I have been having incredible times with my new friend.
One weekend we rowed in the Charles River, once in Glouster Harbor, often I row in our beautiful North River here in Marshfield, and this past weekend Roger and I went rowing in Squam Lake and the next day Lake Winnepesaukee. (I did not realize there was a rowing regatta the day before.) I've now had a bit of experience with 12-15 knot wind and I feel comfortable rowing. What a comfortable and stable craft. I have not had a moment's discomfort.
Echo Enthusiast Don Libbey emailed us about the Slocum River Regatta that took place this past weekend. Thanks Don. Congratulations on your 2nd place finish!
While it was dreary and raining on the morning of Saturday, September 15th, over 70 rowers and paddlers braved the elements (the rain did let up for the races) on the Slocum River Estuary's 2+ mile course in the Second Annual Slocum River Regatta in Dartmouth, MA, Southern New England's Fall Rowing & Paddling Festival. (www.slocumregatta.org)
The regatta proceeds benefit the Lloyd Center for the Environment (www.lloydcenter.org). The regatta is well organized, volunteers were plentiful and cheerful (despite the rain), and the launching area on the beach of the Demarest Lloyd State Park is easy on boats and racers.
The races went off as scheduled starting at 9:30 AM with sliding seat single racing shells, followed by double racing shells, recreational shells, whale boats, kayaks, pilot gigs, and fixed seat row boats.
The races included some familiar faces from the Snow Row and Head of the Weir. Friends and family have a pretty good view of the start and finish of the races from the Observation Deck at the Lloyd Center. Lunch and an awards ceremony followed the races.
Despite my less than stellar navigation of the course (including passing the only orange buoy on the course to port instead of starboard (resulting in a time penalty!), I was able to row my yellow Echo to a second place finish in the Recreational Sliding Seat Master's Division (yes, hard to believe I am 50!). I have some pre-race photos of the launch area, which I can try and send, but none of the actual races.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Last Great Round Gerrish Island Race & Cruise scheduled for the end of the month.
Holding the oar handles too tightly. -This is an issue if you are blistering up! If you are seeing blisters the "correct" place for them to show up is in the finger pads beneath the creases. An effective drill in helping to eliminate this issue is to bring your oar handles back to your body using only your thumb and index finger (begin this technique in the catch and continue as you move through the drive portion of the stroke). Hold the handles loosely in your fingers not your fists and you will experience how efficiently and perfectly the oar moves in the oarlock with little effort or exertion.
Hands uneven. If your boat is tippy and your rowing experience is not smooth your hands are uneven. An effective drill to improve arm positioning is to row without legs (knees lightly flexed) and simply focus on keeping your arms level as if they were sliding over a table. Hands remain level during the catch (knees bent over shins, sitting forward in shell with arms extended) and the recovery (oar handles come back into your body approximately 3" apart and level with and just forward of your sternum).
Slouching! Soreness or discomfort may develop in your neck or back. Sit tall and image that there was a string coming up from the crown of your head and someone was pulling up on the line. Your chest will subtly lift and your posture will be greatly improved both in and out of your shell. Good posture means a strong and solid posture without stiffness.
Knees too far apart or too close together. Too far apart encourages slouching, rounding of your spine. Too close together prevents you from coming fully into your catch. Try to prevent yourself from letting your knees splay apart when you're sliding on your seat. Also, it is not recommended to keep your knees held tightly together. Try to row with your knees a fist distance apart
Leaning too far back during the recovery. This may result inlower back stiffness or discomfort. Sit upright in the recovery hinging back slightly from your hips.
Looping hands and pulling with back. Results in a feeling of instability when blades are too high in the air on the recovery and pulling too hard when blades drop too deeply into the water during the drive. As previously mentioned, make sure hands remain level throughout the stroke as if sliding on an even surface and remembering that your stroke is one continuous motion.
** Although this article is written with rowing machines in mind, it's a wonderful benefit for those who enjoy recreational rowing as well.
Rowing - A Great Exercise For Your Back That Will Help Keep Chronic Tension Headaches Away
by Paul Bacho
An Exercise for Your Mid and Upper Back
If you want to get rid of chronic tension headaches, you must correct
poor posture. You do this through retraining your muscles to adapt
to proper posture.
Through stretching and exercise. It's particularly important to
strengthen your back. Strong back muscles will help hold
up your shoulder girdle so you can pull your shoulders back and
maintain them in that position all day.
It’s very important to remember that in order to keep tension
headaches away, your back, shoulder and chest muscles need to
function in the proper position as long as you’re up. For most of us,
that’s 16-18 hours a day.
Not only do you have to strengthen these muscles, you have to work
on their endurance as well. Obviously, they’re going to need a lot of
endurance to hold you upright all day.
Probably the best exercise for strengthening the muscles of your
mid and upper back is a seated rowing exercise. You can do this
exercise in a number of ways.
If you have a rowing machine, use it. Emphasize the pullback and
really stretch out the shoulders and chest as you pull and squeeze your
shoulder blades together.
If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, a simple, inexpensive
alternative is to get an old inner tube or one of those therapeutic bands
that are available in sporting goods stores (they’re like giant rubber
bands). Or, you can simply get some old tubing, like the inner tube of
an old bicycle tire.
How To Do the Rowing Exercise Properly
Sit on the floor, with your legs out in front of you. Take your
tubing, theraband, or old bicycle tube, hook it over your feet and
duplicate a rowing motion. Pull back, making sure to keep your
shoulders, back and head up, and squeeze your shoulder blades
together as you pull the tubing toward you. This is simply a very
basic rowing exercise.
To keep things simple, do this exercise until the muscles in your
back begin to burn slightly. That burning sensation indicates that
you’ve reached the fatigue point of those muscles. It’s almost the
same burning sensation you feel about midday or late afternoon at
work - the burning sensation that happens right before your tension
headaches kick in.
When your muscles begin to burn, quit and note how long you did
If, for example, you did the exercise for two minutes
before your muscles began to burn, then your goal should be to
increase that time by about 15-20 seconds. Each time you do the
exercise, try to improve your performance by that amount of time.
When you do this exercise, pull back until you come to an upright
position, then pull your arms back as far as you can. Make sure
you’re squeezing your shoulder blades in. Don’t do the exercise
rapidly, but keep up a good pace.
Your goal is the same as it would be for any other weight lifting or
aerobic activity - you want to gradually increase your performance
until you reach your target. That target is to be able to do this for 10
minutes three times a week.
Paul Bacho is a certified athletic trainer in Cleveland, Ohio with over 28 years experience
treating patients with chronic pain.
He's also co-author of "How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension
Headaches," a holistic program that he's used to help people from all over the world get
rid of their tension headaches.
Recreational rowing race veteran Dana Gaines set a new race record with his Echo Rowing ACE shell at the 17th annual M.V. Oar and Paddle Assn. Regatta Sunday, August 26th on Sengekontacket Pond with 52 rowers and paddlers in 21 classes.
According to Don Lyons of Martha's Vineyard Times, " To no one's surprise, Dana Gaines of Edgartown was easily the fastest pilot powering his rowing shell from the Little Bridge to the Jaws Bridge in the Sound, then returning in the pond to the starting point, all in 19 minutes and nine seconds - a new race record."
the Echo to the Adirondacks for three days, camping at Eighth Lake
Campground with great conditions as you can see from this sunset picture.
I did row with the sunset, a magnificent pink, mackerel blanket that
shrouded the hill to the west, water silky smooth only the sound of an
Up next morning early even though it was near 40F (and this is in August?).
The next day we were on Forked Lake -
perfect conditions. I got hypnotized while paddling with a kayaker who
was telling me of flying into lakes in Arizona and Mexico for remote
camping and forgot to glance over my shoulder (he neglected to warn me)
so ran right into a granite rock sitting a foot out of the water. Hit
it hard after a full stroke and was thrown out of the seat and foot
straps. Pulling myself together I noticed I was still afloat and after
checking found minimal damage. I said a silent prayer to Doug Martin
and continued to wander the lake. All is patched over now, a true
tribute to the strength of the design and manufacture of the Echo. The
perfect boat for this somewhat clutsy rower (I use the red warning flag
on the bow to get noticed and keep off flies - no high tech purist
rower this guy).
The Megunticook Mini-Marathon Regatta will be held on Saturday September 8, 2007 on Megunticook Lake in Camden, Maine. Dubbed “one of the best kept secrets around” by Katy Bonin and “great” by Karen Chenausky in separate Independent Rowing News articles, the Mini-Marathon has become a circled date on the calendars of its many repeat racers.
The start is in waves of 5 – 7 rowers grouped by age and sex approximately 30 seconds apart. The 10 mile race threads its competitors down through the narrow passages of the lake’s coves and islands, leading to the motto of the race “Not just a race . . . an adventure.” The rowing conditions are generally well protected. An alternate launch site gives access to a fully protected 3 mile course.
Contact Robert Perkins at (207) 626-8562 (d), 236-6344