Find Us at the 2024 New England Interscholastic Rowing Championships

With nearly 800 acres of open water and 4 miles primed for rowing courses, Lake Quinsigamond, tucked between the city of Worcester and the town of Shrewsbury in Massachusetts, is a regional hub for regattas from spring through the last viable weeks of fall.

This Saturday, May 25, 2024, the crews from more than 60 high schools throughout New England get their turn to compete for victory at the 2024 NEIRA championships. Events include high school men’s and women’s fours for first, second, third, and fourth varsity and men’s and women’s eights for first, second, and third varsity. The New England Interscholastic Rowing Association has hosted the championships in some form since 1947.

As a first-time sponsor of this annual event, Rowing Pad will be on site, taking in all the action and introducing our boat and indoor rowing pads to attendees, rowers, and coaches. Look for our founder, Victor Pisinski, and say “hello”! (Ask him to check out our new Coxswain Seat Pads, designed specifically for the cox seat.) We are thrilled to support NEIRA and be a part of this exciting spring race.

3 Expert Tips for Junior Rowers Before a Championship Regatta

For many junior rowers, annual regattas like the New England Interscholastic Rowing Championships or the Eastern Springs are their first encounter with an all-day, multi-team racing event. It can be a pressure-filled experience! Coaches and trainers work hard to help young rowers stay focused and healthy in the weeks leading up to racing season.

Rowing Pad spoke with rowing specialist Blake Gourley, M.S.,CFSC, FMS, FRCms, owner of Rowing Strength, for the expert take on helping young athletes thrive during this busy time of year. Below are his tips for junior rowers as they prepare for a championship regatta like the NEIRA race this weekend.

1) Embrace the taper

Your coaches will begin to taper your training volume to help you reach your peak just in time for competition. The reality is that putting in extra work over these next couple of weeks won’t improve your performance at championships—in fact, doing too much now will only take away from your performance. So listen to your coach, follow the taper they have planned for you and fight the urge to put in extra work during this time. It’s normal to feel antsy and energetic during a taper and that’s a sign that it’s working! 

2) Fill your recovery bucket

One thing you have control over is your recovery bucket. Imagine a bucket of water that has a spout at the bottom of the bucket. To fill the bucket, add quality sleep, nutrition, and proper hydration and you’ll see the water levels rise. All forms of stress, however, drain water out of the bucket. As you head into championships, make it your goal to not only fill your recovery bucket, but to make it overflow. Start now by getting to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal, by eating enough of the right foods, and by consistently hitting your hydration goals (a common hydration recommendation is to drink half your bodyweight in ounces daily).

3) Stick to your routine

A routine can help you stay grounded and ease some of your worry as you prepare to launch for your big race. Follow your usual warm-up routine, listen to the music that puts you in the proper headspace, and give yourself plenty of time to perform your routine so that you can avoid rushing to the starting line.

About Our Featured Expert: With 13+ years of experience in competitive rowing, Blake Gourley understands what is needed to be a high-performing athlete. Blake works with clients ranging from high-performing athletes with no limitations to clients transitioning out of injury (in collaboration with their doctors). With a master’s degree in sports performance, 10+ professional certifications, several published articles, and a couple of books under his belt, Blake’s goal is to help as many rowers as possible.