The crew team had the opportunity to spend spring break training in Sarasota, Florida and compete in Winter Park Florida. Instead of retreating to our respective homes, on Saturday morning we headed out incredibly early to sunny Florida.
We landed in Orlando and drove to Sarasota and checked into our Courtyard Marriott! Our hotel was super nice! We had a huge room that overlooked the street filled with palm trees and shops.
The entire week we practiced at the Nathan Benderson Park, which was a little over a mile through the town center. The park was absolutely beautiful! It had multiple lanes for 2k competition, and a huge practice circle where teams could row to warm up, and practice if the lanes were being used. The 400 acre pond was not only being utilized by us, but also a few other teams such as Harvard. Seeing another program, an incredibly respected one, train at the same place we are was an incredibly cool experience. It definitely motivated me to perform my best, and to see where hard work and dedication could take our team.
Down in Florida we practiced twice a day in the sunshine, rain, heat, and cold. Florida definitely surprised us while we were down there, projecting a cold front across the state, but we survived! After our 7am or 9am practice, our days were spent lounging by the pool, heading to the shops, spending time by the beach and completing our nights with a team practice. One day, we headed to the beach to see the sunset and take some really great team photos.
After a long week of training, the team headed to Winter Park, Florida to compete against Rollins College at Rollins, and University of Florida. We race in two varsity four’s, a varsity eight, one novice four, and one novice eight. Our team competed with our best, and one of our varsity boats beat a Rollins boat! This was an awesome feat for our team, so everyone was incredibly proud of the girls who competed, and everyone who pushed them to perform their best. Although the race is won directly by the girls in the boat, it’s every single person on the team who pushes the racers to train and perform their best on and off the water.
Later the team headed back to Orlando to spend some quality time in the sun at Aquatica, one of SeaWorld’s water parks. Florida decided to treat us to one final day with the hot sun, and not a cloud in the sky. We then boarded our red-eye flight back to Providence and arrived back on campus the Sunday before classes started.
Being able to train in Florida for the week was a great opportunity, given that we have been training on land since the winter season. A huge thank you to our coaches and my teammates for making a great week! Our season in the Northeast begins this Saturday and we’re expecting big things from our team. Keep a lookout for the women’s rowing team making large waves on the water!