Camp Bob

Last night, the OUWC Executive Board and Head Coach, Megan Dean met for an in-depth meeting on all things Camp Bob.  For those of you unfamiliar with this Bob person, Camp Bob Cooper is the yearly spring break training camp that the team takes to prepare for the rigorous spring 2k season.

The team will be heading down to Summerton, SC bright and early on March 2 and will then spend a week out on Lake Marion, rowing 2-3 times a day.  While this week is full of blood, sweat and tears, it is also full of smiles, laughter and team bonding.  For Varsity members who have gone to Camp Bob before, the excitement is building to go back to this wonderful place.  For girls who have never gone, the anticipation is growing as they imagine (based on Varsity’s both happy and scary stories) just what Camp Bob is going to be like.

The madness that is Spring season starts in 8 days.  Who’s ready?


A Coaches Perspective

A Word from Varsity Coach, Savannah Bales:

The hours until our final fall race continue to decrease, and the nervousness of many continues to increase. After battling thick fog that put us in Ping for a majority of this pivotal week of practice, the members of OUWC were finally able to hit the water this morning – a much needed practice to shake off the cobwebs and ease the edginess.

It’s less than 24 hours until my final debut as head coach as I look on to re-assuming the role of an OUWC rower this winter and spring. And might I add, it’s been quite the ride. A crew enthusiast eight years in the making, I welcome new opportunities and always look forward to exploring new positions within the sport. Two years ago, I had the chance to co-coach a novice team that broke team records, advancing to semi-finals at our national regatta, Dad Vail, in Philadelphia, PA. This year, I was granted the opportunity to test the waters (no pun intended…well maybe) of being head varsity coach. Concerned at first with how it would fare out with being in charge of a group of peers I’ve rowed with the past few years, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

I’m going to go ahead and spare everyone the sappy, cliché details about how awesome it was to have been granted this opportunity and get down to business – this weekend. All of the practices culminating up to tomorrow will illustrate the effectiveness of mine and my sidekick Megan’s workouts and practice plans. And there is one thing I can be certain of… we’re not too worried. I have the utmost faith that the girls will improve on the already big strides they made just one week ago in Pittsburgh, and continue to perform at a result-changing rate. As a team, we’ve really started to turn it on this year, and I’ve only scratched the surface of our potential, which makes me look forward to seeing what happens tomorrow and the rest of the 2012-2013 season.

As I send off my rowers for their final race tomorrow, I’ll be closing the book on coaching and re-opening the one as a rower. I hope to leave my rowers with a successful end to this fall, so that they can have something to return to Athens beaming about. Megan and I are going to be content coaches no matter the result tomorrow, but if those results turn into medals, we’ll be beaming right along with the girls… especially so we can say, “We told you those days that you wanted to kill us would be worth it.”

And with that I say peace out. See you on the water tomorrow.


Falling Victim to Fog

If the start of the 2012-2013 season is any judgement on the rest of the season, it seems that the biggest opponent OUWC will have this year is fog.  This devilish weather condition has forced many a practice to Ping, our indoor recreation center, for an even more devilish workout on the ergs.  This proves to be detrimental to team practices Pre-Regatta.  For example, OUWC goes to Columbus tomorrow for the Speakmon Regatta, in which the V4 has practiced twice this week out on the water together and the V8 has had one practice together.

However, don’t for a second count us out of the races we are in this weekend.  We had very little water practice before Head of the Ohio and had one of the most successful Regattas for OUWC since two years ago.  This year we are faster, stronger, and more determined.  We hope to come back to Athens Saturday night with pride in our hearts, smiles on our faces, and medals around our necks.

If you will be in Columbus tomorrow, we would love to have you out there to support us!  The Regatta is at Griggs Reservoir (2933 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43221) and the race times are shown below:

  • 9:50am Women’s Collegiate Frosh/Novice 8
  • 11:15am Women’s Open Novice 8
  • 11:40am Women’s Varsity 4
  • 2:10pm Women’s Varsity 8
  • 2:20pm Women’s Novice 4

Back to Back

This week, the rowers of OUWC are faced with the challenge of preparing for a new Regatta while still feeling the affects from the last one.  Therefore, this week is not an easy one for us, but one where we must assess what went well and what didn’t.  With morning practices comes quick boat changes, seat races, and high tensions.

The team looks forward to traveling to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to race at the Speakmon Memorial Regatta.  In the Regatta, OUWC will be racing a V4 and V8.  In addition, the Novice of OUWC will be debuting in the Regatta, racing in an N4, and three N8’s.  The spirits of the novice are high and their excitement is contagious as we head into the last 4 practices of fall season.

The Varsity boats are looking to improve on their successful rows from HOTO and the Novice are looking to set the tone for their boats for the rest of the season.

If you are in the Columbus area on Saturday, we would love to have you there to cheer us on!  The weather is looking like it will be a beautiful fall day in the high 60’s with only a 10% chance of rain.  The race times are as follows:

- Women’s Collegiate Frosh/Novice 8 @ 9:50am

- Women’s Open Novice 8 @ 11:15am

- Women’s Varsity 4 @ 11:40am

- Women’s Varsity 8 @ 2:10pm

- Women’s Novice 4 @ 2:20pm

Additionally, OUMC will be racing at Speakmon.  Their race times are as follows:

- Men’s Collegiate Frosh/Novice 8 @ 1:20pm

- Men’s Varsity 8 @ 3:25pm

Head of the Ohio Recap

The rowers of OUWC took on Pittsburgh this past weekend and what a weekend it was!  Although there were no medals earned, the team made great strides in comparison to the Spring season of last year.  These improvements are just the starting point for what appears to be a bright season for OUWC.  Read on to here more about each individual race.

First out on the water on Saturday was the Varsity 8 in event 20 at 9:50am.  From the start, the rowers were faced with a bitter cold and sharp winds.  The boat was 6th to start and led by Stroke Seat, Junior Kelly Gifford, had a strong start.  The majority of the girls in the boat were together in the Novice 8 at DadVail.  Sadly, that boat had not the best showing.  However, the girls made up for that showing with their race on Saturday.  Although the boat finished 22 out of 22, the girls PR’ed on their 5k with a time of 18:02.28.  Post-race, the attitudes were positive and the girls look forward to improving from this time at the upcoming Regatta in Columbus this weekend.

The second race of the day for OUWC was the Varsity 4, in Race 44 at 1:30pm.  The girls in this boat were purely rowing for redemption and honor.  After rowing what seemed to be “the Great White Hope” at DadVail and greatly failing to meet expectations, the rowers were focused on proving past coaches wrong and showing their new coaches that they were Varsity rowers.  They were OUWC strong.  Right from the start, the Varsity 4, made up of Stroke Seat Sarah Boselovic, Leah Woodruff, Angela Satava, Genevieve Gurnick and Coxswain Savannah Bales, were determined to set new standards for what it means to be a Varsity rower for OUWC.  Passing 2, almost 3, boats, including rival Miami of Ohio, the girls finished 16th out of 27 and had a 5k time of 17:46.29.  Just like the Varsity 8, the rowers of the Varsity 4 look forward to continuing their success at Speakmon this upcoming weekend.

For more insight into HOTO, check out our Photo Gallery page for pictures provided by rowers and team photographers, Leah Woodruff and Kaila Busken!

Finally, We’ve Made It

1 trailer accident, 6 weeks of hard training, 4 hours of driving and 3 big pans of rigatoni later, the team is finally fast asleep (with the exception of me) and ready to row in the first Regatta of the year tomorrow!  As we dropped the boats off at the race course tonight, we could already feel our adrenaline pumping.

There truly is nothing like the sport of rowing, let alone the atmosphere of a Regatta.

On top of this phenomenal atmosphere, comes the anticipation and excitement that I see in the face of every rower on our team and the Men’s team.  We deserve the moments we will earn tomorrow.  We understand that we are a club sport and therefore may not have the luxurious amenities offered to other teams we will row against, but that’s what makes our program so special.  That’s what give us that particular heart and drive to succeed.

I can call my teammates some of the best friends I have on campus.  Tomorrow I will cheer for everyone racing with OHIO CREW on their uni’s, knowing full well that they will do the same for me.  Win or lose, tomorrow is going to be a great day out on the water.  I may be biased since I’m from Pittsburgh, but I couldn’t be happier that we are here and finally… 

we are rowing.


Goodnight, and see you all in the morning!

Blogs on Blogs on Blogs

Current Senior and Varsity Coach, Savannah Bales, created a blog a while back and has been inspired to keep at it this year!  Having rowed all throughout high school and college, Savannah is well-versed in everything crew.  At Ohio University, on top of being a deadly rower/coxswain combo pack, Savannah has also been Regatta Chair, President, and is now currently Fundraising Chair and Varsity Coach.

Please follow her blog at: The Sport of Rowing Blog for words of wisdom and insight into the wonderful sport that we all love to hate and hate to love.