LeRoy Collins Commentary 60

Commentary #60
19 June 2007

My rowing partner

Subject: My rowing partner....your daughter

Mary C...just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your daughter as my racing partner in the Sunshine State Games Mixed Doubles rowing event this past weekend in Lakeland. We practiced twice during the week preceding, and it was clear from the outset she was highly experienced, and would be able to follow me from the bow seat despite me being about a foot taller, 52 years older, 60 lbs heavier, and plagued by bad sculling habits!

I had car-topped my own Van Deusen Double, with which we had practiced. In the preceeding week I had overhauled the foot stretcher after it had come apart for me in the stroke seat during our first outing together. You can imagine our frustration when during the first few strokes from the launching area in the Lakeland regatta, HER foot stretcher came apart. We limped back to the launch area, Bill and Call perceived the problem, and quickly arranged for us to race the "D.U.I." Double belonging to the University of Tampa. No time to adjust the feet; we did a quick change of the oars, and took D.U.I. as-is.

When we arrived at the marshalling area for the race course, the starter said "what's this, a father and daughter crew?" "Naw," I replied, "more like grandfather and granddaughter!" We had practiced our starts, and decided it would be 1/2, 1/2, 3/4, 3/4, then full pressure for 20 strokes,... then settle. We settled on a rate that was challenging for me, but she handled it in a breeze.

Going down the course, Lindsay kept providing words of encouragement, which were a suitable tonic to maximize our exertion. That ongoing stimuli enabled us to capture SECOND PLACE in a field of three. I was happy to have survived. She was sensational in her intensity, and graceful in recovery. What a dream partner for sculling.

Earlier in the day I had raced Single in the event for Veterans age 50+. I came in fourth out a field of five, but everyone was much younger than I; I am getting accustomed to everyone being younger in whatever I do. At least I am still doing.

I lost count of the number of events Lindsay entered after four. I know she was wearing three medals ( including the Gold for Women's Lightweight Single!). I did not see her much during the day, because she was always in the water for her next event.

I have told her when she goes back to UW this fall, I want her to look up Amanda, my former Doubles rowing partner, who has a job she likes in healthcare software applications, headquartered in Madison. The two of them are very much alike, not so much in looks, but in their serene approach to the rigors of rowing...especially with old curmudgeons like me. I love them both for their strength, patience and toleration. Thanks for your recommendation.

Keep me advised of what Lindsay is doing; I shall always be interested in what she does, because I know it will be honorable and worthwhile...for more than just herself. /s/ Roy


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