UPDATE - NOVEMBER 3, 2016
This email contains a lot of good info on what's going on between now and the end of the calendar year and some links to sign up for things. So, lets get started...
- Winter Training - STARTS ON MONDAY - The first session of Winter Training starts on Monday, November 7th. Erging will take place at St. Ann's which is located on Thurston Street in Somerville. The coaches have already started setting up a workout plan and are excited about getting everyone in shape for 2017. For session information and pricing, please follow this link: http://www.gentlegiantrowing.org/sign-up/
- Fall Work Day - We'll be moving our hulls to Malden on Saturday, November 12th between 8am and Noon. We'll also need to pull launches and the barge out of the river. More hands on make this work much easier! I'm going to be at the house a lot next week to prep everything for this day so we can focus on the hulls and pulling the launches/barge from the river. More hands on make for easy work! Please plan on attending. Rain date for this is November 19th.
- December Row - As usual, we will be holding our December Row. As long as the river is liquid, we'll go out! We will row out of the MALDEN location. We'll meet up at 9am, rig boats, and head out. We will NOT be taking out anything smaller than a 4. And in an ideal world, we'll only row in 8's. Everyone is welcome. Please make sure you sign up via the below link. Some of you have indicated on the FB group event page that you want to attend. If you don't sign up on the google doc, I won't count you as going.
- GGRC Winter Party - Once again, Fred and Judith have offered to host our end of season party. It will take place on December 10th from 6pm until Fred kicks us out.
- Giant of the Year Award - Each year, we recognized one or two GGRC Members that have gone "above and beyond". We're looking for your nominations for that recognition. GGRC Board Members, Coaches, and Program Director are not eligible to receive the award. You may nominate someone here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QNNW6D6 For a list of past winners of this award, click here: http://www.gentlegiantrowing.org/giant-of-the-year/
That's all for now. Hope to see you at St. Ann's or at one of these events! I will be looking for some help sanding and painting oars next week as well. My schedule will allow me to do this during the day. Please let me know if you can help. (We have 32 oars to sand and paint!)
UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
There's a lot going on right now so I thought I'd send an email tonight updating you on everything going on. This way you'll have it all in one place. As always, let me know if you have any questions!
- Race Shirts, T-Shirts, Sweatshirts - If you want to buy one...tonight's the deadline!
- NH Champs Sign Ups - If you haven't signed up yet...LAST CALL!
- Dock Updates - As you've noticed, the orange fence has been working GREAT at keeping the geese and swans off the dock. Please make sure the fence is deployed correctly each day. I've noticed that the fence has been getting twisted when it's taken down for practice. It does need to be untwisted so it'll work. Here's the best way to do it...when you move the buckets, twist one of the buckets so the fence rolls around that bucket. Makes it easier to move and doesn't get tangled! And when you put out the buckets, all you need to do is untwist it from the bucket. Very simple. Also, I've started putting out the grip strips. I will be putting down some more in the next day or so. It's important that if those pesky water fowl end up on the dock and do their business, please do NOT sweep that over the grip strips.
- Changes in the Boathouse - I've been reorganizing items in the boathouse. You'll notice the head lamps are hanging in the cabinet and not resting on the shelf. This will help keep them dry and keep them from getting damaged. (You'll notice a trend about damage in this update.) Also, I've put up some shelves under the riggers. I will be putting up more soon. That will clean up that area nicely.
- Life Jacket Bags - Each bag has 10 jackets in them. Please do not remove them for any reason other than an emergency. Today, I counted them and one bag had 8 and another had just 6. They are needed in case of an issue on the water. If you need them to help you sit in the stern of an 8 to cox, please use the ones on the shelf. Make sure they return to the shelf stacked neatly.
- Cox Head Sets - I've noticed that these are not hanging properly. They should be coiled loosely and the headset should be hanging on the hook along with the cable. I can show you if you have questions. We've had a good year with them in that we haven't had to send any to be repaired.
- Cox Box Hull Cables - I had to replace two cables - one in the Friends of GGRC and one in the Gracio Garcia...twice. The issue is how they're being plugged in as well as unplugged. When you plug in the cox boxes, make sure you're only pushing on the plug by applying force to the SIDES of the plug and not using your thumb or hand to push the plug in and the cables down. I'm working to reinforce the cables now. You'll see that some of the plugs have white tape above them. handle the plug BELOW that white tape. I'll be placing this tape on all the plugs. I'd be happy to show anyone with questions how to do it.
- Megaphone Damage - One of the megaphones in the boathouse has been damaged. The one that was damaged happened to be my own personal one that I use for coaching and for officiating. I'm not sure if I can fix it. I'm more bothered that whoever broke it decided not to note it or tell anyone. By mentioning it here, I'm not asking that person to come forward. What I'd like to ask is if you do damage anything or notice anything damaged, please note it on the log. You don't know where the log is? It's hanging on the side of the cabinet next to the oar racks. Still can't find it? Then you can always email me and I'll be happy to take care of it. Please take care of our equipment. This includes carrying boats in and out of the yard and racking the hulls.
That's all for now. Let me know if you have any questions!
UPDATE - AUGUST 30, 2016
Looking at the calendar, I wonder...how the heck is it September in 2 days???
We're in the home stretch of our season so I wanted to update you on a few items. Give you some information that you'll need and hopefully entertain you for the couple minutes it takes to read this.
So read on!
- Novice Giants! - First I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to all our Learn to Row Giants this summer. You're an enthusiastic bunch and I'm quite happy that so many of you have stayed on throughout the summer. You'll be rowing on Tues, Thurs, and Sat for the next 2 months and I hope you'll do some racing. The Fall season is the "Head" race season - Generally 3 miles of rowing fun.
- Racing - I will send out a different email with all the links to register for races. Please remember to sign up early so the coaches can start planning lineups and getting you in boats ASAP.
- GGRC Benefit Night at Flatbread - ONE WEEK from tonight is our Benefit Night at Flatbread in Davis Square in Somerville. I'll send out information on this with who we have Prize Auction prizes from. Also, please share it with friends and family! It's the day after Labor Day...no one wants to cook. Tell them to go have a Pizza instead!
- The Dock - We've had a good year with the dock. The new fence has limited the goose/swan poop and that's helped the condition of the water around the dock. I've been told that folks have been slipping while moving the dock into place. I've noticed that people have been using the corner by the high dock as a pivot point to swing the dock. That's not an easy pivot point. I'll put down some traction tape this weekend but I'd like to recommend that someone jump on the dock by where it's locked and use a paddle or metal shovel to keep the dock from hitting the concrete. The water is shallow enough that they can push off the river bottom to help swing the dock. I've found this method much easier than using the pivot point.
- Lights - The time has come where we should put the lights on the boats for the morning and evening practices. We have enough bow and stern lights that we should be covered. However, if we run out or the batteries are dead, you can use the headlamps in the tool box that's right next to the lights. I'll be putting small screw drivers in the cox tool kits to help put the bow lights in. Just a slight twist opens the holder up enough for you to slide the light in. Very easy.
- Light Batteries - DO NOT CHANGE THEM!!! If you notice that a battery is dead or dying, note it on the log next to the oar rack and I will fix it. Folks have made the attempt to change the batteries only to have the bulb fall out and shatter on the ground. Then they put the light back as if nothing happened. (I'm sure they nervously look around when they do this.) To prevent this, I am the only person to change the batteries.
- Frank Soldo Dedication - We have moved the dedication of our new 4+ - the Frank Soldo - to October 15th. This change was made so his parents could attend.
- T-shirt/Sweatshirt Order - I'll be posting a sheet for T-shirts and Sweatshirts this weekend. You will have ONE WEEK to decide what you want. I will place the order on Monday, Sept 12th. This will not include the boathouse jackets. We are looking into that now and details will go out as soon as I have them.
- Racking the Doubles/Pairs - This has become a problem recently. The foam piece on the rack should go under the bow and not the stern. Why? It's possible for you to put the stern down with the cables for steering between the boat and the foam. This can damage the hull and loosen the steering. If you carry the boat in and notice that you have it backwards, carry the boat back out and bring it in correctly. The foam pieces are set the way they are so the riggers are not touching the riggers of the boats on the other side of the rack. It's not that difficult and will take you all of 2 minutes to walk out and back in. Also, make sure the nut helmets get on these boats...EVERY TIME! It's easiest to do it while the boat is in the water. Just put them on before you pick up the boat!
- Docking Hulls - I've noticed folks getting a little impatient with our docking procedure. It's simple and is set up for safety of rowers and equipment. If you're coming from the "One Lane" bridge, you should follow the buoy line to the dock and stop at the last buoy to wait for a coach to be on the dock. Once they are there you PADDLE towards the dock. (Some boats have come in pretty fast...paddle press only!) If you're docking at the wooden dock - coming from Medford, I will put out another buoy to mark where you should stop. When you're coming from Medford, line up with the garage door - do not hug the shoreline. This buoy will also be your turning point to lineup with the dock. If you're coming from the One-Lane Bridge, you should not arc right at the dock. It's very easy to misjudge it and scrape the hull along the corner of the dock.
- No Rowing on Labor Day - Monday, September 5th is an off day for GGRC. Enjoy it!
- "September" Session - The September Session starts next week! Please remember to register: http://www.gentlegiantrowing.org/sign-up
That's all for now!
UPDATE - JULY 19, 2016
It's hard to believe that we are about half way through our season! We have a lot going on right now and rather than send information one message at a time. I'm going to be proactive about updating you via this lengthy message. I will also be posting it to the site - read on for where it will be located...
- Milfoil Treatment - As you all know, we have quite an issue on our river this year. The treatment will occur on Friday, July 22nd and after speaking to the Mystic Watershed, I'm happy to say that NONE of our rowing programs will be impacted. Saturday morning the Learn to Row class, Novice class, and Sculling Saturday class will be able to head out on the Mighty Mystic as scheduled. The treatment will be along the shoreline by Rt 93. Why that shoreline? Because that's what the permit had approved. (The permit was approved prior to the explosion of Milfoil. To change the permit would take weeks and nothing would be treated during that time.) We should see an impact in the treated area about a week after the treatment.
- GGRC Race Calendar - Sorry for the delay in updating this on the site. It's now updated and you can see the races we plan to attend via the link that follows. Sign up information for the fall races will be posted soon. http://www.gentlegiantrowing.org/2016-race-calendar/
- Program Director Notes - I will post this update and others at this link. Because this is a "public" link, I may edit the post to exclude some links, etc. (For example, our race sign up sheets will not be linked to this page because those sheets contain some personal information.) Here's the link for these updates: http://www.gentlegiantrowing.org/program-directors-notes/
- Equipment Repair Log - Did something break while you were rowing? Or is there something that I need to look at? Please let me know by writing it on the Equipment Repair Log which is located in the boathouse. There's a clipboard hanging on the cabinet next to the oars. Please write the issue there and provide details. For example, rather than saying something like "3 seat in the Esther Rachel has an issue", please say, "3 seat in the Esther Rachel - the foot stretcher is missing a wing nut." The more details, the faster I will be able to attack the problem and fix it. And if you notice that a nut is simply loose, I don't need to know about it. Please get a wrench and tighten it. We've had an issue this year with various nuts being loose. Please take the time to check them before you launch. It's a GOOD habit to be in!
- Uniforms - Thank you to everyone for getting together and ordering items. We will see this order in August! This will not be the only opportunity for uniforms! We will be setting up another order in August with the goal of receiving it by October - prior to HOCR. We will do a t-shirt/sweatshirt order at the end of August once the HS teams start up again.
- Pineapple Regatta - Are you signed up yet? We will be holding this event on August 6th at Blessing of the Bay. The first race will be at 8am! (Earlier than last year)
- Flower Beds - I want to thank James Mahoney, Jenn Tripp, and "Paddlin' " Madeline Cronin for pulling some weeds from time to time. I've been watering these about 3 times per week and am determined to make sure they don't die this year! But, we still need help with the weeding. A lot of you approached me this Spring asking that we make sure the flowers didn't die. Now I need your help in keeping the beds clear of weeds. Please take 5 minutes to go to the boxes and pull the weeds. It's a HUGE help!
- Goose/Swan Defense - I'm happy to report that it does appear to be working! When the line is deployed correctly, the swans and geese stay off the new dock and it appears only ducks have been sitting on the wood dock. I'm going to add the orange fencing to some of the buckets on the wood dock to see if it helps keep everything away. I'll set it up much like I set up the other dock. That being said, I've noticed the same people doing the buckets while the same people seem to be chit-chatting on the shore. There are 25+ rowers in both the AM and PM sessions...please help your teammates deploy the lines. If you put away oars, that's great! Please still go help with the lines. This weekend, I'm going to put some concrete in the buckets to keep the PVC poles in place. That should make it easier to insert them into the dock.
- Nut Helmets - I've noticed that some boats have been put back on the racks without helmets. We need to make sure they get on the boats EVERY TIME. This seems to be a problem with the doubles. It's easiest if you bring the boat down to the dock with the nut helmets on and take them off when you place the boat in the water. There's a large carabiner to hang them from on the side of the high dock. When you return from your row, you can put them on prior to taking the boat out of the water. Please remember to do this!
- Brooms and Shovels - Please make sure to put these by the barrel after you use them and not leaning against Jane's Oars which are hanging in that corner.
- Weed Pulling - More weed pulling is needed, but this time from the river! I had something come up tonight and am not able to pull any out of the river. I'm looking for some help with this on Saturday morning at 8am. Ideally, I'll need 4 people to help with it. We'll pull weeds out from around the docks and attempt to widen the channel. I've found that the best way to do this is to use an oar. (Thanks to Karen Whitbeck for making that suggestion!) Please let me know if you'll like to help.
That's all for now. Thank you for being you! Details on our next meet up will be sent out shortly! It will be on a Saturday night and it will involve a bad rowing movie. Stay tuned...