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The Wonderful World of Rowing!

Rowing. Ahhhh.... it's a beautiful sport. It's all perks with this sport- early mornings, blisters on the hands, lycra, wet lycra, early evenings, pasta feeds, suntan on the top half of the body but not the undersides... It's a crazy, crazy sport.

I suppose that's why I love it so much. There are so many things to hate about the sport that they cancel each other out and you just HAVE to love it. Or something like that. I've given eight plus years of my life to rowing- First I started out in high school, as a coxswain (say it with me... cox'in. That's how it's pronounced. You can also say cox).

I coxed at Choate Rosemary Hall, a private boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut.
I didn't board there, if that's what you were wondering. I commuted every day, rain or shine, snow, ice, and whatever else the weather does.
This link has nothing to do with rowing, but I mentioned the place, so I may as well let you see what I'm talking about, eh!
Helpful, aren't I?!

I couldn't cox at Dickinson, since there isn't a rowing club there, so there was a gap in my life for a couple of years.

But then...

I went over to England and joined up with the University of East Anglia Boat Club. We rowed on the Rivers Yare and Wensum.
I coxed for the 1st IV+ and we had a great time! There was Christian at stroke, Olly at 3, Joerg at 2, and Richard in the bow.
There were times where things could have been better, and times when things couldn't be better, but it all comes down to one thing: We shared a common interest and developed a tight bond that allowed us to win a bunch of races, turn some heads, and earn some pots (trophies). We won the Carrow Cup in December, the second oldest rowing race in the world (1813, I think). Then in February, we won our division of the Peterborough City Rowing Club Head of the Nene, as the fastest coxed four. Later that month, there was the Norwich Head, again the fastest coxed four, and then the Nottingham Head of the Trent. May brought us to the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) in Notttingham, at Holme Pierrpoint where we placed second behind the strongest crew there, University of Edinburgh. They were fast. I just recently found a photo of the finish... we're in the yellow Janousek behind the finishing crew. Our final race as a boat was at the Bedford Amateur Regatta, where we took home some pots and the fours trophy.
See us at the Bedford Amateur Regatta I'm the little head sticking out of the boat, behind the last guy.

The four wasn't the only boat I coxed at UEA...
There was the novice VIII- I had a lot of fun with them, though we were together as a boat for less than a month. There was Matt (Mr. Cleaver) at stroke, Tom at 7, Jan (the Swede we need) at 6, John (Happy) at 5, Rob (Firm Hands) at 4, Steve (Ring-road) at 3, Pete at 2, and Simon (I've-only-had-two-pints) in the bow. They were a good bunch, and we raced at Bedford, narrowly missing out in the semifinals to the University of York, the crew that won the division that day. We then raced at Peterborough, our last race together, and won that, setting a new course record for the Men's Novice eights. It was Peterborough's 50th anniversary and so we got the special trophies. I remember how Rob, John, and I were walking behind a bloke who was carrying one in each hand, and we could only stare. We all sort of looked at each other and grinned, and someone said, "I want one of those," voicing all our thoughts at that particular moment. So we got one. In fact, we got nine.

I also coxed for the women's VIII. We went to Henley Women's Regatta. There was Linda at stroke, Helen at 7, Hannah at 6, Liz at 5, Laura at 4, Sam at 3, Emily at 2, and Anna in the bow. We got through the first round, edging out Leeds University at the finish by a foot. Then we raced again in the afternoon and were knocked out of the competition by the University College of Dublin. They were big girls.

There was yet again another gap in my life, where I couldn't row, being landlocked in Pennsylvania.

I went back to visit friends in England, and got there just in time for the Peterborough Spring Regatta. I coxed for the Norwich Rowing club, winning another pot to add to the collection, and for Black Sheep Rowing Club, the club with the phatty all-in-ones.

Presently, I'm rowing out of Oxford, Connecticut, with the New Haven Rowing Club. I cox still, and did a few races last autumn. With a women's four, we took second place at both the Head of the Connecticut and the Head of the Charles, though the Head of the Charles website has us at 9th place. I hope to see that amended soon. We were beaten out of gold by the New York Athletic Club and Saugatuck, respectively. Silver was a popular colour for me, as I coxed the men's club VIII at the Head of the Schuylkill (pronounced: SKOO-kul) to a second place finish behind Palm Beach. To break that trend, later that day, I coxed the men's veteran IV+ to a win.
It's been an interesting year, to say the least. One that I will look to without regret, but also without complete triumph.

Rachel Quarrell's Rowing Service

A very cool coxing site

A pictorial story of the 1998 Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford (I was on Chiswick Bridge watching the battle to the last 500 metres)

The UEABC web page

The Yale Crew web page

Phat boats

The ghost in the machine

The CRASH-B Sprints story

Watch this space.


The Happy World of Chip

Last updated 18.JUN.2000