Wild Wednesday 34/52 Rowing

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I met Gordon and some other friends early Saturday morning for a day of photography. We photographed the US Masters Rowing Championship meet at Lake Merritt in Oakland CA.

We got there as the sun was rising, and a little later we got golden-pink hue on the Alameda County Court House and lake.  This was the prettiest scenery I saw on Saturday.

Alameda County Court House

Then we waited for the races to begin. There were singles, 2 person teams, 4 person teams, 8 person teams, and mixed teams. Going in I knew absolutely nothing about rowing, but I did learn the difference between Sculls, and Sweeps on Saturday. It’s all about the oars.

In Sculling each team member has a pair of oars. Their boats tend to be smaller with 1, 2, or 4 rowers, and sculling boats do not have a coxswain.

Sweeps- each team member has one oar, and their boats can have 2, 4, or 8 rowers. Larger boats with 4 or 8 rowers will often times have a coxswain steering the boat.

The Coxswain is the member of the team that sits in stern of the boat, and steers the boat. The rowers have their backs facing the direction they’re going so having someone steer and call out what is needed from the rowers is necessary. They also coordinate the power, and rhythm of the rowers.  They are loud, we could hear them from clear across the lake.

2 man team- They’re sculling.  I tried panning. It wasn’t easy because they’re going slower than you think they are when trying to pan.

2 Man Team-Sculling

4 man team- Sweeps with a Coxswain

Sweeps 4 man team with Coxswain

The funniest thing I saw that day was a seagull trying to chase a drone out of its airspace.

The Drone was filming the races, and streaming a live feed back to a BIG monitor for spectators and teams to watch in the rowers staging area.  The gull never got any closer than this to the Drone during this territorial spat, but it squawked at the Drone the whole time it chased it.

Territorial Spat

A team headed to the staging area-

Rowing Team

Rowing shoes

Looking Up

Making some adjustments

Making some Adjustments

Rowing Oars

The starting line in the background

Wildflowers around Lake Merritt

It was a 3 day event. I have no idea who won in the end, but it was fun to hang out and photograph some of it, and learn a little something about rowing.  It looks like a fun sport.

I hope your week is going well, and you have a lovely week-end!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 300mm f/4 & Nikkor 24-120mm f/4| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…






41 thoughts on “Wild Wednesday 34/52 Rowing

  1. Hi Deborah, looks like you had a fun day! I like your photos! Thank you for explaining the differences in boats as I never would have noticed that little person sitting in the back in the coxswain. 😊

  2. I like the first picture, it looks so peaceful. I’ve never been to a rowing competition, it looks neat. I love your photos, as always. I hope you have been doing well and having a nice summer. I hate that I have been so absent. Looking forward to catching up!

  3. Those are great captures of the race Deborah! I love that golden-pink hue reflecting across the lake and court house. One of my recent benefits of Miss Sunshine going to a different high school program every other day (which starts an hour earlier) is that I get to see that golden-pink hue reflecting on the mountains. Otherwise, I was up with the sunshine, but don’t step outside to soak up its beauty. That is a funny little spat with the seagull and the drone!

  4. Fascinating sport! I have seen only a bit of this before, and the rowers all appear so smooth and coordinated. I’m sure it takes years to become that way. Great photos, Deborah. Thank you!

  5. That photo of the oars is so pretty. Good light, color, and shadows. Pretty pink buildings on the waterfront, too. Must have been a lovely sunrise.
    So funny about the gull and the drone. Who could blame the gull?! Bit like showing our pets one of those wind up animals!
    I’m sure everything I know about rowing came from this post!

    1. Thank you so much Cheryl! I was a bit annoyed at the drone/operator until I realized it was doing something good; filming the race and live feeding the action back to the staging area. Then I was grateful we didn’t have a helicopter overhead doing that. The drone was much less intrusive.

      As with all things there’s a balance we can hopefully find.

  6. The first shot of the water and the orangy buildings I find extra wonderful Deborah. The gull chasing the drone is funny. Gulls really defend their privacy 🙂 And were those rowing shoes glued into the boat? p.s. I replied on your very much appreciated comments on picture 1 and 11 from city waters 2 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Judy! I watched causally watched rowers about doing their thing, but never stopped to watch and find out anything about it before so, this was new, and interesting. I’d watch and photograph it again.

  7. Good photos, Deborah, but the shot and story about the gull and the drone is quite funny. Drones have such potential for usefulness and perhaps even more for misuse and for eventually clogging up the airspace. More than a bit like Facebook, don’t you think? 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Janet! I was mentioning to Cheryl that I was glad it wasn’t a helicopter above streaming the action back to the spectators and teams in the staging area. The drone was much quieter, and less intrusive.
      I do think they can be useful it’s just finding that balance.
      But, you know…idiots gonna be idiots so there will be misuse unfortunately.

        1. There is that! A year or so ago there was guy flying a drone around the neighborhood which got me thinking about peeping Toms so I started keeping my blinds closed more than I have ever have before.

  8. You got some very nice photos, Deborah. I tried getting photos of a race in Boston, on the Charles River, several years ago, and it is harder than it looks. I love the photo of the oars and the one of the seagull. I love the light in that opening photo!

    1. Thank you so much Dan! It was definitely out of my wheel-house photographing this event, but I enjoyed it, and the company I was with a lot.
      I think having two cameras up and ready to shoot would be the best thing. I almost did that, but didn’t want to carry it all day. We walked more than 3 miles carrying are gear the whole way, and my pack wasn’t light enough by the end of the day.

  9. That’s hysterical about the gull and drone. This was really interesting, Deborah. Beautiful photos and scenery. (And eye candy!)
    I’ll try and behave myself so that this is a wonderful (rather than wicked) Wednesday. 😉 Hugs on the wing!

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