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Head of the Charles, Day 1

Today was all spectating for me. All of my teammates are grizzled rowing veterans, so they competed in the Saturday morning events, starting with the very first event of the race. It was cool to watch the action start to heat up. I got up, showered, and then walked from sister-friend's house (M) to Harvard Square, where I stopped by Dunkin' Donuts for a somewhat less-than-healthy breakfast and coffee. Then over to Newell Boathouse to look for the shirt I threw in the bushes the day before and forgot (it was still there, phew). Then back to Anderson Bridge to watch rowers navigate the course under the Weeks Footbridge. There's a fairly sharp, 90-degree turn at the Weeks Footbridge, so it's a critical steering maneuver and it can cost one a lot of time to miss.

In spite of that, there were numerous misses, with scullers heading too far to shore. In one of the first races, a 1x sculler also wound up running dead-on into one of the Anderson Bridge pilings. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt and his boat wasn't damaged, so he was able to carry on down the course.

The weather was as perfect as it gets - clear skies, warm temperatures, and only a tiny breeze.

Once I was finished cheering on my teammates, I walked over to Harvard Square to check out a bakery I'd spotted on my morning walk. It wound up being this place, which was very nice but felt like it was trying to perpetuate a certain sort of trendy concept for bakeries. Almost like an American reinterpretation of European/French bakeries that gets close but doesn't quite hit the mark. The only reason I care is the American reinterpretation wound up feeling more ostentatious and boisterous - designed to target a "foodie" audience that puts everything on Instagram. That said, I had some delicious shakshuka, and picked up a pistachio croissant to try later. So, no complaints about the lovely and delicious baked goods.

I was hoping to catch one last race, for a college teammate, but I wound up being just a couple minutes too late. So instead I got to see the aftermath of a woman who clashed oars, then flipped and fell in. It was strange. For a little while, it looked like she was going to keep going, but then it looked like she changed her mind, pulled an oar out of the oarlock, and went swimming again. Her thought process was very unclear to those of us on the banks. But perhaps it was for the best, because the event following her race was the men's Alumni 8's, and those boats freight-train their way down the course. A 1x would absolutely get mowed down under those circumstances.

I'm enjoying a quiet and restful afternoon because tomorrow morning it will be my turn to get out there. I'm glad to be immersed in rowing for the weekend.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1183603.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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