I took the Vespoli Matrix out for a row and managed to overturn on a northbound run back up Wyandotte Lake. My right leg decided to cramp up at that catch. . . recovery. square blades. drop. catch. . . wait massive right leg cramp. loss of balance. (thee overturn ensues). Not having a lot of experience overturning a single, let alone re-mounting from the water, made for a learning experience.

I was fortunate to have a member, Al Hupp, from Kansas City Rowing Club (www.kcrowing.com) give instruction on how to get back into the boat. For anyone interested, Al gave instruction relevant to this reference at : http://www.eriecanalrowingclub.com (Florida Rowing Center)

Demonstrating how to get back into an overturned single shell.

Rowing of the Shell. . . with caution not to be hit by the rigging or oars.

Carefully reaching across, grabbing for the rigor on the opposite side of the shell, and slowly turning to let the water out.

Slowly turning the shell right back-up.

Now it’s time to re-position the oars extended outward back into the oar locks.

She then positions the oar handls on her site, into the rigging on the other site, to position it for an easy reach when she swims to the other side.

Now for the challenging mount. . . Depending on which side you’re on you will maintain, with one hand, both oar handles and using the other hand to hold a firm part of the rowing shell.

Then you want to paddle your legs towards the service so your body is almost flat on or near the top of the water’s surface.

Now that you’re in position, pull yourself to the top of the shell, and shortly after you’re on the shell, rotate your body into the seat

Now use your hand(s) on the oars, use them to balance the shell while you bring your feed back into the shell

And that’s how you get back into an overturned single shell

Backsplash Catch

April 16, 2009

It’s a struggling start to the 2009 rowing season. Not quite like the riding a bicycle; You do forget what you’re doing. So it’s a practice gig. We’ve been on the water a couple times now? It’s been a wobbly start.

Blade depth. Hands together. Timing. Oars Sky High. It’s everything.

Tonight, Coach Jenn reminds us to take the row at an slow, steady pace; Keeping those hands together from the drive thru the recovery – all the time!  The most helpful advice was progressive rowing. . .giving time for us to work as a team and coordinate the catch and release cycles together. Hear those oar locks engage and disengage!

Progressive Row :

  1. Arms & Back (20 Strokes)
  2. 1/4 Slide (20)
  3. 1/2 Slide (20)
  4. Full Slide (20)

In pace, we then focused on rolling those oars to into a square position earlier into the recovery. As we take a few strokes, Jenn pushed us to raise our hands (lowering our oars to the water), contributing a stronger sense of balance. Our hands tend to dive in the recovery cycle as we square which diminishes our center-of-gravity and creating the unstable behavior.

A useful analogy I like to remember is to imagine you’re taking a tabasco bottle and rolling it on a table. Starting with the bottle in the palm of you’re hand, rolling it forward into your finger tips, and you’re thumb nested at the base of the bottle, then try to pick-up the bottle with your fingers and thumb. It helps you understand the roll technique, and the upward motion you have with your hands when you drop you’re oars into the water at the catch (the blades drop, the oar handles rise).

If you find yourself at a restaurant with tabasco bottles at the table, I encourage you to try.

A sense of progress this evening, but we still have a bit to work on. It’s only our second practice, but we have much more to contribute on the water in weeks to come. If Dave will just get his Captain’s key from the coaches, we can hit up the lake 3-4 times a week.

-J