Hot Seat: Tricia Draminski

Tricia Draminksi strokes a San Diego Rowing Club W4 at the 2016 San Diego Winter Classic.
Tricia Draminksi strokes a San Diego Rowing Club W4 at the 2016 San Diego Winter Classic.

Tricia Draminksi, a member of the San Diego Rowing Club, came to rowing in her mid-20s after years of middle- and long-distance running. Now 28, Tricia fits rowing into her life as a Naval Architect, wife, and owner of two dogs and a cat.

Current rowing club affiliation & number of seasons there:

I row for the San Diego Rowing Club! This is my first season with SDRC. I rowed with DC Strokes Rowing Club prior to moving to San Diego.

The basics: Age, married, kids, jobs, pets?

I am a 28 year old Naval Architect. I am married to a really cute civil engineer and we have three furbabies. Two dogs (border collie mix and Australian kelpie) and one cat.

When did you get involved with rowing?

I was wandering around Team DC‘s SportsFest and was called out from across the room for being tall. That fateful night in 2012 I picked up a DC Strokes Learn to Row program flyer.

How has rowing changed you?

I now willingly wake up before 4:15 AM.

Do you prefer sprints or head races? Why?

I prefer head races. Anyone can throw together for 1,000 meters and make it work. Not everyone can keep it together for a 6k. Plus growing up doing middle to long distance running, I prefer endurance races to sprints.

What is your most memorable race?

Head of the Occoquan 2014. It was a beautiful and crisp fall morning in Virginia. Everything was clicking that morning and we were overtaking boats one at a time. It was the first time I’d ever raced in the bow pair of an 8. The trees that line the Occoquan were in full fall color. There were leaves floating on the surface of the water. It was the most majestic race of my life.

Have you ever caught an ejector crab?

I did experience a pretty gnarly crab once. I wouldn’t call it a full ejector crab though, I would call it a partial ejector crab. My feet did come out and my butt did land off the seat.

What’s your guilty pleasure after a regatta?

Coke Slurpee.

Who/what inspires you?

Patti Pinkerton.* She was extremely influential in the gender desegregation of rowing at Riverside Boat Club. She is also one heck of a coach.

What’s the best piece of rowing advice you ever received?

Right before seat racing for the San Diego Crew Classic, my coach gathered everyone in a huddle and told a story about some of her former collegiate rowers. The gist of the story was, you can be the strongest rower on the team (according to an erg), but if you can’t get your blade in and out of the water at the same time or swing with the rest of the boat, you won’t get boated. It is more important to be an effective rower than a she-hulk ineffective rower.

When not rowing, what’s your favorite thing to do?

When not rowing, my favorite weekend activity is taking the dogs to the mother of all off-leash dog parks, Fiesta Island, and then checking out a brewery. Life is really hard in San Diego. I don’t recommend moving here.

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.

My team has an awesome coxswain with some 20+ years of experience with Lake Union Crew. I have two favorite calls of his. The first occurs at some point in the third quarter of the race. The call is, “trust your fitness.” Usually by this point, the legs are screaming, the lungs are burning, and lactic acid is building. The call is centering and a positive reminder that this is what we train for. The second occurs when we are heading into the cove where we dock. He calls for “fashion first rowing.” This essentially means get your stuff together and row as crisp and clean as possible. People are probably watching and we want to make them envious of our boat.

*Tricia likes Patti Pinkerton so much that she submitted this list of “fun facts” about her for inclusion:

  • UC San Diego Head Coach women’s program 13 years
  • Head Coach Australia National Team. Led team to 17 National rowing titles ‘90-‘98. Named Australian Rowing Coach of the Year ’96.
  • Reporter for 1992 Olympic rowing in Barcelona
  • Head Coach Gonzaga, Named 1999 WCC Coach of the Year
  • Competed at Master’s Championships & Worlds 1985 – present
  • Named Woman of the Year 1984 by US Rowing Association
  • Earned 16 International and 7 National Championship titles
  • Competed at USA National Championships 1975-1984
  • Competed on the USA Sculling squad 1980-1982, ’80 Olympic hopeful