The first Sunday in May is the duly appointed time for the New England Rowing Championships, so as expected, they were held at Lake Quinsigamond, MA on May 1.
This event is one that I look forward to, for it it is "championship" racing -- no more duel or three-way competition, but many colleges competing against many more.
This season has been so busy on the work front, a book to finish etc., that I have not spent as much time on the water as I usually do. My limited schedule has deprived me of the pleasure of watching the crews improve each week as the season progresses.
Crew coaches in NE are very special. In readying their crews for competition, they must deal with the fickle weather and the demands placed on crews by their academic calendars. We've had a long winter this spring so I was pleasantly surprised at how competitve the rowing was.
Crew is not one of those sports that athletes learn the rudiments of before they enter middle school. Many take up the sport after they enter college. Some are late bloomers as athletes, having never enjoyed the thrill of competition before entering their first collegiate rowing event. This weights and freights the entire learning process. There has also been such growth in the sport that there is a shortage of coaches (and of officials I might add). Most college coaches each year have to train not only their athletes but also their assistants. This is a tall order.
The rewards for the athletes are large, for rowing is a sport that once undertaken can become a lifelong pleasure. Just this a.m. my spouse was off "pushing water" on the Charles. He's no youngster but still gets immense pleasure from his time on the water.
I am looking forward to the rest of the championship season.