National Youth Championships in Račice

No, I didn’t participate in the National Youth championships, but I was there because two of my children participated, and also to help out the club trainers managing the entire championship.

Our club’s group was more than 30 people, kids, trainers, and me. We took our Salani 2x, “Orca”, both for the girls to race in and for Romana and myself for some early morning trainings. As I did more than 40km cycling up and down the race canal during the race days, the OTW trainings were short and sweet. On Friday we did a 1km time trial, which I already blogged about. On Saturday, we did a steady state row, and Sunday was 30″ intervals to try out various stroke rates and race paces. On all days, I forgot to charge the XGPS 160, so the CrewNerd data are noisy.

Saturday Steady State
Sunday sprintervals

Here is the CrewNerd summary for Sunday’s sprintervals:

Workout Summary - media/20160704-112931-2016-07-03-0709.CSV
Workout Details
01|02726| 16:08 |02:54.5|16.0|115.0|136.0|10.8 - Warming up
02|00139| 00:30 |01:44.7|34.9|124.0|150.0|08.2 - tailwind
03|00140| 00:30 |01:44.3|32.9|148.0|160.0|08.8
04|00142| 00:30 |01:45.8|34.0|148.0|161.0|08.4
05|00144| 00:30 |01:44.2|34.1|152.0|166.0|08.5
06|00144| 00:30 |01:43.8|32.1|152.0|160.0|09.0
07|00137| 00:30 |01:46.1|35.1|143.0|157.0|08.1 - Headwind
08|00132| 00:30 |01:53.3|34.1|154.0|166.0|07.8
09|00140| 00:30 |01:46.7|32.2|157.0|167.0|08.8
10|00139| 00:30 |01:46.6|32.4|156.0|165.0|08.7
11|00146| 00:30 |01:39.7|37.2|135.0|163.0|08.1 - Tailwind
12|00154| 00:30 |01:37.0|36.1|158.0|171.0|08.6
13|00149| 00:30 |01:40.1|34.3|161.0|170.0|08.8
14|00149| 00:30 |01:39.9|36.3|162.0|173.0|08.3
Cooling down not recorded

The Championship

My son Dominik started in the boys 12yr single, racing over 500m. On Friday, he managed to beat one guy and thus proceeded to the semifinals. In the semifinal he finished last. In the double, they didn’t survive Friday’s heats.

My daughter Lenka competed in the double and the quad. In their age category, they compete over 1500m. In the double, they rowed a fantastic heat, finishing second and qualifying for the semifinals with a time of 5:58 (first time under six minutes for them). This row was brilliant. They started off quick, took a second place with a good lead over the rest of the field and defended that to the end. They rowed a quiet 30-31spm but the boat was moving very well.

On Saturday, they rowed in the Semifinals. Six boats per semi. First two would go to final A, third and fourth to final B, and the two last would be out. The girls fought hard for a place in final B but unfortunately, they didn’t make it. Again they rowed a controlled stroke rate of 30-31, but this time the boat was not moving as well. No free speed.

Less than two hours after that, they rowed their semifinal in the quad. With three girls of the four girls only 15, it would be hard to get into final A in this girls 15/16 field. Also, the girls had been competing in the double, our stroke even in the single, and they were rowing against a few quads who only focused on this discipline. And although the rowing looked tired, they managed to keep Hodonin at a length behind and made it to the A final.

A final. Yay! Mission accomplished.

Sunday. A final day. We tried to set the expectations. And even though we told them that they would probably be fighting for fifth place, being the outsiders in a very fast field, some of the girls seriously thought they had a chance for bronze. It is funny talking to children. You can tell them some things many times, but they don’t hear. I guess this applies to adults too …

Anyway, we tried to fire them up for a quick start, and try to stay with the field as long as possible, then row for a good time if they lost contact with the rest of the field. It was hard for us to coach them. For the first time, there was a big screen next to the grandstand and a camera crew filming each race. For that, they had closed the bike path next to lane 1 for all traffic, causing a huge disadvantage for boats in lane 1 and 2, because you cannot reach them by voice when you cycle next to lane 7 and try to shout across 6 lanes into a crosswind. Fifteen minutes before the start of the girls’ final, I tried cycling all around the canal to sneak behind the camera car, but I was stopped by an official. I contemplated hanging around until the start, then quickly escaping him and cycle behind the TV crew, but the official knew which club I belonged to, so I didn’t want to risk a disqualification of our girls. Because of this “incident”, I had to cycle all around the canal again, from 500m back to 0m, then to 2000m, across the bridge over the return channel, and back up to 500m. It’s a good thing I am trained. I managed it just in time.

The race went as expected. They started slow, then fought their way back to half a length behind the Pardubice boat in sixth place, but then gradually lost ground. In the final 100m, the boat rowing in third position caught a huge crab, which cost them bronze, and our girls almost passed them on the finish line.

You can see for yourself in the Youtube replay of the live stream. Forward the video to 6:36:21 and then watch. The next race is the Girls 4x- A final.

And some pictures:

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Our recent race in Prague, where we filed a protest, unfortunately boomeranged back to our kids. The cox of the boys 15/16 eight forgot to go to the weigh-in. He arrived 12 minutes late. The officials refused to weigh him and canceled the eights semifinals immediately (there were only 7 boats registered). Normally, if somebody forgets to weigh in in time, they get a yellow card before the start, and the cox has to weigh immediately after the race. If he is under weight, the crew gets a red card.  So we didn’t understand the decision to just give us a red card immediately and so our trainers went to the tower, acknowledged that it was our mistake, but reminded them of the usual practice in such cases. Two of the boys had come to Racice only for the eights.

One of the officials commented that it was very bold of us to ask them such a favor, given that we had called them “čuráci” in Prague. This is very probably true. One of our guys was so pissed off after that race and how the officials had spoilt it, that he used a few strong words. In the original blog, I described that as “Our boat needed another five minutes to calm down.”

This went through my head when I heard about it: “So a couple of really disappointed Masters rowers called you something in Prague and you were just waiting for your revenge, with our boys as the victims, who have nothing to do with the original incident?” Our trainers stayed calm and managed to negotiate that our boys could row, out of contest, in lane 7 with the final. The boys ended in fifth place (but you won’t find them in the official results).