Home > Uncategorized > Apr 20, 2009 – Monday (yes, again): 1st time on a Quadruple Scull

Apr 20, 2009 – Monday (yes, again): 1st time on a Quadruple Scull

James asked me to come at 5:30 in the evening and said we could take the quadruple scull out. Boy! was I excited. Had never sat on one yet and so was looking forward to it.

I was there, bang on time. Krish was there too and so we warmed up by doing some streches while we waited for James and Prabhakar. Prabhakar came in, but James probably thought that I might have bought a camera to record this historic moment and there was no way that he wanted to be in the same frame (or boat, for that matter) as I. So, he was no where to be found.

So we got a replacement: Vivek Danda. I apologize for the choice of words – I thought of a whole of words which might be appropriate as a replacement for  ‘replacement’ in the previous sentence: ‘stand-by’, ‘substitute’, ‘proxy’, ‘alternate’. It is certainly a travesty to say that Vivek (and no dis-respect intended nor meant) replaced James – but then, what the heck was I doing in that boat anyway!?

We got special oars too and they were so light. And so we sat on the coxless Quadruple scull: Krish on bow, followed by me on 2, Vivek on 3 and Prabhakar on stroke – and we took off.

What a boat! It was so light and from the raft till the Kotturpuram bridge – we did only back-stop rowing, but we were moving faster than I’ve known! Krish and Prabhakar was complaining that we had got the wrong boat and this was pulling towards the right and ‘harder right side’ became a constant call.

We shot through under the bridge headed towards the cosmo club annexe. Been ages since I went that side, but today was not the day to admire the beauty contained within that sledge and muck. Prabhakar, the stroke, as is his wont, stepped up the pace (as usual) and I was glued to Vivek’s back trying to match his stroke length.

It was a little tricky because Vivek’s stroke length and timing was not matching Prabhakar’s and so which one was I supposed to follow? But anyway, there was no time to think because I was just rocketing up-and-down the slide. Worst part was that it was not even tiring since I was not putting in much work. Why was I not doing that? – there simply wasn’t enough time to plunge the oar, take that small fraction to settle and then PUSH. I was trying my best to keep up that stroke-rate and not upset the balance. But the boat was rocking all the same – and not of the pop and rock kinds.

Twack! and a small shout from Prabhakar – a group of kids in the bank thought we were straydogs who just happened to borrow a boat, and were pelting us with stones! But all it took was an unified throaty scream from the stroke, 3 and bow (I took that opportunity to relax a little and adjust my seat)  to scram the kids.

Before you know it, it was full steam ahead. So I thought – and Prabhakar calls for a 10-stroke! What?! What’s wrong with you, mate? If you have hidden red-bull – share it. And someone teach that man how to count. At that stroke rate, we would have finished a few 10-strokes before the ‘Easy’ call came. Then I realised the real reason for the ‘easy’ call – We were about to hit the bank! Phew!

By the way, I forgot to mention the wind. There was a stiff wind that was cutting across us and the damn blades were acting as sails: especially in my case because I was squaring as I came up and mid-way up the slide the wind would start playing on the blades and that made the entry too tough. The others, I realised, were squaring just before entry and so the wind didn’t affect them too much. It was only later that I realised that all of them had made that ‘technical adjustment’ consciously, while I kept trying to be technically correct, but practically very ineffective.

We were returning now, under the bridge again, back on the main course and pushing towards the raft.

All of them, except me, were not enjoying it at all – blame it on the pulling boat, mismatched stroke lengths and of course, the biggest culprit of them all sitting in 2 – having a blast, upsetting all rhythm, entering either late or early, unable to put in 100% work, skying oars – but smiling all the same. :-). We didn’t do another course. We returned back to the raft.

I do owe an apology to these guys: I played no small measure in making, what was not that enjoyable an outing, even worse. I hope I get another chance in that boat and I hope it gets better. But, even if that doesn’t happen, I still had a rollicking time in the Quad-scull.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 6, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Hi, good post. I have been thinking about this topic,so thanks for posting. I’ll probably be subscribing to your posts. Keep up the good work

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