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Permanent link for GVSU Rowing Club � Spring Break Blogs 2022 - Day 4 � Tuesday, March 8th on March 9, 2022

Jackson Groessl – Varsity Man

Today was our 3rd full day in Clemson. During our morning practice, Coach Dan took out two women’s 4s and one men’s 4 for seat racing. But, because the men only had one 4 racing, we stood in as a comparison boat. The rain held off for the morning, and it was fun being able to do some quick and fast racing.

For lunch, we took a couple vans to Moe’s to grab some food. This is always a good time to socialize with teammates that we don’t usually get to see. Once we got back to the hotel, we laid low and rested up before heading down to the lobby to play some card games. 

In the afternoon, we got to take out pairs and work on our technique. Unfortunately, the rain caught up to us, and it made conditions less than ideal. We took our small boats to a cove where it was relatively flat and protected, which offered us better conditions. We kept practice pretty short after the hard practice in the morning. To end the night, we went to Southern Wesleyan University for dinner, and I was happy to finish my meal off with several slices of dessert pizza!

 

Kaiya Quinlan – Varsity Woman

Today was another great day in Clemson. It started with my numerous alarms waking me up for breakfast, because one is never enough at 6:30 in the morning. I enjoyed some eggs, a yogurt, and part of a bagel I split with my buddy Margaret. Once breakfast was over, everyone headed to our first training session starting around 8am. This morning, the varsity split up a bit as some people competed in seat races (2 women’s 4’s, and 1 men’s 4) while the rest of varsity rowed a long steady state in two 8’s with technical drills included. We specifically emphasized the pivot coming out of the finish and slowing down the recovery coming up to the catch. Now that may seem like the entire stroke, but improvements were made on all fronts which is the end goal. The Vader-style steady state (thanks Emmy for the nickname) was a great way to implement corrections with repetition. We concluded practice at 11am, and I headed to lunch with the rest of my van at “Cocoa Acai”!

It seemed lunch hit the spot more than any other meal I’ve had this week because the long morning row took every macronutrient out of my system. Afterwards, we strolled around the shops and other businesses for a little while, accumulating cute Clemson merch before we headed back to the hotel to finish recharging before the pm practice. 

Right as we all left for the pm practice, we were delighted by a weather advisory and a tremendous amount of rain. Some may argue that rowing is a water sport, which is very much so correct; however, the ideal situation is to stay out of the water and relatively dry. The oar becomes increasingly difficult to grip, and rowing conditions suffer right along with it. Anyways, the show must go on, and Coach Troy put me in three seat (which is actually the closest to the bow I’ve ever been) which was an interesting and new perspective that I enjoyed quite a bit. Being able to row and see the majority of the boat in front of me was an added bonus. Practice was quite a bit shorter than the morning, and essentially a continuation of drills and steady state with the same focus as this morning. Following practice, everyone scrambled to their vans to change into relatively dry clothing and head to our delicious dinner buffet, where we got to refuel and bond with fellow teammates. To finish off a spectacular day, many of us went to the highly talked about ice cream shop “Spill the Beans” where I enjoyed a giant ice cream cone and laughter with my teammates, or in my case “uncontrollable honking,” a term coined by some of my teammates. All in all, a very eventful and fun day here in South Carolina. No bad days in Clemson ammi right?!?

 

Brendan Butterfield – Novice Men’s Coxswain

Hello everyone, it’s been 4 days since leaving Allendale, and we have already accomplished so much. Spring break has given us the opportunity to do our “spring cleaning” when it comes to our strokes, transforming all we learned on the erg to what matters on the water. 

This morning I was the coxswain of the Lubbers, which is one of our Hudson eights. We had a bit of an interesting start to our day as we used a number of different oars; that’s what we had on hand as some oars were still back home in Michigan while others were being used for seat racing. After the confusion regarding what oars to take, we launched from the dock rowing with 7 members in our boat; there was no four seat as we did not have another rower to fill the boat. We took out two novice boats with a few members of varsity joining us. In the Lubbers we were joined by Sam and Simon and made great progress over the day as we took it back to basics, working on things like the catch and the drive. Overall, the boat started off a bit rough while doing drill work since we were rowing with one open seat; but once we started yamming on the blades during leap-frog with the other eight, we were able to overcome this by using the pressure we built by making the boat move forward and using that momentum and the water flowing past our skeg to set up the boat. We were also able to get used to the fact that we were sitting up higher in the boat since we were missing a person after getting our handle heights down together. While the morning practice was not ideal circumstances, we were able to make good progress on our strokes individually and as a whole including our honorary novice men, Sam and Simon. 

After AM practice, we headed back to the hotel where some of the guys and I walked over to Waffle House and had a nice meal prepared with some of that southern Waffle House hospitality. Kyle is one of the guys who I’m rooming with and went to the restaurant with; he was also in my van on the way down, so he was well aware that going to a Waffle House was on my to do list since I had made a joke of it on the way down as I mentioned it so many times. We ended up having a great meal that we didn’t know we needed after practice and got a good picture to go with it. After the Waffle House, we headed back and relaxed before heading out for PM practice. 

By the time PM practice rolled around, it was raining; sadly, this was something we had been expecting, although we were prepared as it’s a water sport anyway. We were rowing the same lineups we were in the morning, and I was still coxing the 7 in the Lubbers. It took us a moment to get back into it, but by the time we did rate ladders, we had improved by a great margin.  We still need to work on a few things like handle heights and set, but that’s something that we will work our way back into after winter conditioning. Everyone had a good time in the rain, and it was not nearly as bad as we expected it to be. Although wet, we again made good progress and bonded as we continued to get soaked. This practice wasn’t too long, so it was overall really fun; we made good improvements for tomorrow as we will be seat racing and have much to show.

 

Gabby Smith – Novice Woman

Day four here at Clemson! I started my day at 6:45am when my alarm went off for practice. I was getting ready for the day and had to change a few times due to the changing weather forecast. I headed down to breakfast and had a bagel with apple jelly, then we headed to the first practice of the day at about 7:30am.

In practice this morning, we spent a lot of time doing square and feather drills. We did this for a bit and then rowed by half boats back to the dock. Us novice women got out of morning practice a little earlier than the rest of the team, so we decided to have our coach take us to Mr. Knickerbocker, the Clemson apparel store. We all got something small whether it be a shirt, socks, stickers, or a gnome for the dash in the van. It was a fun outing for the novice women.

We came back to the hotel and some of us went out for lunch, but I stayed in and had a small lunch and some snacks. After that, I fell asleep for a little bit. I got up at 1:45pm to go downstairs to leave for second practice. Novice women did seat races, but I sat in the launch. It started to downpour and things were just not going well, but we continued to row through it. We left second practice soaked, so Coach Adam brought us to the hotel to change before heading to dinner. 

We were fairly late to dinner compared to the rest of the team, but still had plenty to eat and all had time to chat about our days. The day ended with some of the team going to get ice cream; however, I came back to the hotel to write this and get some homework done. It was a decent day here in Clemson!

 

 

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