Camper Profiles

David and Sara Rosen


Sara and David Rosen. Copyright Chris Milliman

For this edition's Camper Profile, we speak with David and Sarah Rosen. The Rosens live in Baltimore, MD and row with the Baltimore Rowing club. They've joined us the past several seasons and spend lots of time working on their technique as a mixed double. David is an English teacher and crew coach at Roland Park Country School, while Sara practices psychiatry.

CSC: What are your respective sculling/rowing histories?
Dave started sweep rowing in college at Keble College, Oxford in 1989 and learned to scull at Craftsbury in 1991. Sara learned to scull at Craftsbury in 2007.

CSC: What percentage of your on-water time is spent together in the double?
100%. Dave started out at bow, but Sara recently switched over to this seat after learning all his steering secrets.

CSC: What's the key to rowing with your life partner? Most folks I'm aware of often avoid this situation - so what's the secret to success?
First and foremost, plenty of patience is required. Rowing actually enhances our relationship, as it makes us realize on a physical level how much we can affect each other. It's almost like dancing...if it is done well, it flows and we feel connected. Also important is finding a common practice time around work and life schedules, and getting the boat rigged just right.

CSC: So how do you work with rigging? Are you both close enough to being the same size so rigging's easy? Or do you have to take special measures?
We are close to the same height, so rigging for spread and inboard is relatively easy. Both of us know what a properly rigged boat "feels" like (thanks to the Craftsbury double fleet), and we often find ourselves in heavily-used club equipment that has been rigged to bizarre parameters. We carry our own tool kit to readjust for races...but we really want our own boat.

CSC: Can you share your best and worst time as a crew?
Best time: An afternoon practice in the early fall on the Baltimore Harbor, finishing just at sunset, when we've got the boat balanced and can hear only the water rushing under the hull.

Worst time: Head of the Ohio 2008, when they shut down the race just as we reached the starting line, due to thunderstorms...and we wound up stranded at Three Rivers Boathouse, miles from the trailer, for hours (the refs would not let anyone back on the river, even after the storms passed...grrrr!).

CSC: You mention Head of the Ohio - how much racing do you do?
We entered 4 races this past year...and 3 of them were cancelled due to weather. Finally, however, we were able to race at the Head of the Occoquan. We hope to continue to do a few races a year, mostly in the fall...we have our eye on the Head of the Charles mixed 2x sometime in the future.

CSC: When did you start coming to Craftsbury? Why keep coming back?
Dave started going to Craftsbury in 1991, and has returned at least 15 times; Sara first went in winter 2006, when we went up to try cross country skiing (but there was little snow during our stay). Sara was the expert for that visit...she has been skiing for 15 years, while Dave suffered the wrath of Pepa while trying to stay upright when skate skiing.

We come back for the people, food, and loons....and for the great rowing instruction in a beautiful environment.

CSC: So I understand that David proposed in a double at Craftsbury - is this true? If so, can you tell us the story?
Yes, it is true.

On our last morning there in summer 2007, we rowed a double to the far end of Hosmer Pond, and Dave had the ring in his jacket. Holding the boat carefully balanced, Dave presented the ring when we stopped to take a break...though the logistics of Dave at bow and Sara at stroke made it difficult for her to see him fully during the proposal. Once back on land, Dave did the proper proposal, down on one knee.

CSC: That's pretty bold. You must trust your partner if you're secure enough to take the ring out on the lake. Was there a contingency plan if it went in the drink?
Lots of swimming and diving on Dave's part.

Quick hits:

Home water
Middle Branch of the Patapsco/Baltimore Harbor

Favorite place to row

Favorite 2x workout
Steady-state 4k row @ 28-30spm (Ft. McHenry to Baltimore RC boathouse)...lots of open water to row through, which can vary from heavy chop to glass-flat, so it's always a test of balance and steering.

Best advice you've gotten with respect to rowing:
Be present in the practice and enjoy what you are doing

Best advice you've gotten with respect to marriage:
Be present in the relationship and appreciate each other's similarities and differences

Your dream boat (or boats):
Filippi Italia S wing 2x

'09 rowing goals:
Get our own boat, maybe (we now have our own oars) Try rowing sprint races

Erg: necessary evil or to be avoided at all costs?
Currently gathering dust until the next Holiday Challenge

If we weren't rowers, we'd be...
cyclists or skiers? Maybe kayakers...

Best kept secret about Baltimore:
Lots of great post-practice restaurants on the way home from the boathouse

Best little known regatta:
Head of the Fort...great view of Ft. McHenry