Day Six – Monday, January 2nd, 2012
Athlete: Kersten O’Brien
Hometown: Saginaw, MI
Our tour through Florida continued on our sixth day as we repacked and left Naples for an early drive to Sarasota. After 5 days of sun, we ran into rain for the first time as we unloaded and rigged boats.
Our first practice of the day consisted of technique and timing drills, choppy water, and thankfully skies that were sunny as the weather cleared up before we went on the water. Practice concluded with a promise from Coach B. that if we finished rigging and cleaning everything up, he’d treat us to lunch.
A meal at Sweet Tomatoes was our delicious reward. Needless to say, we weren’t very ready to practice immediately like we thought we were. We were all excited when we ended up at Siesta Key beach instead. Although it was a bit windy, we enjoyed the warmth before the frost advisory went into effect for the night (although I’d definitely prefer “cold” being 55 degrees than the cold in Michigan now!).
Our final practice started later in the afternoon, and it had gotten quite a bit windier. Everyone got good experience dealing with rough whether though, and our row helped us to put our morning work into practice.
Finally, we all got to decide on dinner and actually settle into our new living arrangements for the week. While most of the team is at Bentley’s Resort, some of us are staying with the Flanders family – we’re very grateful for their wonderful hospitality! In the morning, we’ll have practice before deciding what to do with our afternoon. We’re all excited to spend the week in Sarasota, bonding, having fun, working hard, and enjoying the warm weather!
Athlete: Anthony Anzell
Major: Biomedical Sciences
After a nice relaxing day off full of beach time and ultimate Frisbee, the team packed up and left for Sarasota at six in the morning. We arrived in Sarasota at about 7:45 A.M. and prepared for a good day of practice. The weather at first seemed pretty grim with a dark heavy overcast lingering above our heads. While we rigged the boats it cleared up enough for us to go out. Although there was a strong wind we got a good first practice in working on our technique in continuing to perfect our strokes.
After our first practice we took a little excursion to the #2 beach in the United Sates! Siesta Beach! We walked down the shoreline enjoying the white soft sand cushion our every step and the warm salt water running past our feet with every crashing wave. We ended our adventure by having the team take a couple pictures together with the beautiful blue ocean in the background.
We then continued our day by checking into the Bentley’s hotel and went to our second practice. With the Florida air being brisk, we layered up and set out to sea. As we were rowing the wind was picking up, which sent small rollers over the gunnel of the boat and into our laps. As we battled through the waves and the wind we beached in the middle of the bay. But with teamwork and our brilliant coxswains we were able to keep us going and get us back to the docks safe. After our second practice the team packed everything up for the night and enjoyed a beautiful Florida night.
Hometown: Davison, MI
Today began with alarm clocks ringing bright and early at 4:30 A.M. We loaded up the vans and were on our way to Sarasota, FL by 6:00 A.M. When we got to the park we unloaded the boats and started rigging everything. After everything was set, we finally got on the water. On the water we did stationary drills to help with our posture and technique while rowing.
After our first practice we all went out to eat at a restaurant named Sweet Tomatoes. It was delicious. There was so much food and I think we all probably ate way too much, but it is okay because we will work it all off later. After lunch, we had our second practice, a 30 minute walk on the beach. The sand was so soft, it felt like heaven! After our beach excursion we headed to the hotel, unloaded the vans and prepared for our next practice.
Our last practice consisted of a lot of waves and a lot of wet clothing. We had a little trouble with the weather, although I am sure it is still better than Michigan, and it was a little rough, but it was definitely an experience that can help us in future races.