Thursday, January 03, 2008

Huntington Beach local involved in CARP and the Mid-Atlantic Row of Life

RowofLife has hit the 1000 mile mark on Day 31 of the Atlantic Rowing Race. That just leaves about 1552 to go; No Problem! They are really turning it on now. They have increased their load to move along faster. They can't make a full side because they lack legs. Franck has an infected stump and is not able to wear his prosthesis. Angela's back is not exactly happy, but when is it ever. Atlantic Jack said in their blog "The next boat to catch is Angela & Frank(sic) in "Row of Life", this will be a tough one as although they only have one fully functional leg between the 2 of them, they are complete rowing animals. " Atlantic Jack is moving at an unbelievable pace. I just wish we could figure out what is coming out of their water maker, so we could have some too. Maybe if they catch us, they will share the secret to their speed.

Surfing is Angela's first love. On New Year's Day she is usually out surfing in Huntington Beach with all her surfing buddies. She would like to thank all her surfing buddies, the Huntington Beach Long Board Crew, and the Surf Museum in Huntington Beach, for the support they have given her. Well what would New Years be without surfing? Well apparently the powers that be also thought Angela should surf today. The wind was blowing the wrong way today. The water was choppy and not good for rowing. Then it happened….the wind created big waves, excellent for Ocean Rowing Boat Surfing. Angela and Franck guided themselves with their oars and were able to catch a dozen or so good waves. They did not get long rides, but it was fun. Franck caught on to the English surf logo. Soon after the first wave, he kept asking if the next wave was a good one for surfing. We are going to work on him saying, "Dude." Both Angela and Franck seemed exhilarated by their morning session of surfing the 2/3 meter waves. So, while the rowing completely sucked today….the surfing was EXCELLENT.

The weather has been very rough and the winds not good for rowing. They are hoping for the winds to start blowing back in the westerly direction so they can take advantage of the winds and the equatorial currents. It has been tough to make progress and Angela and Franck have been rowing together many hours a day. It has taken a physical toll, but their spirits remain high. I just found out at the beginning of the race Angela fell off her seat and bruised her back very badly on Franck's foot stretchers. She was unable to do anything but crawl out onto the deck. She was not able to row. That was one of the reasons for their slow start. Also Franck was very sea sick at first and not able to row. So compared to the start, they are doing well now, but it is still not a picnic. They are trying to make sure they take the time to get rest so they can heal and stay healthy. It is a long race and they are ready for the long haul.

Angela is the Founder and Director of the California Adaptive Rowing Program in Long Beach, CA
www.carplb.net . It is a free program where differently-abled people learn row with the help of dedicated volunteers. It is part Long Beach Rowing Association and they row out of the Pete Archer Rowing Center.

Adaptive Rowing is rowing/sculling for the physically challenged. There are classifications of abilities in adaptive rowing similar to paralympic classifications with class 1 being the most challenged and 5 being the most able. There is fixed seat rowing for people who have limited or no functional use of their lower extremities (class 1-4) and sliding seat events are for all other rowers (class 5 and 5B for the visually impaired).

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