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Author Archive

GRP in California

8.Feb.2013 by phil.henson

Three lightweights from the Craftsbury GRP  (Kyle, Phil, & Phil) left Vermont just before the massive snowfall and flew out to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. It is sandwiched between San Diego and Tijuana, only 10 miles from each, and we have already been warned about potential encounters with border patrol if we go off running by ourselves in the woods. Because it was designed as a distraction-free training site, the OTC has a somewhat isolated feel to it, but it has all the facilities and amenities an elite athlete would ever need. Aside from boats, oars, ergs and bikes, there is a full weight room with video analysis, a dining hall almost as good as the one at Craftsbury, and an athlete lounge with ping-pong, pool, an XBox 360, and Jumbling Tower (a blatant Jenga knockoff).

There are twelve lightweights here for the camp, 6 from the national team training center in Oklahoma City and 6 invited from elsewhere. This morning we did about 15k of steady-state and technique in straight fours, and if the weather holds up we will be back out there this afternoon. The next few days are a sort of a re-introduction to rowing, especially for those of us who haven’t been on the water since November, and next week we’ll get into the fun (race pace) stuff.

Aside from rowing, there are other sports represented here as well including field hockey, track and field, and soccer. We see them around training, in the dining hall, or the athlete lounge, where Kyle coincidentally ran into a girl he went to high school with – she is on the national field hockey team now and went to both the Beijing and London Olympic games.

It’s too bad we have to miss out on all the new snow, but we are definitely excited to be out on the water again and the warm weather is a nice change for now. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

- Phil Henson, Kyle Lafferty, and Phil Grisdela

Welcome to Chula Vista!

It feels like a different country after walking around in a T-shirt, sweating, and seeing palm trees line the road.

A view of one of the BMX courses here. Should have brought the staff bikes!

They call these distant mountains “hills” here, so they are fair game for “hill workouts.”

New Oar Rack

29.Sep.2012 by phil.henson

To the new sculling campers, the oar rack they are using this week has always been there. But everyone else knows otherwise: with space for 90 pairs of sculling oars – double the capacity of the old rack – and about two times closer to the docks, the new rack will help get campers on the water faster and will free up space for more boats in the boathouse.

Old Oar Rack

Previous Oar Rack

The oar rack team consisted of Dick Dreissigacker, Judy and Carlie Geer, Kyle Lafferty, Phil Grisdela, and me, with helpful insight from a variety of others. After settling on a space for the oar rack in the waterfront, we came up with a design that would use the existing trees as posts, taking advantage of the natural landscape without having to uproot any trees or dig post holes. Our first step was to put together a rough prototype, figure out the various dimensions to get an idea for the capacity of the oar rack, and decide what kind of wood we would need and how much. Then, we cleaned up the rack location a bit by clearing the low branches using a tree trimmer made from an extra-long Concept 2 carbon fiber oar shaft and a saw blade. We screwed some 2×4’s into the trees to add structural stability to the cross beams, and then went to work on cutting boards. After a couple days in the workshop with a table saw, circular saw, wood glue, nail gun and a good supply of local lumber milled right here at the center, we were ready to start putting everything together.

Adding the "teeth" that hold up the oars by their collars

Adding the "teeth" that hold up the oars by their collars

After all the pieces were put together, we filled out the uneven terrain with soil and woodchips.

A truckload of fresh dirt helps to even out the ground

A truckload of fresh dirt helps to even out the ground

There is only one more weekend of sculling camps this season, but hopefully we can get some good feedback on the oar rack to see if it needs any tinkering before the boathouse starts closing things down for the winter.

(left to right) Phil Grisdela, Phil Henson, and Kyle Lafferty stand in front of the new oar rack

(left to right) Phil Grisdela, Phil Henson, and Kyle Lafferty stand in front of the new oar rack

A picture from the back of the oar rack shows its proximity to the docks

A picture from the back of the oar rack shows its proximity to the docks

Pictures from Canadian Henley

16.Aug.2012 by phil.henson
SBTC on Front Page!

Maddie waves to the camera on her way to the dock

Twins

Astrid and Molley show off the guns

Josh Wins Henley Gold

First win of the regatta for Craftsbury's SBTC!

SBTC Dash

Emily and Erin duke it out over 500m in the dash

Craftsbury finishes second in the mixed 500m dash

Craftsbury finishes second in the mixed 500m dash

Henry and Ricky win Henley Gold!

Henry and Ricky win Henley Gold!

Another shot of the mixed 8+ for the Da$h for Ca$h

Another shot of the mixed 8+ for the Da$h for Ca$h

Craftsbury qualifies for the final at the finish line in the Men's Champ 8+

Craftsbury qualifies for the final at the finish line in the Men's Champ 8+

Another win for Craftsbury!

Another win for Craftsbury!

The lovely ladies of SBTC 2012 (plus Dan!)

The lovely ladies of SBTC 2012 (plus Dan!)

SBTC in Canada

10.Aug.2012 by phil.henson

After we all got over the fact that our destination of St. Catharine’s, Ontario is actually SOUTH of Craftsbury, the athletes and coaches of the Small Boat Training Center hit the road on Sunday to start our journey to the place where legends are made: The Royal Canadian Henley Regatta.

Some of us spent the night somewhere in New York State, while others went all the way through to Canada in one trip. Regardless, we all got across the border without any difficulties, and wound up on Henley Island to rig boats (all 19 of them) on Monday morning.  We then moved ourselves into four town houses that we’ve rented from Brock University for the week. With air conditioning, a full kitchen, and a bed for each of us, we couldn’t have asked for a better setup!

Due to the nature of the regatta, some SBTC athletes started racing on Day 1, while others have had to wait with excessive amounts of taper-induced energy, waiting for their chance to battle it out on the water. Craftsbury has been doing very well so far, with many boats advancing all the way from the heats to the finals, and even on to winning Henley Gold (U23 Men’s Lightweight Single and Senior Men’s Lightweight Four). Results so far can be found on the Canadian Henley website or you can check out the latest press release for SBTC specific results.

That’s all for now – check back in a couple days for a new blog post, and don’t forget to look at the press releases to see results of all the Craftsbury athletes!

[I apologize for the lack of pictures, but it’s been difficult to send large files over the internet here. We’ll be sure to post a bunch at the end of the racing.]