Both Ends of The Spectrum
July 11, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. – Oars of all shapes, sizes and colors rest against a roadside guardrail.
It was one of the few places left to place equipment as crews set up for the five-day 2012 USRowing Club National Championship on the Cooper River in Camden, New Jersey.
The largest championship in the history of USRowing, the club national regatta has a reputation of attracting all sorts of crews and for accommodating rowers from varying skill levels and age groups.
“It’s really exciting to be at a big regatta with so many clubs. There are so many people that want to be here and you’ll know you’ll face good competition,” said Olivia Flessland of the Detroit Women’s Rowing Association.
This year rowers from clubs across the country have entered over 69 junior, intermediate and senior events.
All are here to take in a dose of friendly competition.
In keeping with this tradition USRowing added spaces in the women’s junior B single sculls, men’s junior A four, women’s junior double sculls, women’s intermediate single sculls, men’s junior A Single sculls, women’s junior A single sculls and men’s junior B single sculls.
Several new and returning crews have taken advantage of the additional racing opportunities for championship at this week’s regatta.
In their first year of racing at club nationals, the seven girls and one boy of Detroit Women’s Rowing Association made the trek from Michigan.
“It’s mind-blowing to see all these different people and to hear that heats had to be added to certain races for some many people. It’s kind of nerve wrecking, but also very exciting,” said Flessland. Flessland will compete tomorrow in the junior A quadruple sculls. In addition to it being DWRA’s first club nationals, this is their first regatta of the summer.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sarasota Crew makes its final appearance for the summer at this regatta. After sending rowers to 2012 USRowing Youth National Championships and the 2012 USRowing National Championships earlier this summer, Sarasota hopes to close out the season with strong performances.
“We’re kind of using this as a regatta to wrap up the summer training,” said Sarasota Coach Marty Beyer. “We start August 13th in Florida and the kids go back to school on the 20th. So we’re just doing it as kind of a fun trip to wrap up. So far things have been going well and the course is great.”
Sarasota is one of the crews to benefit from the decision by USRowing to expand the racing schedule with entrants in predominantly junior events.
“I really appreciate the fact that USRowing opened up the junior events,” said Beyer. “It adds for lots of competition and gives the chance for kids to come out and race at their own level, especially the junior B’s.”
Heats for junior events dominated the initial day of racing with some intermediate and senior events interspersed throughout. The heats today determined who would progress to the semifinals starting on Friday evening.
Racing resumes with more heats tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m.
For event information and a schedule of the 2012 USRowing Club National Championships, visit: http://www.usrowing.org/Events/ClubNationals.aspx.
Live streaming of the finals can be seen at: http://www.ustream.tv/usrowing.
Following the event, video clips can be purchased at http://www.usrowing.org/Multimedia/VideoDownloads.aspx.
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