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Women Wanted for Blackburn 2004


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Alex is bored. Alex wants more competition in the women's division of the Blackburn Challenge. I want more company back in the pack. :-))

To those of you who have been thinking "I couldn't possibly do that" - if I can do it so can you. Read on.

The plan is to practice the course in easily manageable sections during the winter and early spring so we are ready for serious training when the weather breaks. Alex will be with us, sharing tips, when her schedule permits.

The course breaks down like this:

1) The start: 3 NM out the Annisquam River, against the incoming tide. (They pick a date when the racers have to paddle against the current to make it more of a "challenge.") We'll do this section when it is too rough elsewhere, studying the currents, eddies, sand bars, channels, etc., and learn to paddle strong against the current without wearing ourselves out.

2) The fun part: 4 NM, point to point to point past Lanesville, Folly Cove and Halibut Point to Andrews Point in Rockport. People on the rocks cheering. You are warmed up but not tired. Rah, rah, rah! Lots of comraderie. Oh yeah! I can DO this!!!

3) Sandy Bay crossing to Straightsmouth Straight (boring): 2 NM and traffic starts thinning out. Check in with the folks in the boat and you are halfway home!

4) Straightsmouth to Emerson Point: Only 1.5 NM but how close can you stay to the rocks to save time and distance?

5) Heartbreak hill - Emerson Point to Braces Cove: 4NM if you stay on a heading of 235, which is to say offshore. If there is a headwind, as in 2003, you are already tired when you hit it. I found paddling offshore by myself disconcerting because it was so hard to tell if I was making any forward progress. Was I ever happy to see red nun #4! I want to practice this stretch a lot to get more comfortable with that. Who wants to think about bailing when you have already gone more than halfway?

4) Where is that damn lighthouse and how long is this damn breakwater - Braces Cove to the harbor entrance: the longest 1.3 NM ever paddled.

5) The finish: 1.6 NM From Dogbar to the beach: Boats stay out of my way I'm in a race. How hard can you paddle when you are really tired?

We will learn all the course headings and visual markers. And (Ken: you might want to skip this sentence), where all the bailout points are. If you are not having fun, you will know exactly what your nearest options allow.

On the thread Ken started about paddling skills, I said I learn best when I am relaxed, not scared. So, that is the approach here. For those who like living/paddling more on the edge, please enjoy doing your own thing. All I ask is that you refrain from drinking all the Ipswich Ale at the beer tent before I get there. :-))

Alex and I want to help more women get ready for the Blackburn Challenge in 2004, but guys are welcome to join us too. The only rule is no whining about the pace, being too cautious, etc.

If you want to be put on the list for "training" dates, post here or send me an email: eneumeier AT earthlink.net

Most of the paddling will be done on Sunday afternoons, starting (if Gale stays away) in January. Post questions here.

Liz N.

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>I probably won't make

>every Sunday (there is good skiing in the winter after all)

I ski too. This won't be every Sunday. I'll figure out a tentative schedule but we'll have to be guided by the marine forecast, in addition to conditions on the slopes. I hope to get enough dates in to cover all sections twice before June 1, then start piecing sections together before doing the whole thing at least twice before the race.

Liz N.

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Count me in as an occasional show. At the least, I can carry the boats.


Liz, you'll have to wait until next summer for my next bluefish dropoff.


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>Count me in as an occasional show. At the least, I can carry

>the boats.

Or tow anyone who wants to see how it feels to go over 7 knots. :-))

>Liz, you'll have to wait until next summer for my next

>bluefish dropoff.

I had a piece of the last one for lunch. It is still delicious.

Liz N.

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