Phew … finally recovered from a fantastic novice practice this morning!! It was not looking like the most beautiful day to paddle, totally overcast and in the low 60s (water still barely in the 50s… yikes!) but we had a crew of small but mighty women ready to hit the water. We easily rolled A’no:wara down the beach and set north along the east shore of Cayuga, with great steering by Sally and Barbara stroking.
The boat felt very strong and smooth, and our two novices caught on instantly. One of the novices mentioned that she had spent ages sanding and sealing ‘iakos during a semester in Hawaii, though this was her first time in an outrigger! It was also a nice chance for Barbara and me to slow down a bit at times and work on our technique and sort of take apart what has become (almost) second nature. I was definitely feeling the burn by the end, as I think everyone was — so totally worth it, and really motivating for our future practices as we continue to improve technique, build strength, and come together as a unified crew no matter who is in the boat. I am pumped to see these women return to future practices to see if they still enjoy it with crazier water and weather. I’m certainly hoping they do! We may finally have our women’s crew that we have looked forward to for years!
I must admit .. it was a major challenge to get the canoe back on shore afterwards, but we made it up in one piece in the end. I’m not sure that I have ever been so out of breath after paddling, even after PJ’s crazy sprint workouts and long races. I think I simply overdid it because I was so excited to be paddling with such a fun and focused crew, and so it was unquestionably worthwhile.
As several club members will be traveling during the next couple of weeks, the next official Novice practice will not be until June 22, so stay tuned and continue to email with any questions about possibly attending club practices in the mean time!