Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bending Branches

Normally we all row in a slow and easy way,
transporting our passengers to a place of serenity and relaxation.

Our cruise routes are designed to last a specific amount of time,
and if a gondolier goes faster than he ought to,
well, he's gonna have to find a way to stay out on the water
for the rest of his allotted cruise time.

That's what we normally do.

But then, there's the US Gondola Nationals.
And there are very few things done in a "normal" way at Nationals.

Here we see Jakob Easton, rowing an empty boat,
as fast as he possibly can in order to win the Solo Sprint event.
The shortest time wins.
Jakob did win the gold in this event, but only by about a second and a half.

No, that oar isn't normally bent like you see it in the photo.
Some of these guys (and Jakob is a prime example),
pushed their oars very close to the point of snapping them.

We've seen broken oars in competition before,
but none were snapped this time around.
I'm sure the host - John Kerschbaum - is thankful for that.

Technically speaking, today's Venetian oar is not made from a branch, but rather the trunk section of a tropical hardwood.
But the title  "Bending the Trunk Section of a Tropical Hardwood" just didn't sound as catchy.

No comments: