Congratulations to all of our CARP athletes who attended the BAYADA Regatta in Philadelphia on August 17. Capital athletes raced in eight events, winning six gold and two silver medals!
- PR3 Mix 4+ Final: Gold: Margaret Rajnic (Three Rivers/Capital/Athletes without Limits composite)
- 1x Womens Senior PR3/VI Final: Gold: Margaret Rajnic
- 1x Mens PR1 Final: Gold: Shannon Franks
- 2x Womens PR3/VI Junior A Final: Gold: Lauren Fisch
- 1x Mens PR2 Final: Gold: Ken Marrs
- 2x Womens PR3 Final: Gold: Lauren Fisch/Margaret Rajnic
- 2x Mens PR3/VI Inclusion F-H Final: Silver: Hal Quayle
- 2x Mens PR2 Inclusion Final: Silver: Sherman Anderson
The next tryouts for the Capital Juniors program are August 26, 27, 29, and 30, 2019, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. There will be no practice on Wednesday, August 28.
Tryout week is for any interested new rower (no experience necessary) in grades 8-12. The location is 1900 M Street, SE and upperclassmen and coaches will be at Potomac Ave Metro at 4:00 pm to walk students down to the boathouse on the first day.
Tryouts include 4 days of participation in the program after school from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Participation in all 4 days is highly encouraged. The week gives students the chance to learn the basics of rowing, some small relays, a friendly chat with a coach, and lots of fun team-building games!
Want to tryout? Find out more here and come visit us August 26, 27, 29, and 30th.
This upcoming weekend marks the 38th anniversary of one of our favorite events, the Bayada Regatta. Each year, CARP seizes the opportunity to attend this all-adaptive regatta hosted on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA. This race is the nation’s oldest and largest all-adaptive rowing, also known as para-rowing, competition. CARP coordinates the participation of as many athletes as are available and interested in racing, ranging from Novice Inclusion events (first-time competitors with a volunteer bow partner), to the newest Elite 1x race using racing shells with or without pontoons. This year, we have 6 athletes and 9 staff/coaches/volunteers participating.
Bayada is a weekend-long experience for our attendees- beginning with travel and carpool Friday afternoon, the evening Jolly-Up event mingling with teammates (our own and others), and coaches meetings. Saturday morning races start at 0800 (with our coaches and volunteers starting rigging and organizing around 0630) and go until 1500. Saturday evening is a supported banquet, where each team is recognized and there is a special presentation of the Leo Reilly Award. The banquet is a night of food, fun, music, and dancing; CARP has historically been the first one on and the last one off the dance floor!
This event remains one of my favorite of the entire year due to the comradery displayed; all teams and all athletes really look out for and support each other, from sharing equipment to enable everyone the opportunity to get on the water, to cheering for all opponents. One of the most unique parts of the regatta is the Tupperware bins in which athletes place their prosthetics, canes, and other assistive devices to be transported from the launching to landing docks; often you will see volunteers running with an arm, leg, or wheelchair from dock to dock, and the best part is- this is expected!
I encourage everyone who knows someone in the Philly area to share that the Bayada regatta is this Saturday, August 17th (and of course with my bias, to come cheer on CARP)! I also encourage you to mark your calendars and consider helping out at Bayada next year! Go CARP, Go Capital!
By Talia Linneman
What is an athlete? If you want to know, spend some time with CARP, the Capital Adaptive Rowers.
First, an athlete has an indomitable spirit. They eat obstacles for breakfast. Not only are CARP athletes physically tough, but they are mentally strong as creative problem solvers. Every rower has to deal with gear that doesn’t work auto-magically. CARP’s gear is still being invented, both as the industry develops adaptive products, and as coaches and athletes experiment with gear that was likely made for someone with a slightly different body or situation.
For example, CARP received a state-of-the-art fixed seat for a PR-2 rower (that is, someone who rows entirely with arms and body), from a generous donor. But it didn’t quite fit our boats. So, CARP athlete Shannon bravely modified it—with a hack saw, and no instructions. As a volunteer, I sometimes go sculling with an athlete who only rows the port side, so steering is a workout for my left arm and my brain! Almost every week, athletes and coaches are trying out different equipment and techniques to maximize everyone’s performance and to get the most out of the sport.
Second, we all have to define what victory means to us. Most of us aren’t going to the Olympics (although some CARP athletes are nationally competitive and could, in fact, be training for the Olympics). So, the meaning of “ultimate victory” isn’t obvious. It’s even less clear for adaptive rowers, because accessible competitions are still being developed. When CARP athlete Dammy wanted to race a single, CARP’s leadership had to research whether that was an option for someone who is completely blind. Fortunately, it was possible, and he partnered with a sighted athlete who gave him directions for navigation through a headset while rowing—really fast—in another single. (He won, BTW.)
Sometimes, victory means showing up to practice. Victory can also be having the courage to admit that, as an athlete, you need rest and recovery. The stakes tend to be higher, and the demands more frequent, for adaptive rowers, but all athletes take responsibility for their health, whether that means going hard or going home.
Finally, athletes are on a team. On the one hand, no one can take a stroke for another person, and no one can build muscle in another person’s body. So in that sense, the moment of victory is theirs alone. But all the moments leading up to that require cooperation. Even the coach, Jai, knows that he needs his rower’s perspective in order to strategize. I once tried sculling as a PR-1 rower, in a fixed seat with a back, using only arms and shoulders. It was an eye-opener. I didn’t know I’d need to do subtle things, like tapping down faster than I would with a layback. The coach knew that from watching and listening to his PR-1 rowers, and from doing the same himself. It’s a team sport, in many ways.
As a volunteer, I often carry boats, which many CARP rowers can’t do. That’s not fundamentally different from the way that I can’t carry the eight myself at sweep practice. The teamsmanship of CARP is my favorite part.
So, all the reasons that I personally want to be an athlete are in high relief at CARP:
- to make an effort that I can be proud of
- to have moments victory and flow, and
- to be part of a team.
If that sounds good to you, and if you can carry a boat—or even if you can’t—then you should volunteer with CARP!