Last night Daughter Amanda sends my husband (AKA St. Barry) this text message at 9:45 pm…”Dad did you make my seine boat seat? I need it for 5:30 am practice.” Guess what St. Barry found himself doing 10pm last night….???
The St. Peter Fiesta Seine Boat crew members can easily be identified walking around St. Peter Square, and the Beach Court area, this week sporting; taped hands, rowing gloves, custom designed crew shirts, wooden plank cushion seats, and bed pillows. For “Seine Boat Rowers,” having the “right seat” is an absolute necessity. At the beging of practice week, rowers except the known fact of their likelihood of rowing race day with blistered hands, but the thought of racing with a blistered bottom is the one thing all rowers commonly share a fear of, and don’t want to become their painful reality to have to deal with. One of the first recommendations shared by senior crew members is the importance of having a comfortable seat that will protect your bottom and get you to race day without blisters. Having the perfect seat cushion and gloves are crucial to rowing a successful race. Each rower will fasten their “custom cushion” to their personal “liking” immediately upon boarding the boat. This ritual takes president over other preparations of adjusting footboards, taping hands and the tying in of oars. You will notice in the photo below some rowers, like my daughter Amanda, use wooden planks under a cushion to raise them up off the boats bench. Some fasten a cushion directly to the bench with duck tape, and others, wrap their cushion in a slippery fabric or trash bag before fastening it to the bench of the boat, with the hope of lessening the friction caused by the repetitious back-and-forth rowing motion. The Senior Crew members are really great about guiding the younger crews through the week of practices. Their love for the sport and passion to keep the “Fiesta Races” thriving for future generations is what drives them to teach younger crews all the special tips they have learned over the years. Their spirit is infectious… Viva Sam Pedro!