05/16 2012

Preliminary Entry List for the Lucerne World Cup

I‘m on the road again – for 10 days so far I’ve been living out of my duffel – 11 more days to go.  I thought this was the lightest I’ve packed… turns out I’ll still return home only using half my kit.  I’ve learned though that half a dirty kit packed with half a clean kit means the whole kit will need a wash when I get home.  Ironic!

The entries for Lucerne came out today.  So far there are 16 boats entered from 10 countries.  I assume the number will go up over the next couple of days.  Notably missing are 3 of the 11 qualified countries: USA, Serbia and Hungary.  There are still 2 Olympic spots that will be fought over at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta happening May 21 – 23 in Lucerne.  There are 12 countries vying for those two spots.

Last year at the World Championships the 11 countries to qualify were:

New Zealand, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Canada, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, United States, Serbia and Hungary.

I’ll keep the website as updated as I can over the next week and a half.


08/27 2011

Quick, yet long overdue, Thanks!

Fact: The majority of amateur athletes in Canada don’t make huge financial gains.

Fact: 33-year-old fathers-of-two who leave their careers to chase a dream are often accused of having a midlife crisis or mental breakdown.

Fact: Wives who stick with the above stated husbands are often characterized as heroic (or crazy…in love).

I’d like to thank Brad Miller, Alastair MacArthur and everyone at Advanced Marine Technologies for their contributions to my success, sanity and security.  Their commitment to my athletic dream is a testament of their generosity, vision and personal commitment to excellence.  Your support allows me chase this dream, focusing on winning instead of my next mortgage payment.

From the bottom of my heart: Thank you.  From the bottom of my wife’s heart: Thank you.

Dave & Rachel Calder

PS.  I look forward to a time when I learn how to control my own website so I can display your corporate logo in a permanent location.

1 comment
08/23 2011

2011 Rowing World Championship Progression

August 22nd, 2011

Before I post my blog I’d like to take a minute to briefly reflect on the death of Jack Layton.

Having the privilege of representing the red maple leaf of Canada as an athlete I feel tied to all that is good about our country.  I remember attending the flag lowering ceremony during the Sydney Olympic Games to honour the passing of Mr. Trudeau.  As a 22 year old Canadian I had a feeling of loss without a personal closeness to this great leader.

No matter what political view any of us have, we all must agree that Mr. Layton has sacrificed so much over the years to enhance the functionality of our political system – providing a voice for many who have had little or no voice until this year’s federal election.  I can only imagine the toll that the election campaign took on Mr. Layton’s health – a toll that he could not recover from, even with the incredible success he accomplished.

To put what Mr. Layton has done into a sports analogy: he trained for years to race at the Olympics (preparing his party for this year’s election)  The race was run, and Mr. Layton and his team finished winning a silver medal (official opposition status).  En route to the medal podium (the house) and with thoughts of winning a gold medal in 4 more years at the next Olympics (the next federal election) Mr. Layton passed.

Rest in peace Mr. Layton, and my deepest condolences to your wife and family.



On Sunday we race the heat of the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia.  There are 24 boats entered in the men’s 2-, which means there will be 4 heats of 6 boats.  The winner of each heat will advance directly to the semifinals on Friday, while the remaining boats will race in the rep-recharge.  There will be 4 reps with 5 boats each, the top 2 finishers from each rep will also advance to the semifinals.  There will be 2 semifinals on Friday with 6 boats each, top 3 advancing to the final on Saturday.  The progression is typical, while the days we race are not.  We have a new schedule this year so that there are 4 days of finals, Thursday through Sunday, ours being on Saturday.  It will be interesting for our event, and others, to have such a large gap between the heats & reps and the semis & finals.

We are currently in Erba, Italy at our training camp.  We have been here for a week now and have one more workout before we pack up and head to Bled, Slovenia where we will race this year’s championships.  It should be about a 6 hour drive from here to there, but I’m guessing it will be closer to 8 or 9!  Bets?  Kevin Light has taken a few shots of the different boats training here.  Have a look of his shots on his flickr site.



Posted in All Blogs, News/Events
03/29 2011

Silent Auction Notice

We are now nearly 53 hours from the start of the Silver to Gold Fundraiser.  It feels like the event has come together so quickly with so much help from friends and family.  There are now over 60 silent auction items that individuals and organizations have given to the ’cause’.  Amazing.

I want to highlight the Brentwood College Learn-to-Row silent auction item.  Tony Carr and his son Brian have donated 2 learn-to-rows for 2 people each up at Brentwood College on June 12th, 2011.  The world renowned coach, Mr Carr (Sr) and his son, the Head of Rowing at Brentwood College, Mr Carr (Jr) will spend the day coaching the lucky rowers in three sessions; 2 water sessions and a video session in the famous indoor rowing tank (as seen on the Rick Mercer Report).  If being coached by these two icons of west coast and Canadian rowing isn’t enough, included in the package is Brentwood’s famous Sunday Brunch in the new Crooks Dining Hall overlooking the ocean.  I can call it famous because Sunday mornings were a highlight for me when I was a student at the school.

If you have not purchased your ticket to the event yet email for details.  We still have a few tickets left.  We really want to sell out the event so we maximize the benefit of the event.  It is going to be an amazing night and your support will keep me focused on training.

Many thanks – Dave

Here is the full list of silent auction items:

Brunch for Four at the Embassy
Body Plus Health Food Basket
Island Dance Studio 1 week summer camp
Island Dance Studio 1 month of lessons
Essential Esthetic Pedicure
Moksana Yoga punch pass and mat
Adrenaline Zipline passes X2
Annual Family Pass to Aviation Museum  & Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe
Handcraft Basket
Hand-bound book
4 Month  Membership Victoria YMCA-YWCA
DRIVE Fitness program
Wine Making Basket/Goblets
Wine Making Basket/Goblets
BC Ferries Round Trip Assured loading
Frontrunners GC/backpack/socks/hat
Spinnakers 5 course dinner for two with beer/wine pairings
Spinnakers Keg of beer
Rowing Canada Jacket, Hudson Boatworks hat, professional race picture from Beijing
Rowing Canada Collector Olympic Uni-suit Large, Hudson Boatworks hat, professional race picture from Beijing
Natural Factors Basket
Frances Litman Photography
Trekking Gift Certificate
Bootcamp gift certificate
1 hr Acupuncture Treatment GC
1 hr Acupuncture Treatment GC
1 hr Massage Treatment GC (RMT)
1 hr Massage Treatment GC (RMT)
45 min Massage GC (RMT)
Microsoft Gift Basket
Microsoft Office Professional Plus Software 2010
Delta Victoria Ocean Point 2 night stay
Golf Package
Adams Rescue golf club with golf balls
Landscape Architect Consultation
2 Organic teething bonbons & bib
“Chrevolet” Picnic Basket & wine
Brentwood Package (6 hours): learn to row for 2 plus brunch including two water sessions and a video session in the tank. Available on June 12th 2011 only
Brentwood Package (6 hours): learn to row for 2 plus brunch including two water sessions and a video session in the tank. Available on June 12th 2011 only
Painting by Linda Beltrano: Tofino Shores
Finger Tips Nail Studio, new set of fibre glass nails and pedicure
Chocolate and Coffee Basket
Koksilah River Cabin weekend Rental
Koksilah River Cabin Week Rental
Running Clinic, Running Room
Victoria’s Mayor’s Parking Spot, 1 week
Painting by Ken Levagne (500-800)
Handmade Glass Art (boat)
Baking Dishes and handmade, upcycled cloth napkins
Gourmet Basket
Trifle Glassware /basket
Whale Watching Tour, 2 adults/2 children
ECO-Cruising Package for 2 , Sidney, BC
Oakley Sunglasses FORSAKE women’s
Oakley Sunglasses Ten Matte Black mens
Oakley Sunglasses Crosshair 2.0 Mens
Sea Cider Platter for Two
Cycle Inn B&B overnight
Braodmead Pharmasave, Gift Basket
Rowing Canada Jacket package
Rowing Canada Olympic Unisuit package
Havana club rum
Naturopath Introductory Treatment & $100 Lifestyles GC
one night in a garden suite if the Miraloma on the cove and a 3 course dinner at the Latch Restaurant, across the courtyard
City of Victoria Mayor’s Parking Spot, 1 week
Go Rowing & Paddling Association: One year Gym Membership
Hair Basket
03/2 2011

Silver to Gold Fundraiser

Hello friends and family,

I am now only 17 month away from the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Scott
Frandsen and I are back in the pair and pushing very hard every day.
I want to be sure we leave nothing to chance en route to our shot at
becoming Olympic Champions.  With that in mind, we are using leading
edge science to ensure that our three pillars of speed – physiology,
technique and hull design are all the best in the world.

Friends and supporters have organized a fund raising event on my
behalf: An evening of excellence and inspiration at the Elk Lake
boathouse, March 31st from 6 to 9 PM.  There will be a silent auction
and I will get up and tell the story of my Olympic Journey; the story
of how I got from a novice rower on Elk Lake to becoming one of
Canada’s great medal hopefuls in London 2012.  Drinks and appetizers
are included in the cost of the ticket.

In order to stay focused on these three pillars I need your help now
more than ever.  This is the most difficult financial period of an
Olympic training cycle.  I have been on an unpaid leave-of-absence
from the BC Public Service for over a year, cash sponsorships are a
lot harder to find than in-kind sponsorships, and with two children to
raise we are accumulating significant debt.  The goal is to sell 200
tickets to the event at $50/ticket, so please buy a ticket and bring a

Tickets are available through a few ways, you can email
for options or by going to LifeMark McKenzie Physiotherapy located at
3941 Shelbourne Street during office hours.

Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested in supporting my dream of standing on top of the medal podium in 17 months!

Thanks so much,

07/13 2010

2010 European Tour: Quick Update

Hello All.

My first trip back on the international rowing scene was not at all like my last one in 2008.  Although the trip promised many great things, it was cut short quickly.  As you can see from the picture of Terry talking to us after we were knocked out of Henley by the USA – we looked good.  To compliment our uniform, Oakley sent us each a pair of racing Radars and each a pair of casual sun glasses.  Of all the perks of being an under-payed athlete, having a good relationship with Oakley has to be the best!  Thank you Pat!  One of the new guys in the boat must have told me every other day of the entire tour just how much he loved his new glasses.  It blew him away that the Oakley Radars didn’t fog up on him.

Henley turned out to be a bit of trouble as I got quite ill.  A few days before the races started I was hit hard by Campylobacter jejuni, something associated with traveling in Mexico.  I was knocked out with blood for diarrhea and yellow bile for vomit.  It was wonderful.  Somehow I managed to pull through, however, there was one point that I was certain I was having a seizure in the middle of the night.  It was just my body shaking from the chills of my high fever.

The city of Lucerne is always a place of peace; even in the bustle of the World Cup regatta.  There has not been a year that I have been around the regatta with so many entries though.  It seemed like every other event had quarterfinals, which is generally reserved for only the men’s and women’s singles.  This is a result of being the last race for three months heading into the late world championships this November.  In the 4- we were only two boats away from quarters.

The field was tough, and we were only a few seconds away from making the final.  Momentum is such a critical element in events like Lucerne, and we kept having ours interrupted.  Over the entire trip we had less than 10 workouts in the line-up that we raced in.  Including the races themselves, we boated the line-up less than 20 times the entire trip.  The field in the 4- is amazing too, so to have any disadvantage in big trouble.  I watched the A-final of the event live on Eurosport, and it was amazing to watch.  Next time I will be in it!


07/13 2010

Royal Henley Regatta

If you could imagine stepping back in time, depending on where you look, 20 years, 50 years, some glances even 100 and more years. This is a time-warp regatta that can boggle an athlete’s mind much the same way the “Olympic Spotlight” can – only Henley’s older. There is a brief and interesting history of the regatta and the course on their website, but here are the nuts and bolts of what you need to know:

  1. Two boats face-off against each other, winner takes all, moving to the next round of races until a champion is crowned;
  2. The course is 2112 metres long and is rowed into the stream, so the race becomes very long in a headwind or after a decent rain;
  3. There are wooden booms chained to pillars that have been pile-driven into the river bed every 20 metres or thereabouts. If you hit the booms you are screwed – if you hit a pillar you are injured;
  4. The regatta is very popular with rowers, so many schools, clubs and countries come – but it is also a cultural experience because the regatta is also part of the British social class system. There is a huge cost to get into the “Steward’s Enclosure”, but then there are dress expectations once you are inside the enclosure. Men: Pants, Jacket and tie – don’t take that jacket off! Women: Dresses – nothing that divides your legs, and the dress must go past your knees. I thought that there was also a hat expectation, but it appears that hats are an optional sideshow.
  5. As popular as the regatta is to rowers, there is no loud cheering allowed. Clapping only from the Steward’s Enclosure.

Anyway, the first time here was with Brentwood College School in 1996.  Tony and Yvonne Carr coached (and mothered) us to the Princess Elizabeth Cup.  My second time was with Canada (UVic and VCRC) in 2003.  Mike and Anne Spracklen coached (and mothered) us to the Grand Challenge Cup.  Now, in 2010, with Canada (Shawnigan Lake and VCRC) Terry Paul is coaching us in the Steward’s Challenge Cup.  Our first round was against Argentina.  We advanced and face USA (Princeton T.C.) today at 5:10 PM over here – 9:10 AM in Victoria.
Well, wish me luck! And if you’re up you can always listen to the race on the internet!

Posted in All Blogs, News/Events
02/11 2010

Vancouver, February 11, 2010

I woke up this morning and got my first workout in right away!  Thanks Rachel for the motivation.  I had to go for a run though because the ‘gym’, and I use that term loosely, was full at the hotel.  I ran past the Heiniken House and then past the Olympic Oval.  Then I came in and jumped on the elliptical machine for 25 minutes.

On my run I realized just how close to the UBC Boathouse I was.  I could be there in less than 10 minutes if I ran there directly.  I’ve put a call into Ben to get the access codes.  Now I can stay erging!  Great news.

I’ve spent most of the day working at the OGS office again.  There are many BC Public Service in their blue jackets around.  Rumon Carter is covering it all for the Province on-line and took this picture.  

It’s so hard to have to look up for each screech as someone new jumps off the zip-line tower. 

Tonight I am heading over to a private dinner for the athletes involved with the Coca Cola, Clean Air Champions and Project Blue Sky Athletes’ Village environmental activation.  It is being hosted by Rob Safrata, Alpine Skiing from the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.

Although the games are only 1 day away from starting, my day count is really set at 18.  There are only 18 more days until I start my 2010 campaign!


Posted in All Blogs, News/Events
02/10 2010

Vancouver, February 10, 2010

http://photography.rumoncater.comWhat a great day it was.  I came over on the 9 AM ferry in the Live Smart Hybrid Prius.  Met a torch bearer on the ferry who was so excited to run.  She seemed to be bouncing along on the boat – so cool. 

Once we got to the mainland I picked up my VANOC accreditation, aka ‘bus pass’ and headed downtown to my office across Hornby from Robson Square. 

The office is no larger than my cubical back in Victoria – the only two differences: this one has two huge windows that allow me to watch the entire Zip-Line in Robson Square, and I share it with 6 other people!  

If there was a triage for Olympic planning, we are in it.  There are about ten offices stacked just as full here in the OGS Ops Centre (Olympic Games Secretariat).  You can tell people are getting IT done!  Right now this office is running around the clock.

Scott and I had a late dinner together at Joey’s (aka Russia House), but the Russians hadn’t come yet…by the way, the zip-line is a huge distraction…and then we left for the VISA Olympian Reunion Centre.  It was great to see so many people. Most of the Canadian Olympians from past games had just walked in the dress rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies.  By all accounts it was a great show and worth watching. 

The Great One was even there…


Posted in All Blogs, News/Events
11/4 2009

Movember Update

Three day's growth.

Three day's growth.

Against Rachel’s wishes and my better judgement I have decided to grow a moustache for the month of November, er, uh, I mean Movember.  I will provide a link here to the crazy fools who started this to raise awareness about prostate cancer – which, by the way, both my paternal and maternal grandfathers have had.

Track my progress on the site.  I know one of you (Kelly) wants nightly updates – but let’s preserve my dignity to some degree.  No one likes watching paint dry.