Like so many sports and clubs, Ridgewood Crew has adapted to new norms adhering to Covid-19 guidelines. Fortunately, the 2021 Ironman Erg Classic was still held, albeit virtually. The event usually fills a large gym at Don Bosco with numerous teams and spectators offering loud support and motivation. Rowers compete on indoor rowing machines referred to as ergs rather than on the water, and a board projects their speeds. This year the event was much quieter, with seventeen teams participating across several towns and homes. Ridgewood Crew team members either participated from their home or went to the church, where they were divided into different time slots. Participants hooked their erg up to a computer to record their speed. Ridgewood had 44 entries and performed relatively well, winning 16 medals in total.
The environment and energy that filled past year’s gyms were mostly absent, which was a strange experience that eliminated many of the rush associated with races. Silver medalist Isabel Lee said, “The Ironman race this year was very weird because it was all online. When the race is in person, you feel this kind of adrenaline rush just from being there and watching other people compete. This year, a lot of people on the team were just at home, alone, and waiting for their race to start”. However, the virtual event gave the Ridgewood Crew team a chance to compete and see the results of their hard work over the past few months. Isabel Lee says: “I felt good because I was rewarded for my efforts of training hard this year.” Considering the circumstances of COVID-19, the event was well run and motivated the team during such an uncertain season.
Graphic: Sofia Lee