30for30: Capital Adaptive, from the Beginning

By Chuck Linderman

The Capital Adaptive Rowing Program had its first year of practice and competition in 2009. Of that early group of rowers there are but three members of Capital still with the group: Joe Tezak, Chuck Linderman, and Charlie Lenneman. None of the original coaches or Capital volunteers from that early time are with the program with the lone exception of our volunteer extraordinaire: Bob Lenneman, who brings and rows with Charlie and also brings Chuck Linderman. This is a reflection not on the coaches, but rather the intensity of personnel requirements to run a successful adaptive rowing program and the adversities that each participant must overcome to be successful.

One thing is very different for CARP in 2018: continuity in the coaching staff from year to year. And continuity from one coaching year to the next is highly important for adaptive rowers. All of our athletes have been classified by medical professionals who understand the FISA classification system for adaptive rowers. It is important for competitive purposes that this be done fairly, because it seems as though each adaptive athlete brings his or her own set of variabilities to an adaptive regatta. Our program includes single and double amputees, stroke victims, college athletic injuries, blindness, and degenerative end-of-life challenges. All of these are included in our program and all of them have medaled in the Bayada Regatta in Philadelphia.

Our first head coach was Patrick Johnson with assistance from Mike Curtis. This was before the new boathouse opened in 2010. Patrick and Mike operated in the classic manner of crew coaches and did not hesitate to push the rowers as necessary. The results for that first year of competition were inspiring to all.

In subsequent years, a variety of coaches, each with their individual style, have come and gone through CARP. Those coaches who have had the most success have had strong volunteer coordinators. Our current volunteer coordinator, Michele Woolbert is responsible for much of CARP’s success. She makes the boat assignments and determines which volunteers can pair up with which rowers. It is more of an art than a science. Sometimes, if CARP is short of volunteers, some adaptive rowers will go and erg, though this is not the best solution.

Without our loving and unselfish volunteers, CARP would not be successful, let alone competitive on a national scale. The primary things the volunteers do are:

  1. Be a rowing partner for someone in a double, which usually means the volunteer steering the boat from the bow seat;
  2. Carrying boats down to the dock from the storage bay and rigging area;
  3. Helping put away boats after the rowers return.

Results from the Bayada Regatta in Philadelphia each August are the standard by which CARP measures success. It is truly a powerful spectacle to watch people with various challenges get into or placed into a boat for a race and see the results. It inspires everyone who is at St. John’s Boathouse that weekend in August.

As we stand on the banks of the Anacostia at the beginning of June 2018, CARP has its first new double, is scheduling in shifts on Saturdays. In order to get everyone on the water, with our limited number of seats, CARP is now splitting into two practices on Saturdays and practicing on four weeknights.

How far we have come with the great and generous support from Capital!  We could not have done this, and continue without all of the supportive people at Capital.   

RaceResults Round Up: Robert E Day Jr Capital Sprints 2018

Thanks everyone for the great racing at the Robert E Day Jr Capital Sprints!

Results have been posted here: http://www.capitalrowing.org/crcwp/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Robert-E.-Day-Jr.-Capital-Sprints-2018-all-results-chronological.pdf

If you have any questions, stories you’d like to share or photos from the day — please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Regatta Director via email capsprints@capitalrowing.org

See you this fall for Head of the Anacostia and next year at Robert E Day Jr CapSprints 2019!

30for30: Honoring Bob Day

By Leah Krynicky, 30th Anniversary Committee Co-Chair

You may have noticed an exciting new change to Capital’s summer regatta. In honor of the Anacostia rowing and paddling community’s most committed and hardworking champion, we are officially christening the Robert E. Day, Jr. Capital Sprints.

Bob Day had a lifelong passion for crew, and we have Bob to thank for every stroke we take on the Anacostia. In fact, every person who takes a stroke—whether from a shell, dragon boat, or canoe—on our stretch of the river has Bob to thank.

Bob Day had a vision to bring rowing to the Anacostia. Following his retirement, Bob founded the Organization for Anacostia Rowing and Sculling (OARS) in 1988, introducing students from Anacostia Senior High School and Frederick Douglass Junior High School to rowing.

Capital Rowing Club began as a community rowing organization the same year, originally rowing out of Thompson’s Boat Center on the Potomac River. In need of more space, Capital was looking for a new home in 1995, and OARS invited us to join them on the Anacostia. We began our decades-long partnership with Bob based on our mutual love of rowing and our dedication to making it accessible to all in the community.

Along with OARS and two other organizations, Capital became a founding member of the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association (ACBA). In 2010, Capital and other members of ACBA moved to our current site from which we train and compete. Bob remained active in the ACBA community, often accompanied to the boathouse by his best friend and wife Diana.

Capital’s sprint regatta began fourteen years ago as a scrimmage among cross-town rivals and has grown into a summer racing tradition for rowing teams all over the DC area and up and down the East Coast. Each year, more than 200 youth and adult athletes with various abilities compete in more than 30 rowing categories during the daylong event.

Bob’s vision has led to a thriving community of more than 1,000 athletes of all ages and experience levels from 9 community, high school, and university programs. It is through his efforts that we all are able to challenge our physical and mental strength; experience the highs and lows of practices; build comradery and confidence through competition; and enjoy crisp mornings, hot afternoons, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets while rowing on the Anacostia.

The Capital community is honored to fondly call Bob Day a friend, and we are proud to remember him each year at the Robert E. Day, Jr. Capital Sprints regatta.

RaceRoundUp: Independence Day Regatta 2018

Results:

  • Race 3a Womens Masters 4+ Final 1 – 3rd Place
  • Race 3c Womens Masters 4+ Final 3 – 3rd Place
  • Race 4c Mens Masters 8 Final 3 – 2nd Place
  • Race 30a Womens Masters 8 Flight 1 – 3rd Place
  • Race 31f Mens Masters 4+ Final 5 – 2nd Place
  • Race 55c Womens Masters 1x Final 3 – 2nd Place
  • Race 75c Womens Masters 2x Final 3 – 3rd Place

 

30for30: Feel It

Karen Zareski is a member of Club PM. She signed up for Capital’s Learn to Row program on a whim, and was lucky enough to find a community and a passion.

Five years ago, I learned to row at Capital. I am still—and always will be—learning. My body does not always respond rapidly to the coaches’ direction; I grind in improvements season by season. In winter, I convince myself to stay on a rowing machine with the promise of spring.  In spring, I am overjoyed to be back on the water. I recommit to fixing imperfections and count the weeks until our first regatta.

It is summer now, and we sweat as we lift the boats into the water. Sometimes there is whining about the heat and humidity. Often I am the one whining. Shortly after we launch, however, we settle into the rhythm. The only way to make progress is to focus on the fundamentals of timing, technique, and power. There is no space left to worry about to-do lists or tomorrow’s meetings.  Each practice is an opportunity for a mental and physical reset.

We pass kayakers and canoers, novice sailors and party boat cruisers. A home run cheer from Nationals Stadium can provide heady impetus for a touch more swing from the hips, more power from the quads. We focus on the back of the rower in front of us, striving for the ineffable swing that takes a row to the sublime. In the last few strokes of practice, our boat surges forward. We return to the dock at twilight, ready for happy hour and ever more discussion of rowing.

In autumn, the river is ours alone. The quiet is broken by our cox and our coach. The catch of the oar, the slide of the seat, the solidity of the finish. When we row well, the water rushes beneath us. In the dark, we must rely even more on what our coaches have taught us:

Strength matters. Timing matters more. Row through the waves, the wakes, the wind. Stay solid through the core. Relax your shoulders, and pull through each stroke’s finish. Let the boat come to you rather than rushing forward and checking its progress. Find the water with your blade. If you miss a stroke, fix it on the next. Feel the boat. Focus on the teammate in front of you. Sit up.  Feel it.