Today was the first significant race for Margot since Beijing and, more importantly, her first resounding WIN in her single. After placing second in the qualifying heat, she won her first heat, and then WON the A Final. Tomorrow, she and the second place winner, Kathleen Bertko, will race the double. Margot thinks Kathleen is really fast and is looking forward to racing with her.
So, what is a speed order? In my never-ending quest to educate myself and Margot's friends and family who are similarly challenged in terms of rowing knowledge... here's what I've found. Hmm... basically nothing.
OK, here's what I think I understand... When you have a speed order, you have an initial heat where everyone rows in succession (like a head race) and the top whatever number (in this case, 18) qualify to continue to race. In this initial race, you are rowing to: 1) qualify to continue to row, 2) get a good position.
Good position is usually the middle of six lanes - 3 and 4. The outer lanes are generally less desirable because they are choppier or ickier in ways that only rowers could adequately explain.
So, the first race determines whether you continue and whether or not you have favorable position. The next race is the first "real" heat. If there are 18 people who qualify, the next race will be three races that determine who will be in the A (top two of each race), B (middle two of each race), or C (bottom two of each race). In this case, Margot won her heat, so was in the A final.
Finally, there is an A final - which Margot won, and a B and a C final. All of this determines, at this event, who will be paired up in a double (both people with two oars = W2X which Beijing Blog followers will already know, assuming they retain information longer than I do).
So, I'm waiting for pizza because I'm lazy and, rather than cooking after work, got a manicure because I will drive to Columbus tomorrow for Stephanie's wedding shower and the mother of the groom doesn't want to embarrass her future daughter-in-law's family and friends with scraggly nails. And I will be staying in touch with Mar's race thanks to my Blackberry (not while I'm driving!).