CSSRAs Day Three

Friday, June 06, 2014 - By: Joanna L, Alex ‘14

There are really only two things that mean more to rowers than their sport while at St. Catharines – food, and sleep. Like the tripartite system, rowing involves a fine balance between necessity and desire – it’s a fine line, but the results are glorious. 

For our lightweight rowers, male and female, the past several weeks leading up to the event have involved a rigorously healthy diet, and the self-discipline to deny themselves their most delicious desires. 

It’s almost over lightweights. And you’ve done so well. 

Having once in far off days lived the lightweight life, I can attest to the fact that the struggles of turning down that second piece of bread, the cereal and breakfast, that one or two ounces of sugar, is very real. But push through, and results are very rewarding. Almost like the sport that we all know and love – rowing. 

Day three started with the usual hauling out of bed to make it to breakfast’s first hurdle, then piling into the van to head back down to the course. Now well and truly settled into the white, straw laden, senior-boy filled tent that will be our home for the next several days, most were happy to escape the hot, Ontario sun (if only for a few moments) before the first row of the day. 

Coated in sunscreen (alas, not enough to escape the delightful rowing side-effect of the uni tan) the rowers headed out onto the water for the first morning row – dodging Canada Geese, ducklings, and buoys alike. With reverent excitement and a hint of anxiety, we surveyed the course that we would be speeding down the next day. 

After a quick snack (referencing aforementioned necessity) it was back onto the water for a second, for some, final, row on the course before Friday’s heats. Then it was back into the vans and back to the real reward – lunch. 

In the afternoon, it was time for the one thing that you can’t escape. Prep, it seems, doesn’t end once you leave Brentwood’s sheltered gates. Cell phones were relinquished, books were opened and frantic studying occurred as the athletes buckled down for two hours of intent academics. Needless to say that Brentwood’s IT wall is, in fact, quite effective. For those who were missing out on taking tests whilst away, there was no need to worry – as test-master (alternatively, bringer-of-doom) Mr. Carr, set up at station for athletes to complete their assessments. 

After the hard yards had been done in academia, some of the athletes headed out to the outlet mall at Niagara for a bit of recreational shopping. Unfortunately for the senior girls, their hunt for one particular piece of (if somewhat uncommon) sports gear was in vain. Following that, it was off for the traditional pre-race day dinner at Antipastos. 

On Friday morning racing begins, with several Brentwood crews competing in the morning’s heats. The purple armbands have been issued, the carbs have been loaded (well… in most cases), and as Mr. Carr says, the Brentwood crews are ready. Sitting here now, I can’t help but think of the wall in Mr. Patel’s office documenting the evolution of rowing, from the beginning of the school, to the first women’s crew to win a national championship in 1981, and finally, to the Olympic winning performance of Brentwood alumni through the years. To quote Mr. Carr, “We are the legacy”- the other crews better watch their backs, because Brentwood’s coming and history has proven that we are rowing. 

To all those competing in heats today, I can only say, in the very simplest of terms, push hard, and good luck.   

Joanna L, Alex ‘14

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