Loudoun Rowing Association Team Goes into First Regatta of Fall Season


Photo courtesy of anonymous parent volunteer

Nevie Billis, Reporter

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the Loudoun Rowing Association (LRA) team, which is made up of a majority of Briar Woods students,  participated in their first regatta of the 2022 fall season. The team collectively rowed in six races throughout the day, with each boat in their respective division. 

One thing that made this regatta notable is that it is the first ever with the LRA team’s new captains. Their roles on the team have already shaped their fall experiences as well as those of other rowers. 

“I’ve made a lot of new connections with other rowers this [season] and it’s been a great experience watching them develop their rowing skills,” said senior captain Colin Shur. 

Not only is it the first regatta with new captains, but it is also the first regatta for novice rowers. Novices begin their crew career at the start of their first season of rowing, making this regatta the first opportunity for these student athletes to compete. Their limited experience may prove to be a challenging factor in a race. Even so, “they’re set up to do great since we’ve had good practice time [so far],” said Shur. 

Michael Chaisone, one of the coaches affiliated with LRA, has a slightly different take on the potential of the novice rowers. When asked if he thought the novices, with their limited rowing experience, would do well, “I feel like they have a chance to do well. But realistically, [and] I know it sounds kind of mean, but no,” said Coach Chaisone. 

The first competition of a sports season does not only evoke mixed emotions from the athletes, but the coaches as well. “I’m excited [and] a little bit nervous, but mainly excited for the rowers to [compete],” said Coach Chaisone. Naturally, athletes must practice their sport in a regular manner to maintain their strength and stamina. To have what it takes to race the intimidating fall 5K’s, the rowers simply go over to the Potomac river and get some water time “three days [out of] the week, and that’s all we do,”  said Coach Chaisone.

Something that’s common across all sports is that there isn’t one moment without a rough patch to overcome. Even Coach Chaisone displayed some uncertainty. “[The regatta] might be a little bit rough, to be honest with you. We haven’t had a lot of practice time and we haven’t had full [boat] lineups at all this season.” The lineup of a boat is one of the key factors of a race, as the boats are put together according to the capabilities of the individual rowers. 

Along with the coaches, the rowers on the team acknowledge that the situation regarding boat lineups raises cause for concern. “I am a little worried about the state of our boat lineups, seeing as they aren’t set yet, but I am hopeful that the coaches will be able to put something good together,” said an anonymous junior on the team. The anonymous junior goes on to say “I think my expectations could be realistic, as there’s been plenty of times where our boat lineups have been very last minute and we manage to work through it most of the time.” Since this anonymous junior has participated in four consecutive seasons, it’s fair to say that they have the experience necessary to imagine the most likely outcome of a given situation.

At the end of the day, overcoming obstacles is just another important part of an athlete’s life. Sometimes, they may be new to the sport and get plunged into a competition just a few weeks after learning the bare basics. Other times, they must learn to accept that some of the best plans come together at the last minute. Between the coaches and rowers, the LRA team was thrilled to participate in their first regatta of the season. No matter how experienced an athlete may be, each competition gives them more and more of the experience they seek.