Friday, September 18, 2009

sailin' shoes

Tomorrow (Saturday) is our last OC-6 race of the season, the Hat (or Hatless -- I've seen it listed both ways!) Island 12 mile iron in Mukilteo. This one should be fun for several reasons:
  • It's in the Sound, so it's salt water (!)
  • We've been training hard, harder than we have previously, so should be in better shape
  • We've all got more experience than earlier in the season
  • We've got a strong men's boat
  • We've got a strong women's boat
I'm hoping that this race we'll be a bit more competitive than we have in the past.

Jasen will be steering, which I'm pleased about. I trust his judgment and experience. (He did Catalina last weekend, and I think he may be doing a triathlon on Sunday, so steering is what he's up for tomorrow.) The others in the boat are Rob (also did Catalina) in 1, me (or Doug) in 2, Erik in 3, Zackery in 4, and Doug in 5. If Doug moves to 2, all the rest of us bump back a seat. So I'll be in 2 or 3. Doug is our secret weapon, our coach who's filling out the seat listed as "unknown."

I'm feeling pretty strong, though I've got a couple of tweaks in my shoulders, left over from change-out practices. I'll be icing tonight and after the race.

Up until this point I've mostly been wanting to finish the races, get some experience under my trunks waistband, and get a handle on what long-distance irons are about. Now that I've done DaGrind and the SSP Change Out races, and have put a bit more time in at practices, I'm shifting my focus to wanting to actually beat some other folks. It'll be interesting to see how it goes. We haven't really paddled at all as a full team, though most of us have at least once. I'm excited about it, and focusing on paddling strong and smart the entire way.

Loading (without Sabine)

We loaded the canoes last night, moving all 3 of our boats into the trailer (that Melissa had parked early yesterday morning). This involves unrigging them, packing all the gear (ama, iakos, rigging rope and rubber and straps) and lifting the canoes onto a small two-wheeled trolley. Then we have to move each canoe to the trailer, lift it up and into the U-shaped spots they ride, adn strap them down.

We had a good show of folks, and that, combined with Melissa being able to park the trailer off the street, meant that it went pretty smoothly. The only difference this time was that Sabine is out of town (preparing for the Na Wahine O Ke Kai, the Molokai-Oahu race), and she's the one who usually coordinates things, so we had to (wo)man up and do it without her. I think we managed fine. We'll also need to rig the canoes tomorrow without her.

It's good practice and good experience to get more comfortable with some of the processes we've been relying on her for. After all, she can't always be everywhere at once, or even all the time. And the more of us that know how to manage things, but better off the entire group is.

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