Sunday, April 29, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

What's a "crew"?

When you hear the word, what do you think?  What's the first thing that comes to mind?

For Heather & Brett, it's a team of a photographer and reporter going to cover late breaking news.  (The funny thing is that our station was so small, a lot of times the 'crew' was really just a one-man-band sucker news crew.) For folks in New Orleans, it's spelled "krewe" and they're the guys & gals that ride on the floats during Mardi Gras.  But for Yankees, crew is something totally's a team of rowers.  As in, row, row, row your boat!

With all the rivers and bodies of water around here, it's now wonder that Crew is a big part of Upstate New York life.  Many of the larger high schools and colleges around here having competitive Crew teams...not something you really see much of in the South (sort of like hockey, right?).  Pretty much our only exposure to what Crew is was the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network movie.

Turns out, seeing it in person is pretty cool!

We got a chance to watch part of the Saratoga Invitational Regatta on Lake Saratoga.  Students from high schools in New York, Massachusetts and Vermont competed in the weekend-long event.  The teams Crews competed in heats.

With our old newsie pal Brandi Hodges in town from Arkansas, we packed a Price-Chopper picnic and made an afternoon out of it.

It was a bit chilly (and crazy windy) down by the water, but Colt didn't seem to mind.  He wore his knitted anchor hat special for the occasion.

Auntie Brandi & Mom could have used some of Colt's fashion sense and saved their hairspray for another day.

While watching the boats go by was really neat, we honestly didn't know much about what was going on.  A little online research taught us that rowing is actually one of the oldest Olympic sports.  The folks in the boats face the stern (the back end of the boat for all you land-lovers).

Most of the races we watched all featured a coxswain (pronounced 'cox-son'...hee, hee!) who directs the Crews in sweep-oar rowing.  This style of rowing is when each rower has one oar, held with both hands. These types of competition generally have pairs, fours and eight person teams rowing. The rowers are referred to either as port (left) or starboard (right).

A big part of rowing is technique.  Apparently, rowing a boat is a demanding sport, requiring strong core balance as well as physical strength and cardiovascular endurance.  Who knew? Actually we should have known...those Winklevoss twins were ripped!

You never know...we may be standing back here in the same spot in 15 years watching Colt do the same thing!