Saturday, September 27, 2008

Report: Copperhead Regatta (long)

Hi, all! I have a fun time to report at thte 2008 Copperhead Regatta, right here in Houghton. I usually row a double with my wife, Kirsten. She couldn't race due to work conflicts, but Bob Sharkey and I tried rowing a couple of times last weekend and decided to give it a try. With a coaching session from the Deb, our latest addition to the PLRC (exciting news - check her out in an upcoming post!) we felt ready to give it a shot. I sat in the stern rowing stroke - I set the stroke rate. Bob in the bow steers and gives the orders. With our weights similiar, the boat felt pretty good.

After an entire week without rowing (I was getting over a cold and Bob was out of town all week,) we met at 7am down at the boats. One of the great things about rowing out of our own docks was not having to de-rig and move the boats. We had the coxes meeting and checked out a map of the course. A little over 3600 meters, Starting by the Ambassodor near the lift bridge, then down to the Isle Royale Sands for the finish. Bob and I were the first boat down the course. After putting in the water, you warm up while rowing to the bridge on the Hancock side of the canal, then turn around to get in position for a running start. You get up to speed as you cross the start line; they sound a horn and start timing you as you pass by. As ours was the first boat by, they hadn't yet worked out the kinks from the start. We were well behind the start, ready to start rowing - then all of the sudden the horn goes off! We took off rowing as soon as we heard it, though. At least I figure this way we get to race even more!

Coach Deb was next in her single. This was what's called a 'head race' - boats started down a course one at a time. You race against the clock. If you are much faster than the boat ahead of you, you might catch them. I'm just glad that Deb didn't catch us in her single!

The water was good; not completely flat, but any waves were going the same way we were. I tried to settle into a stroke rate of 30 strokes per minute. When I felt that I was going to run out of steam too early, I pulled it down to 28 spm. A bit of recovery, and we pulled it back up to 30 spm. Then, near the end, Bob called for a 'power 20' - for 20 strokes you give the strokes your most effort. After that we picked up the rate for about 10 strokes to the finish. Our finish time was 18 minutes 54 seconds.

The boat has a gizmo called a Speedcoach© that measures stroke rate, time and distance. Here are the splits for every 100 meters. Shown first is Interval (Meters,) then Strokes per minute, then Split/500M. That's the projected time to travel 500m, a useful standard to measure performance.
The last split looks pretty bad, but that' s because I forgot to turn off the Speedcoach© for about 30 seconds after the finish; that pulled the averages down.

100 27.5 2:56
200 28 2:39
300 28 2:37
400 28.5 2:37
500 29 2:37
600 29.5 2:37
700 29.5 2:29
800 30.5 2:22
900 31 2:26
1000 30.5 2:28
1100 30.5 2:32
1200 30.5 2:30
1300 30.5 2:32
1400 30 2:32
1500 30 2:29
1600 29 2:37
1700 30 2:34
1800 30 2:38
1900 30 2:39
2000 28 2:48
2100 28.5 2:43
2200 28.5 2:44
2300 28.5 2:45
2400 27.5 2:30
2500 28 2:33
2600 28.5 2:32
2700 28.5 2:35
2800 29 2:35
2900 29 2:33
3000 29.5 2:34
3100 29.5 2:40
3200 30.5 2:37
3300 30 2:41
3400 30 2:36
3500 29.5 2:28
3600 31 2:19
3700 25 3:41

Overall, I was happy with our consistency. With more practice and better conditioning, I' d like to average 2:30/500m splits. Without the last split, our average split was 2:36/500m.

Most of the other crews were either MTU Rowing Club or NMU Rowing Club. The Upper Peninsula Community Rowing Club from Marquette had a crew there, a masters women's coxed four. Composed of 5 women between the ages of 37 and 54, they rowed the course and had a good time. I'll have a couple of pictures up soon. Their finishing time is classified, due to mechanical problems that forced them to stop a couple of times.

Marquette returns the favor tomorrow at Teal Lake with the Iron Oars Regatta - second in the Heavy Metal Rowing Series. MTU will be going. Two in a row is a bit much for me at this point. Bob and I took on this one mostly as a lark. Maybe next year.

Big thanks to Terry for organizing the event, to the MTU rowers for their support, and to Tervos for doing timing at the start!

We may get out a few more times this season; soon it will be time to get boats in. MTU continues their season. I look forward to working with Deb (she is really cool!) and getting more people from our community into boats next Summer. (you!)

Look for pictures soon. See you!
See how Windows Mobile brings your life together—at home, work, or on the go.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adventure Day Report

We were there all day, open from 10 - 5. Kirsten and I brought down my single and our double, both open water boats. Perfect for this kind of demo. Terry, the MTU Rowing Club and Keweenaw/Aspirus (new name, I'll put up the new logos when I get them.) loaned us a tent, table & chairs, forms and an erg. We were really well equipped! Thanks, guys!

And now, the results! We had 19 people in boats, either the single or with an experienced rower in the double. Several more tried the erg. And the grand prize - 6 people signed up for more rowing! Time will tell how it all shakes out, but it' s always a boost to see people enjoy learning to row.

Bob Sharkey took several people out in the double. We lost Bob to an MTU football game at noon, so Kirsten took people out after that; I coached people in the single. People had a great time. I heard from people "I never realized how complex it is!" "Not so hard if I take it one stroke at a time" "It looks so elegant" "The most important part is your brain" "Its fast!" Everybody stayed upright, nobody fell in. One bystander thought he had seen the double capsize, but it was only a couple of guys from the MTU Nordic Ski Team coming in from a swim.

The weather was perfect. Jim Tervo (thanks, Jim!) gave us a perfect spot near the water with plenty of room to set up boats. I never got over to see music, dancing and other French-Canadian stuff. Kirsten did get over and score us some pork pie and a mixture of french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy (I forget the name.) Promting one observer's pithy remark, "that explains the apparent absence of French-Canadians." ;^)

The Adventure Day had logging stuff, including axe throwing; Cross Country Sports with mountain bikes (Kirsten and I both tried the 69er with a bigger front wheel;) Downwind Sports with Kayaks (Kirsten and I both went Kayaking. "pohh - Luke, feel the power of the Dark Side - pohhhh" ;^)) And of course, us (lots of rowing.)

Perhaps we might get more people if we do this again next year. Many folks got a good chance to try rowing, though. All in all it was a great day!
Get ideas on sharing photos from people like you. Find new ways to share.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Adventure Day in Chassell

Make plans!  PLRC will be part of Adventure Day at Chassell Centennial Park on Saturday, August 30th.  Boats, ergs, info and fun!  Its all part of the Festival Joie de Vivre celebrating the French-Canadian heritage of the Keweenaw.  Check out the Link:

(If it doesn't do its linky thing, just copy and paste it into your browser.)

Ta for now


Be the filmmaker you always wanted to be—learn how to burn a DVD with Windows®. Make your smash hit

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rowing Sunday 7/6

Kirsten and Charles will be out there Sunday, probably Bob Sharkey too. That may open up one or two more sculling seats. Maybe even a big boat, whatever people are up for. I know Kirsten wants to get out in her single; hopefully we'll be out earlier and back to the dock by 8:30.

See you out there!


The i'm Talkaton. Can 30-days of conversation change the world?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Yucky Saturday

Foggy, rainy and windy.
No row this morning.
Sunday, 8 am, let's try again.


Charles White, Registered Piano Technician
White's Piano Service
404 Frue Ave
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 483-0204

The other season of giving begins 6/24/08. Check out the i'm Talkathon.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Masters rowing next week June 6/15 - 23

No meeting Sunday, but I might get down to scull in the am.

Sculling Tuesday 6/17 at 6 am. Kirsten & Charles will be there.

After that, Kirsten & Charles will be out of town until 6/23. If anyone wants to get out the Fischer-Price boat on your own, go right ahead.

Keep an eye on the weather conditions and please stay in the inlet until you feel confident of your skills to try deeper water; even then, hug the shoreline - stay in easy swimming distance of the shore.

Saturday & Sunday at 8 am I presume that Terry will be down with the Copper Country Crew. You are welcome to join them. They need more rowers.

I'll be back for the following Tuesday, 6/24. See you then!


Search that pays you back! Introducing Live Search cashback.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Masters schedule

Masters Rowing Regular Schedule 

Tuesday & Friday mornings 6am - 7am coxed, no coach 

Saturday & Sunday mornings 8:30am - 10am coxed and coached 

This week (June 9 - 15) 

For masters

First Rows

Tuesday & Friday morning 6am

Isle Royale Sands

Sculling, singles and doubles. Even if you are interested in the big boats, come give it a try.  The technique helps a lot in sweep boats, and if we run out of seats, some can work at sculling.

For masters, youth 

Saturday & Sunday, June 14, 15th 8am (Terry announced Saturday, I think Sunday is on as well.)

Sweep boats

Isle Royale Sands

Things to bring

  • 10mm + 11mm wrenches (if you have them)
  • Close fitting, moisture wicking workout wear, appropriate layers.
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • cap/visor
  • Flip-flop sandals
  • Hefty socks, wool or water socks
  • Small towel for wiping down boats & oars

In case of emergency:

  • Warm, dry extra clothes
  • Big towel for you

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First Rows

Tuesday June 10th & Friday June 13th  6am - 7am  

Everybody gets a turn to learn sculling (holding two oars.)

Great on its own, and also great practice for sweep boats (holding one oar.)

Singles and Doubles, seating is somewhat limited; enough people, we'll take turns.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Learn To Row Day

For masters (adults) and Youth (age 15+) 

Saturday, June 7th, 10:00 am at the 

Keweenaw Memorial Fitness Center 

(ask at the desk for Learn To Row) 

Technique, Equipment, Vocabulary, Rules, Practice Times 

Questions? Ask Terry Smythe, Charles or Kirsten White (906-483-0204) or Bob Sharkey 

A joint project with Terry Smythe, the Keweenaw Memorial Fitness Center, the MTU Rowing Club and the Portage Lake Rowing Club.