Monday, April 19, 2010

Row Paddle Row, Where Did the Weekend Go? By Angela

Row Paddle Row, Where Did the Weekend Go?

By Angela April 19, 2010

This weekend was the Long Beach Junior Crew Invitational Regatta so it was busy around the boathouse. We only had a few rowers so we used the indoor rowing machines, dock boxes and used our training pair for the first time. John, the Cal State Long Beach crew coach lent a hand and gave the kids some instruction on the dock boxes before I took them on the water in the boat. A pair is different than a double. A double is sculling or each person having 2 oars a right /port or starboard/left. A pair is sweep rowing with one person having one oar and being a port and the other has one oar and is a starboard. The two together make a pair. It is the most difficult boat to row. Our pair trainer is larger and more stable than a racing pair. I also use our large size outriggers on the boat making it extremely stable and easy to teach. After they learn sweep rowing in the pair they will be able to row in a four or an eight. Our national adaptive team has a 4+ and the San Diego Crew Classic is only the larger crews of 8+ The + plus sign in rowing means that the boat has a coxswain. The coxswain steers the boat and instructs the rowers. San Diego Crew Classic will have some adaptive entries next year so I thought I had better start teaching some of our kids to row sweep. Crew fours and eights are only sweep.

Saturday Terri came with her student Elliot, Stan came with Parker and Ian came with his dad. I had printed out a training manual with some of the terminology and commands and e-mailed the file To Ian to study. Ian was the first to go in the pairs boat with me and he did pretty well. He has a natural ability he seems to have inherited from his mom who also rowed crew in college. Then it was Elliot’s turn. Both did pretty well for first time. I am sure the lessons on the dock boxes were extremely helpful. John seemed to be a natural teacher and was good with the kids. We got all of our equipment washed and put away and then watched some of the races. Our kids are excited about participating in some races. We were invited to participate in these races but we are not ready. I have to prepare them for racing and they are all so new. They will get there!

I am a surfer and Terri a surfer and stand up paddle boarder. Terri brings her SUP board to rowing occasionally. Terri invited me to a paddle out for surfer, shaper and stand up paddle surfer Steven Adler that was happening today. Debs and I got up early, I loaded up my Infinity wave ski and we went to the event. We paddled out with carnations, made a big circle did a count off and said a prayer for Steven and his family. There were 332 surfers in the circle. Short boarders, Long Boarders, Paddleboarders, stand up paddlers and me on my wave ski. I suppose you could call it a SDP sit down paddle. I didn’t stay out and surf since Deb had to go to work. I just took first wave in. The waves were pretty good and the water felt great. I got all my surf stuff washed and put away, ready for the next one. Not much time remaining till I leave for England and still working to repair some boats and trying to find some volunteers for the rowing program before I leave. There is so much to do. Debs is going to take care of the house. I decided to do some things while I am away like the exterminator and I am finally going to use my Veterans housing grant to make my house more wheelchair accessible so hopefully all the construction can be completed before I get back. That’s the plan anyway. I have spent the rest of the day catching up on e-mail working on boat kit list and sending out sponsorship documents to businesses. Where did the weekend go? I can’t believe it is over already.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Week Since the Abilities Expo by Angela

April 15, 2010--1 week since the Abilities Expo.

I am feeling rested and recovered somewhat. Displaying the boat there and allowing people to use the rowing machines was lots of fun, well as much fun as a rowing machine can be. I transferred over on to the rowing machine and demonstrated it hundreds of times, got into and out of the Rowoflife boat several times for interviews and video and spoke with thousands of people about rowing and its physical and mental benefits for everyone.

The rules were that the boat was just to be displayed and no one was to go onboard but I really just couldn’t help it. Some of the kids were just so darn cute and they couldn’t see in without getting up over the gunnels. For those who are not familiar with the Expo it is similar to a trade show.

It takes place at a convention center and is attended by thousands of people. It is called the Abilities Expo and does have to do with products and services for people with disabilities or caregivers and health care provider of people with disabilities. I have a difficult time using the word disabled mostly because my definition of dis abled is anyone who believes they can’t do something. There were not many disabled people there only people looking for the latest and greatest technology and advances to enable them rather than disable them.

Working the expo is as rewarding and energizing, as it is tiring. Every person there has and shares a positive energy. Everyone there has an amazing story. I wished I had more time to here some of the others and see some of the exhibits. I did not stray far from my exhibit and missed a lot. I have been going through the show directory and buyers guide to catch up but there is nothing like seeing something in 3 d or watching it being demonstrated. We took the boat in on Wednesday had Thursday to prepare handouts and Friday was the beginning. It was especially hectic Friday morning since KTLA Gail Anderson came out and did a piece on the Expo. She rowed in sync with me on the rowing machine next to me and interviewed me while we were rowing. She was definitely winded before me but I still said "bringland" instead of England. That may have been a Freudian slip. Bring land get it? Quite a few people came to the expo saying they had seen it on the news and came down.

We came in so early with the boat and it took that much time to set up but by 7 pm after the expo closed at 4, we were outta there with the boat and everyone else was outta there too. It moved and tore down so quickly. We made it home, boat in tow, safe and sound. She is now back in her cozy little niche in my driveway. I spent a day getting the ergs back to the rowing center and unpacking the boat. I had taken a bit of personal kit to show the kids what you take on an ocean crossing, how you rehydrate your food, how to use GPS and of course, showed them the bucket.

It was a fantastic opportunity for me to demonstrate the sport of rowing and represent ability and achievement. I Thank and appreciate the organizers of the event for sponsoring my exhibit.

SeaGal Belinda picks up Go Commando boat

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Thanks to SeaWeather by Belinda

By Belinda

Thank you to SEAWEATHER for their generous support of the SeaGals.
Seaweather is one of the few remaining truly independent suppliers of safety and survival equipment in the UK. With both Marine and Aviation departments, we have the expertise to supply all your needs, speedily and efficiently.
They have kindly sponsored us for a free liferaft service, flares and lifejackets.

The SeaGals Have a Boat by Belinda

The SeaGals Have A Boat
By Belinda

SeaGal Belinda picked up the boat “Go Commando” from Birmingham this week and drove it down to the south coast. It turned heads on the motorway and even more so going through sleepy Lyme Regis.
A landrover hauling a 24boat on a 27ft trailer is not easy to manoveure through tiny streets. Go Commando looked quite the part in the sunshine and apart from the odd minor hitch, boat, SeaGal Belinda, David and Val all arrived safely.
A BIG THANKS to David and Val Starr for kindly offering their time and their 4 x 4 to move Go Commando to her new home at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis.
I wasn’t expecting the first bit of work to be done on “Go Commando” to be a puncture – SeaGal Belinda

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Ocean Row, New Collegiate Adaptive Rowing and CARP

New Ocean Row Project, New Collegiate Adaptive Rowing and The California Adaptive Rowing Program by Angela

For those that don’t know me or those that want to know more about me I dedicate and donate my time and my finances, I volunteer! I am humble and don’t care to speak of myself or exclaim to the world all of my good works normally but today I am going to make an exception. The California Adaptive Rowing Program is mentioned in most of the Articles and mentioned in many interviews that I do. I started and run an Adaptive Rowing Program since 2000 at the Long Beach Rowing Association. It is a 501-C3 not for profit organization for people with any disability for the sport of rowing. I have managed to keep it free for participants so that struggling families of kids and people with disabilities can participate. Not all adaptive programs can do this. The Long Beach Rowing Association deserves a great deal of credit for this. I also can make that claim.

History of our rowing program

I was introduced to the sport of rowing through Casa Colina rehab center in Pomona, CA. I took to the sport naturally. I purchased a boat with a fixed seat and pontoons and approached the Long Beach Rowing Association about starting an adaptive rowing program. 1 boat, 1 rower in 1999. I began inviting my friends from the VA hospital to come out and try the sport. Kelly McCumiskey was the first and she helped out till she moved to Big Bear. The Long Beach Rowing Association donated some storage space in the enclosure for our boats and equipment. I purchased more equipment and began the long process of applying for our non profit status. Since it was just me, I had to enlist the help of two others to define the structure for the program. Willie and Arvis Ford stepped up to plate. I finalized the paperwork and we became The California Adaptive Rowing Program in 2000. I am the Founder, Director, President and unfortunately the only coach or instructor. Willie Ford is our former Vice President and Arvis Ford is our Treasurer. Willie has since passed away and Debra Moeller has stepped in to the role of Vice President.

My qualifications: I began going through US Rowing coaches education program and am currently a US Rowing level III rowing coach with current certificates in first aide and CPR, survival at sea, life saving and sea rescue, social responsibilities and risk management. I am a surfer and an excellent swimmer. None of these are required to be a rowing coach or to teach the sport at our rowing program. I voluntarily decided to invest in myself and my education as a coach. I served on the National HAVC committee for Adaptive Rowing for many years. I produced an instruction manual on how to start an adaptive rowing program and how to teach the disabled to row.

I began this program and ran it for many years with no volunteers. I purchased all of our boats, oars and incidentals. Maureen Nunn has supported our national team athletes and deserves recognition. Ron Harvey went in halves with me to purchase 1 double. John Callos from LBRA donated some lights for our program. LBRA donates space in the enclosure and we have bathroom privileges at the boathouse. They also have our launch hull cleaned with their launches. I purchased and maintain the motor launch from DMV registration to fuel to mechanical repairs. I have been financially responsible for all our operating and administrative costs including the race entry fees and website since the beginning with the exception of the few things I listed. We appreciate the Long Beach Rowing Association for what they do. I am remodeling a space at my house for some ergs and gym equipment for indoor rowing

Our mission is to provide instruction and training for competitive and recreational opportunities in the sport of rowing to physically and developmentally challenged individuals. Our participants do not have to be Olympic swimmers or elite athletes.

We schedule our rowing sessions for the convenience of LRBA, CSLB and Junior crew. They get the time slots they need and we get what is left over. That keeps traffic on the water and off to a minimum and seems to work well.

Volunteers and participants of all colors and orientations, all abilities and faiths are welcome in our program. I hope to create some interest in our sport for coaches, volunteers and participants. You may also see me running some coaching clinics, teaching people how to teach the sport to people with disabilities, working with some other college coaches and I will be training a new volunteer coordinator and new volunteers.

How we are funded: We had a pancake breakfast in 2007 which generated a small amount of money and I pay for and fund everything myself with my disability income. I also raised money for CARP when I rowed across the Atlantic and again when I rowed across the Indian Ocean. Donations were made for my ocean rowing project but I never withdrew the funds for expenses, instead I made purchase of a new boat for CARP. The Pride and Veterans Day parade, I enter my ocean rowing boat and provide continental breakfast in the staging area and manage to make a small amount at these events. When I do my public speaking presentations rather than collect a stipend or payment for myself I instruct the organizers of the events to make the check out to CARP. I pay my own expenses to travel to these events. I have netted enough in my last two speaking gigs to pay the insurance and keep us afloat yet another year.

I have been working to develop and make the sport available and attempting to change the way the World views disability and mobility impairments, one ocean crossing at a time! It has certainly had and will continue to have some great benefits for the disabled community but it has meant that I had to take leave from the rowing program and it is expensive.

I welcome ideas and assistance in fundraising and grant writing as these are not my areas of expertise. I will not be able to continue to fund the program by myself as I have in the past. I welcome and need volunteers and any help coaching and teaching. The Long Beach Rowing Association have been excellent hosts for our program over the years and we have been able to exist only because they offer us space.

I have started a small Collegiate Adaptive Rowing Model and it is generating interest in some of our local universities. I need new boats and equipment and new ergs/indoor rowing machines. We are in process of re doing the carp website but there is a PayPal donate button on this site that really does work. I have never asked for help and always just done everything by myself. I need some help!

The Ocean Rowing Boat and I will be at the Ablities Expo in Los Angeles April 9-11
I will be presenting at the Amazing Leaders Paralympic conference in Colorado the end of April beginning of May then leave for England. All happened rather quickly...

I am going on another rowing trip 2,010 miles in 2010 Help for Heroes is the race charity. Seagals | All girl team rowing 2010 miles around GB in June 2010 un supported around Great Britain. From the London Tower Bridge to the London Tower Bridge. I leave for England in May. Race starts June 1st and should take 30-45 days to complete. Anyone wanting to follow, support, endorse or promote this project can contact me in any of the following ways.

Angela Madsen Aka Msparasurfer on Skype Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and World Rowing Network
E:mail (562)434-8334

Our CARP rowing schedule: Monday and Wednesday night rows. 6:30-8:30 PM
Saturdays from 9:30-11:30AM
Cal State Long Beach Adaptive rowers now row on Friday mornings from 9:30-11:30.
Long Beach Veterans: will soon be scheduling
Team Silcock: Thursday 10:00 am – 12:00

Angela Madsen
Call me to schedule at (562) 434-8334 or e-mail me at

Msparasurfer on Skype, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and The World Rowing Network.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Row Around Great Britain by Angela 2010 04 04

Round Great Britain Row by Angela

The Ocean Rowing Boat Rowoflife and I will be at the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles April 9-11
I will be presenting at the Amazing Leaders Paralympics conference in Colorado the end of April beginning of May then leave for England. All happened rather quickly...

I am going on another rowing trip 2,010 miles in 2010 Help for Heroes is the race charity.
GB Row 2010 -The Anglo American Challenge We are the Sea Gals, Press Release will be forthcoming. 2000 miles unsupported around Great Britain From the London Tower Bridge to the London Tower Bridge. I leave for England in May. Race starts June 1st and should take 30-45 days to complete. Anyone wanting to follow, support, endorse or promote this project can contact me in any of the following ways.

Angela Madsen Aka Msparasurfer on Skype Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and World Rowing Network
E-mail phone (562)505-4157

Why I participate in extreme rowing challenges

I want my 3 grand daughters, Cheyenne, Angel and Amanda to know that no matter how bad things can get, that they are not totally powerless and there are still choices to make. Situation and circumstance should never be allowed to dictate who we are and what we will be able to achieve in our lifetime. Allowing situation and circumstance to oppress us is a choice. I want them to be happy and successful, to dream big and set goals for themselves realizing possibilities and potential for success, being hopeful and willing to do what is necessary to achieve those goals. The best way I know how to do this is to make my life an example to them.

When I first learned of the sport of Ocean Rowing I was drawn to it. I knew I was going to row an ocean. I did not allow the situation of being a woman and a paraplegic stop me. I just had to work harder and work differently to achieve my goals. I love that there have been so many differences in the projects I have done thus far and that this project is also unlike the others. It is coastal rowing in an all women's crew. I am really looking forward to it.

To date my best ocean rowing experience has been the Atlantic. The Smaller boat with Franck was an awesome experience. The Larger boat with more people was not nearly as good. It would be difficult for anyone to be as good a rowing partner as Franck. I would not hesitate to row with Franck again if his wife would allow him to row. Actually I could think of a lot of men I would row with If I had the opportunity, like Orlando from Go Commando, guess it really comes down to the person and not the gender so much, but still really looking forward to rowing a non mixed gender crew.

Coastal rowing does offer a lot of different challenges than crossings, more difficulty at times with tides, currents, wind and traffic. I do some local coastal rowing in Southern California where it is warmer and the tides are about a third of what is measured in the region we will be rowing. I am grateful for the opportunity to add this experience to my repertoire of ocean rows.

SeaGals Row Around Great Britain by Deb

In case you haven't heard.........Angela is joining a crew of 4 girls to row around Great Britain. Here is some more info from their website

The Seagals will face unpredictable and extreme conditions rowing through the changing tides and currents of the English Channel, the Irish Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. We’ll be dodging the big boats and ships on the English Channel and facing some huge swells and gales in the North Sea. We will become the FIRST WOMEN EVER TO ROW AROUND GREAT BRITAIN, as well as raising money for Help For Heroes in the process.

As well as being the first women to even dare attempt the challenge, we are also entering a Race. This is a one off opportunity to get involved in the first ever GB Row Challenge 2010 – a rowing race circumnavigating GB. We are 4 ordinary women coming together to achieve something extraordinary. Our ocean rowing boat has been hand-built for speed, our committed crew has been handpicked to win. We are up against big tough men however we will give them a row for their money. By working as a team we hope to be able to experience something incredible and inspire others to follow their dreams.

RowofLife Journey-YouTube Video by Sageweb