit by bit, to a little bit of open water. It was really exciting to have our best piece be the final—it’s great to have awesome teammates who thrive under pressure, too!

Me and J.P. Newport/Harvard pride!
We only had a few minutes after the race to meet and be excited about the great race we’d had, because then it was off to get dressed in twenty minutes to get to the Steward’s Enclosure for the awards ceremony! We managed to get in a shower, throw on our dresses and hats, and powerwalk over just in time (there is no running at Henley!) Being in the medal stands were a great experience. I got to catch up briefly with J.P. Hogan, who won in the Harvard 4+, and with whom I’ve trained over breaks at the Newport Aquatic Center for the past few years.
Sir Matthew Pinsent was also our trophy-tender (you don’t leave with the Cup, you leave with a picture of the Cup!) and it was such an honor to meet him. After teasing our quad when we asked for a boat picture with him—“Ah, yes, the women’s quadruple sculls, the event for which I am best known”—he congratulated me and our team on our successes.

Pimms Cups with two of my favorite ladies, Meghan Musnicki and Elle Logan!
After all of the hoopla, I finally got to sit with a few teammates, friends, and parents, and have the obligatory Henley drink, a Pimms cup. Well, I didn’t entirely make it through the Pimms…turns out my stomach wasn’t up much for celebrating after all that racing. But I enjoyed the half a Pimms, and all of Sunday’s racing and Henley adventures, quite a bit. And I’m so proud of Team USA for our success throughout the racing. What a great first trip to Henley! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Henley Saturday: Doubling Down!

  Today started off with finding out that I would be racing both the 4x and the 8+ in the semifinals today. Not something I expected to be doing at Henley, but also a great experience and what ended up being two really great races.
  In the eight, we got a lap on the course during morning practice to row together, and after about 500 meters, I felt ready to race as part of the crew. I then jumped back into the quad and we got in a paddle together. After a quick trip to Starbucks, it was time to start warming up for the 8+ race at 11:30. We had a solid warm-up and went into the race feeling good and excited to race. The rest of the boat set the course record yesterday--to Barrier, Fawley, and overall--and we went after it again today, managing to beat the 2006 record (this time in a headwind) by 3 seconds. It was a good piece, but also one we felt we could build off of. It was a good step towards the final tomorrow at 12:20 against Leander (the G.B. eight).
  It was a pretty quick turnaround from cooling down from our 8+ race (there is no cooldown area on the course, so crews either jog or erg to cool down) to warming up for our 4x race. Luckily, the showers are FREEZING, so there was no need to locate an ice bath! Refreshed, we headed back out into the lunch break madness for our 4x warmup. After passing a gentleman who'd overturned his kayak in the middle of the racing lane, we made it through our warmup and to the starting line. The umpires were a bit late getting back from lunch--we discussed it with the Aussies and decided there must have been some really delightful cucumber sandwiches at tea--but otherwise the race went off without a hitch. 
  We had just gotten into our base strokes when THWACK!!! My starboard oar hit what I thought was a buoy, until I realized that there are log booms at Henley, not buoys...and regardless, the hit was on the racecourse side! We all looked out and saw that I had in fact clobbered a duck, which I would like to think then righted itself and swam away, but which Elle (2-seat) confirmed was not doing very well after the hit. However, we did get a big kick in the pants from the incident, and found another gear. We ended up with a win to advance the boat to tomorrow's final at 3:40, again against Australia (we raced their 4x today; tomorrow will be against what we've heard is their W2x combined with their LW2x, and who set the course record today).
  Our teammates in the other USA 4x had an extremely challenging race against the other Australian quad, who threw down some very high ratings--from what the announcer said, "striking a 38" for much of the race--and in spite of also breaking 2001 course record, they did not advance. Some other USA crews today also had great but challenging races: our M8+ finished just 2/3 of a length down on defending world champions Germany in their first race together, our M4x was back the same distance on the G.B. quad, and our M2x was back 3/4 of a length on the 2010 WRC silver-medalists G.B. However, our M4- advanced with a 3/4 length win over Australia, and will race the final tomorrow at 3:00 against G.B. Gevvie Stone, who is preparing to try to qualify the 1x for this year's worlds, advanced to race against Knapkova tomorrow at 11:50.
  All in all, it was a great day for racing. We decided in our boat meeting after the 4x that the duck helped power us along--Elle: "Really, there were five of us rowing that race." R.I.P., little ducky, but we're on to the final in the 4x and the 8+ is ready to race as well. Time for bed here. Go USA--good luck to all crews racing tomorrow!
***Photos courtesy of row2k.com***

Friday, July 1, 2011

Henley Friday: Ready for Our First Race!

We are getting ready to head back down to the course in a bit and prep for our first race! We are lining up against Nottingham R.C. in the first race of the Princess Grace Challenge Cup at 11:40 here (that's 6:40am Eastern).

Training this week has been a bit of an adventure, but it's been really exciting to get to train and prepare for racing on this historic course along with the rest of our team and our international competitors. I think I've earned my bow seat stripes with steering during the lunch breaks the past two days. The lunch break rows consist of dozens and dozens of crews launching and heading down for a lap or two, exactly at the same time as nearly every pleasure boat unmooring and heading back up the course. Since the practice lanes are often only wide enough for one boat, it makes for some very exciting steering and very quick stops.

At one point, mid-power strokes, I happened to look over towards the course--we were right against the wooden booms--and saw a motorboat just off our oars, cutting across the course and heading directly at our boat. An extremely quick hold, a lot of yelling, and somehow both boats emerged unscathed...at which point I realized it was an umpire launch!

Anyhow, we're excited to finally be racing and to open up the throttle and go! The best source for live results  are the @henleyregatta Twitter feed, and there is a live race radio broadcast at http://regattaradio.co.uk.

Go USA!
There was an error in this gadget