PRINCETON, N.J. - The Stanford lightweight rowing team continued its training in New Jersey to get ready for the 2014 IRA National Championships. Day three of junior Alicia Kapjian-Pitt's blog covers the emergence of the team bucket hat.
Bucket Hats Aren’t Just for Babies
by Alicia Kapjian-Pitt
Today was another momentous day for the Stanford Lightweights. Today was the day we debuted our collective team bucket hats. As was mentioned in yesterday’s post, our team has many quirks. Our collective style would be one of them. One of the perks of rowing is that we have a great deal of creative freedom when it comes to the gear we wear to practice. Sure we all have the standard spandex and all wear our uniforms on race day, but a part from that we have the ability to have fun with our wardrobes. This is where the bucket hat comes in. Several weeks ago I was browsing through the Stanford bookstore when I noticed a huge can full of Cardinal red bucket hats labeled as half-price. Inspired, I decided to purchase the hat and brought it with me to WIRA’s. This stirred the team up and someone had the brilliant idea that each girl purchase her own bucket hat to wear on a practice day this week. Well that day was today. We even supplied our coaches with bucket hats, which they have been wearing non-stop upon arrival.
To many, the bucket hat is something that infants and toddlers wear to shield their sensitive skin from the sun. After wearing the hat for our morning row, I realized the genius and functionality of it. The hat’s circuitous brim provided all around protection, even for spots neglected during our daily routine of, “stretch and slather.” The bucket aspect of the hat also lends itself to dumping water on our perspiring domes if the heat gets to be too much. We had a very solid row during our morning session and I’m not going to say that the bucket hats had everything to do with it, but I think there was definitely some hat magic at play.
In the afternoon, some of my teammates discovered just how versatile the bucket actually was. As is standard on the east coast, yet still astounding to me, a day can start out blisteringly hot and humid and end with darkened skies and pouring rain. I experienced this first hand this afternoon. When we pushed off the dock, the sky was a little grey but I saw no reason to panic. Ten minutes into practice and my pair partner, Katherine Christel, felt her first raindrop; we were in for trouble. Luckily for her, she still had her bucket hat placed firmly on her head. The wide and surrounding brim shielded her a great deal more from the rain than any baseball-style hat could ever dream about. We finished another good practice, docking right as the skies seemed to be opening. A large gust of wind came up while we were taking our boat out of the water and Katherine’s hat went with it. Terrified about losing her enchanted hat, Katherine began to panic. Coxswain Jordan Duval-Smith caught it right in time and the hat was saved.
This is reason number one million why I love my team. We are accepting and encouraging of each other’s quirks and always seem to have a great time regardless of the high-pressure situation we are currently in.
That being said, if anyone were to ask me how my spandex tan is coming along, I would reply, “Swimmingly.”