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Green Racing Project Blog

VT to Finland

18.Nov.2014 by Ida Sargent

My last week in the US was a frantic and busy week.  I balanced packing, cleaning, training, and running the last minute errands necessary before leaving the country for over four months with also wanting to spend as much time as possible with friends and family who I wouldn’t see over the winter. It felt surprisingly relaxing to sink into my airplane seat for a 28 hour travel day from northern VT to northern Finland after all the craziness of getting ready to leave.  Leaving was bittersweet with a mix of saying goodbyes and enjoying the last few nights in my own bed played against the excitement to be back on the road at the start of the season.  Here are some pictures from my last week or so at home.

A frosty early morning in Craftsbury on Little Hosmer Pond
Sunrise at home! The shorter days have provided some wonderful sunrises and sunsets!

A little snow before I left was the perfect transition to winter.  The Outdoor Center also turned on the snow guns too which stockpiled more than the natural dustings.

It’s always fun to wake up to a white blanket outside!
My breakfast view from the cottage.
GRP girls dinner before we head our separate ways to Finland, Norway, West Yellowstone, and Canmore.  We missed Clare but it was a great chance to get the rest of the team together.
Snow on the side of the road (and a little in the road too) for our last rollerski of the year
Eben came home for hunting season and luckily our paths crossed for one day!  It was fun to share stories of recent adventures and travels.
That’s a lot of stuff!  Two ski bags, a duffel bag, and a big backpack for the winter travels.



It took about 28 hours from to get from Craftsbury to our little cabins in Muonio, Finland which is about 250km north of the Arctic Circle.  It was surprisingly sunny for our ski this morning and fun to ski under the lights this afternoon.



Ski to Row

17.Nov.2014 by Maggie Fellows

IMG_5017(Elizabeth Sonshine)

The GRP rowers woke up this morning to white flurries falling from the sky and temperatures hovering around zero.  Last week we had a few nice rows on the water before we presumably packed away our boats for the winter and got ready to don our Sauce hats and ski gloves.  This morning I pulled out my rock skis to commute to practice, where Coach Dan rallied us to row for one last time, despite the snow covering the docks and cold temperatures.  When else would we get the chance to row in such unique conditions?  Calm, glassy water with snowy, muffled silence and viscous water.

IMG_5014(Elizabeth Sonshine)

We started off practice with a boys versus girls snowball fight between the docks (3 on 3, not the whole squad).  Then with Hugh leading the charge into the unknown waters we launched for the row.

IMG_0036(Troy Howell)

Some team boats, some singles.







Griz? Frozen ear maybe?

photo (2)(Emily Dreissigacker)

Quite the day for a last row!

IMG_1743(Phil Grisdela)

Me getting ready to launch, note the ski boots!


Bags Packed, Ready for Snow!

17.Nov.2014 by Susan Dunklee

Saturday morning I woke up from a dream about packing for the winter. More specifically it was about packing long underwear tops. I was debating whether or not to bring a certain item with me to Europe. There were several factors to consider. “Would this shirt be warm enough to wear under my race suit in sub zero temperatures ? Would the material become reasonably clean with hand-laundering in a bathroom sink? Would it hold up to four and a half months of constant use?” I always have a lot of different things that need to fit in my luggage so I allocate space for four long underwear tops, no more. After finally deciding to reject that particular top (a different wool one would be a better option), I woke up from my dream. All that agonizing and I hadn’t actually started packing yet!

While racing the World Cup circuit, we live out of our duffel bags and we move almost every week to a new country and a new hotel room.

Our first stop for 2014-15: cozy cabins in Sjusjøen, Norway.

For both logistical reasons and to minimize travel day anxiety it is important not to overpack. Everything must have a purpose. I now have a pretty good idea of what I need and what I can do without, but it did help to make a list of exactly what I was traveling with at the end of last season. I used it as a reference as I scrambled on Saturday to pack for an entire winter.

So far I haven’t noticed anything major that I forgot. However I had a good laugh in the shower today when I realized I brought two bottles of conditioner and no shampoo. At least that’s an easy fix.

This afternoon we arrived in Norway. It’s our home for the next 10 days of training before we head to Sweden to start the World Cup race season. Tomorrow morning we will get on snow for the first time and next weekend we will do a tune up practice race with the German team. After months of skiing on pavement I’m looking forward to the real deal!

Tonight’s scene in Sjusjøen: stadium and shooting range

Erg races!

9.Nov.2014 by Caitlin Patterson

The GRP rowers are down south, in Princeton, NJ, for the fall “East Coast Speed Order.”  Yesterday they raced 6 km on the rowing erg, and today a 4+ km race on the water.  Look for results here. It looks to me like there are a lot of Craftsbury names at or near the top of the results, headlined by the Graves brothers in first (John) and second (Peter), Elizabeth Sonshine in third, Hugh McAdam in first, and Phil Grisdela in third in their respective on-the-water races from today! Nice work everyone! However I will have to leave a more detailed analysis and commentary to someone who was at the races and/or knows the sport…

Not to be left out of the racing and erging fun for the weekend, most of the GRP skiers had a classic rollerski time trial Saturday morning, preparing for the start of the ski season at the end of this month.  There was even a dusting of snow on the sides of the road, and a bit of ice on the surface of the road, to heighten our feeling of fast-approaching winter! Then, since it just so happens to be the weekend of the SkiErg World Sprints, many of us raced 1000m on the Concept2 SkiErg on Saturday afternoon before our strength workout.  1000m is extremely hard, but actually I found it fun, because it’s over quickly too!  A little over 3 minutes for the fastest guys, and slightly under 4 minutes for the fastest women – it’s not so bad, though the likelihood of gigantic blow-ups is also pretty high!  It’s cool to have a standardized way to compare, for people from around the world to be able to race each other without being in the same physical location.

Everyone can enter the race, just find a SkiErg and race to your fastest time by the end of today, and post it on the Concept2 online logbook by tomorrow (

Current standings for the World Sprints can be found here, with more entries to be added throughout today and tomorrow.

Caitlin and Liz pulling their 1ks

Caitlin and Liz pulling their 1k Sprints in the new gym at Craftsbury

All levels of involvement: warming up, spectating, and testing

All levels of involvement: warming up, spectating, and testing

Andrew testing, supported by the cheering squad

Andrew testing, supported by the cheering squad

Ethan pulling FAST splits, with the rest of the team cheering him on

Ethan pulling FAST splits, with the rest of the team and Pepa cheering him on

Concept2 co-founder Dick Dreissigacker checks out the splits, while Ethan tries to recover from his 3:00.6 1k! That's within 1.5 seconds of the current world record!

Concept2 co-founder Dick Dreissigacker checks out the splits, while Ethan tries to recover from his 3:00.6 1k! That’s within 1.5 seconds of the current world record!