With the first full month of training in the books, the varsity squads have really started to settle into their training. There is a long road to June and that is well underway. With the varsity juniors hard at work, the masters squads continuing their winter training and in the last week the freshman and modified teams beginning their official practices.
What may be different than previous years was the dedicated winter modified group and freshman open invitation to varsity practice. It was very exciting to see freshman show up nearly a month ahead of time and participate with the varsity during practice. It is often said that championships are won in December and January and I find it hard to argue with that adage. Not to say that those 2 months are any more important than any other 2, but I think the deep winter month have a revealing quality. They stick out because, in the north and northeast where there is no on water activity and in warmer climes where there is very little racing activity, as rowers we are so far removed from the ultimate goal of training: to be sucessful at the big races at the end of the season.
We are now midway into February with just over a month of great training behind us. Three days away from our first vacation since training began in earnest, we ask ourselves: How will we respond?
SRA looks forward to hosting the Junior Coaches Conference. On Friday Saratoga Springs will host over 100 coaches for the second annual Junior Coaches Conference. Last year we were fortunate to be able host an event that was well recieved. There were many moving parts that led to last years conference being a great event. Ad we hope to experience success this year as well
The waters may have been frozen on Fish Creek, but that wasn't going tobe enough to keep all of Saratoga's oarsmen off the water. The saturday after Christmas SRA held a development camp down in Orlando Florida. It was a week's respite from the snowstorms that visited Saratoga. Some of our boys were able to join a development camp and row alongside rowers from other programs to spend a week developing boatskills. The coaches at the camp included some of the coaching staff from Saratoga and we were fortunate to have some wom The boys were able to improve their abilities as a rower and see some of the training habits of aspiring Olympic rowers and World Champions from the Princeton Training Center. We had a first-timer for a racing single, a lot of people discovering the pair, even a sculler sweeping for the first time: Something for everyone.
Not only did we have some campers with designs on representing the US this summer, we also had SRA Alumnus Ryan Allen '11 in the intial stages of preparing to try his hand for the U23 double. When he wasn't working with the campers, who aspire to represent the US JNT sculling team as he did, he was training with his Cornell teammate Greg Davis. The boat is the pairing of an accomplished junior level sculler and a sculling novice and the double is a notoriously difficult boat to make go fast but the duo seem to be up for the challenge. They hope to progress enough to attempt to represent the US in the U23 2x internationally this year.
The campers were able to finish the week with a day at the theme parks. We all would describe the weather as pretty cold, it's amazing how well our bodies can adapt to a climate. We relearned what cold is when we returned home pretty quickly. Our rowers put in a lot of work at the camp but look to come back recharged and ready to bear down and tackle winter training to help acheive our spring goals.
There are many things we are thankful for here at SRA. We are thankful to be part of a family and a community that has been very supportive of our endeavours. On Thanksgiving we were able to join and represent SRA at the Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is a run that is organized by the Chris Dailey foundation in town. This year we SRA was fortunate enough to have the Dailey Foundation donate a coxed quad to help support our Adaptive programs.
Here are some of the kids at the boat dedication