I have no idea about how crews from North Bay Rowing Club of Petaluma, California place in races, although I did hear something about a gold medal in a marathon or head race. And no doubt, there are many ways in which this club excels. But for me, they are number one for a very special reason. NBRC was my first official visit (including a row) as I launched Rowing The World and The Rowing Concierge in January. They are number one.
And what a wonderful beginning they were. A below freezing start on the dock quickly warmed with the sun and the work of rowing against the tide, even in a quad. I got a local tour and some history from the boat. Breakfast with the crew and some other rowers soon morphed into a discussion about how NBRC and Petaluma might become hosts for a tour, with many invaluable insights from the rowers for me.
There must be something in that Californian sunshine. Subsequent meetings and rows with other clubs in the San Francisco Bay area went much the same, with enthusiasm, warmth and a wealth of ideas and suggestions. Thank you, Californian rowers.
Some other things that were number one for me in California:
- First time to row on the Pacific Ocean, sort of. Sort of because I rowed several years ago at the Open Water Rowing Center in Sausalito, which is salt water on San Francisco Bay. And Monterey Bay, where I rowed with Santa Cruz Rowing Club, is a bay, as opposed to the great wide ocean. But it is a huge body of salt water complete with swells and seals and sailing boats. The Pacific!
- First time to row on a reservoir (Lexington with Los Gatos RC).
- First time to row in the dark. Almost. I had told folks this, but then remembered a moonlight row that our club organized for a few years. Rowing on Lake Merritt in the dark was very serious, however. It was a serious workout, and those crews row in the dark in the morning and at night for many months. It was stunning. Encircled by a road with streetlights, there was a certain level of ambient light. The surrounding buildings were striking, particularly the court house, one apartment building in particular and the boat house building itself. I want to come back in the daylight to row in Oakland, but that night row was magical.
- First time to row in January! What a treat.
Petaluma and California, you are number one.