By, Tim Huss ('10)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - This January, five inches of rain have already fallen on Lexington Reservoir, home of Santa Clara Rowing. The rain has added 20 vertical feet, increasing our reservoir's row-able meters from about 1800 meters, to well over the spring race length of 2000 meters. The Santa Clara valley water district's update of reservoir capacity have been tracked closely by the team, knowing that every increase is an equivalent decrease in the number of steps it takes to carry the boat onto the water. This makes the cold, wet mornings rowing in the rain well worth it.
Beyond the rain, the winter is an important time for the team. It is the two month training period in preparation for racing season, beginning in early March. The program is looking to build momentum off of two solid years prior and strong results in the fall.
Senior Mike Republicano said: "As we approach our spring season, we can't help but realize how far our program has come." Santa Clara has made it to the Grand Finals for two consecutive years, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
Workouts in the winter involve a steady balance between rowing on the water in the mornings and what are referred to as `dry-land workouts,' consisting of rowing machines and weights. The primary focus of the water is on technique, working to coordinate the actions of all eight rowers, before getting to the more physically intense afternoon workouts. The time in-between is spent eating, studying, and in-class, generally in that order.
The recent success has led to increased alumni involvement. On January 26, the newest SCU boat was officially rowed for the first time. The Demander was made possible by generous donations from recent alumni and parents of rowers. Our team is very thankful for the donations of Geoff Demander ('09), Jimmy Shoven ('08), Dave Stanton ('07), Brendon Bula ('09), Ryan Carlton ('08), Stephen Kwei ('07), Paolo Braccini ('08), Josh Shumsky ('08), and Steve Shanley ('08).
The end of the winter is traditionally thought to happen on Black Velvet, the pre-season banquet on February 20. This year's banquet, the 45th annual will involve a full day of events beginning with a 7:00 am open-practice and an 8:30 am breakfast at the boathouse. From 10:00 until noon, there will be boats taken out for alumni rowing. The evening will begin at 6:00 PM will a cocktail hour at David's. The banquet will begin at 7 pm. David's is located next to the Santa Clara Convention Center, just off of Great America Parkway. Look for your invitation in the mail.