Friday, May 18, 2012

Brandenburg - Beetzsee Regatta

This last weekend I raced in Brandenburg, which is east of Berlin. The logistics of the regatta was perfect, with being picked up at the Airport from a wonderful host, Gunter to the scheduling of the events that went off perfectly on time and quick lane reschedules. The regatta set up was quite nice with a change/locker room that really made me think, wow! The best part was I got to race with a starting system. My first time ever. That really helped with the start. The German U23 were having their trials there as well, although I'm told that most German's don't enjoy going to Brandenburg. The water is very bumpy, so put it mildly. I came to experience this chop on Saturday that paralyzed me. Sunday was better, but still lots of mental reminders to 'keep it together' as little waves crashed into my oars.

I took some pictures of the RTC athletes in Brandenburg that can be viewed here >

A bilboard as you enter the course has a blond-haired German girl, with her hair flying off to the side. Even when the photos are taken for marketing they didn't hide the fact that its windy. I thought it was sad that a beautiful regatta venue like this is not enjoyed because the water does not lend itself for rowers to enjoy good performance. That's why Lucern remains such a great venue for its history of flat water. The same can be said of the beautiful training center of Oklahoma which can not overshadow the fact that it still remains very windy. Other rowing courses like Groningen in the north of Netherlands has the same reputation. There is a new course, called the Willem-Alexander Baan in production in Rotterdam. It hopes to aid to the bid as a future Olympic city. But all the modern amenities still doesn't quite tip the scale for rowers to want to come and train. As a side note, the Netherlands will then have 3 full 2km rowing courses. The USA does not have 1.

I was told I upset the organizers at Brandenburg. I did not row into the medal dock after my final. But there was some confusion on my part. As we started to row home from the finish, a referee called us back. A rower was complaining. I thought we were going to be asked to re-row the race. I waited to see if I would be called over to the medal dock, or we should go prepare to race again. I rowed a little down, then a little up the course. And after nothing was clear, I decided to just row to the docks. Well, on the grandstand I'm told that they were announcing for me, and spectators thought I was coming over, then saw me row away. I went afterwards to collect the beautiful medal and gift bag. Sorry I missed the red carpet. Thank you very much to the organizers (Steffen and Volker) for all the transport help.

Successful ROWING

Saw this book when I was in the Netherlands at coach Ans's house. Wish I had the time to read it. Love the heritage of rowing. Its a great sport that way.

To be part and parcel, I'm continuing to write a little chapter as I experience it.

Funding and the Ted Stevens Act

taken from Mark Cuban

"Because most Olympic sport athletes are severely underpaid — if at all. For every Usain Bolt who makes millions in endorsements and appearance fees (none from the IOC, however), there’s hundreds of elite athletes making ends meet just so they can train.

Athletes in “non-pro league sports,” swimming, figure skating, track and field, etc., have only one option to be truly considered the best in the world — win an Olympic medal.

And unfortunately, that option requires athletes to be the integral part in the most inefficient, dysfunctional, dated and corrupt system in sports — the IOC and their shady web of federations, committees and governing bodies.
In fact, in the United States, the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act grants legal monopoly status to the USOC. Any international sports event in the U.S. that has an Olympic affiliation must receive the blessing of the USOC and will also be required to pay a substantial sanctioning fee." ....