Although Hanlan Boat Club has been closed for on-water rowing since mid- November, its members have been busy with any number of activities related to rowing and fitness. When the ice thaws and the docks are back in the water, Hanlan will be ready and raring to go for the 2014 season. No doubt it will be John Sherrick who will alert everyone to the status of the ice presently blanketing the bay in front of the Club. He is the one who knows that the bay froze over on December 9 and he keeps close tabs on the waterfront.
In the period between American Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, two Hanlan members rowed their hearts out on the erg. Both logged more than 100,000 metres to complete the Concept 2 Holiday Challenge; reaching 100,000 metres meant funds were donated to charity by Concept 2 on their behalf. Brian Singleton reached 131, 280 metres followed by Jill Vandal at 130,855. Jill has accomplished this annually for over 10 years.
Meanwhile Masters sculler Avtar Dhanota was in Nepal climbing Annapurna. He says that he lost 8 lbs on the climb but put it back on (and a bit more) after returning to Kathmandu and then New Delhi. The temptation was Thai and Malaysian coconut-wrapped spicy and sweet noodles. If you know Avtar, it would be hard to imagine him losing 8 pounds!
As Avtar reports, "I climbed Annapurna IV which is at about 7,500 metres altitude. Annapurna I is the most difficult and technical of the 4 climbs and it has, proportionally taken more lives than Everest. Annapurna IV is considered a training peak for Annapurna I and for Mount Everest. However, the climb of any peak more than 6,500 metres in altitude can humble any climber - particularly a climber like myself who is at the upper end of the G category of masters scullers.
"I had to find my pace and just stick to it. Keep in mind that the pace at 6,000 metres altitude or higher has to be covered in slow steps of inches, not of feet or yards. And above all, a climber has to have a very realistic understanding of the need to come back down alive. This is more important than reaching the top of a peak".
Meanwhile Harry and Sue Vanderlugt are actively pursuing cross- country skiing. Both race with distinction on the masters circuit provincially, nationally and internationally. A group of 24 Hanlan masters scullers, organized by JC Marly, "pretend" they are still on the water by renting the indoor tank at Don Rowing Club for hour-long sessions. Eight seats are taken on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as one evening a week.
Eight Masters scullers from Hanlan are pursuing certification as regatta associate umpires on January 20 and 27 at the Rowing Ontario offices from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. If others are interested please sign up on-line at the RowOntario website. The course is free but there is a $30 fee for workbooks.
Volunteers would also be welcome at the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships to be held at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. A few Hanlan members have already volunteered - Sue and Vic Gustavison will be umpires and Dave Cole will again be masterminding the wizardry of the computer system for the races. Anyone else interested in helping out either on Saturday February 1 for set-up or Sunday February 2 during racing would be welcome. Please consult the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championship website for more information and to volunteer your services.