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Fall Forward, Spring Forward

A Look at the Differences Between Fall and Spring Season

Catherine Tadin, Senior Writer

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Most sports have one official season, be it fall, winter, spring or summer. Rowing is a multi-season sport: fall and spring, and for the top athletes, summer as well.

In the fall, races are long and the starts are staggered, so a team is never sure of how they did until the officials release the results. In fall, the length of a race is usually 6,000 meters. The courses are long, winding, and narrow; with no assigned lanes. As a result, how a team navigates the course can have a major impact on the final result.

With longer distances, racing in the fall requires a rower to have good endurance and consistent technique, so the rower does not tire out quickly.

In the spring, regattas (competitions) take place mostly in April, with pre-championship tune-up regattas in the first two weeks of May, leading into the regional and scholastic National Championships in May, and the Youth National Championships in June.

Instead of staggered starts, teams line up at start docks, which are connected to a larger platform that floats in the middle of the river. Some races can have over 12 boats competing, so those races have heats to narrow down the field.

Each start dock has a corresponding lane the racing crew must stay in, unless there is an obstacle in the lane. The racing is head-on, side-by-side, all the way down the 2,000 meters course.

In the last 500 meters, a team will begin to sprint. When sprinting in crew, the rate of strokes per minute and the power each rower is putting behind his or her strokes increases substantially.

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