GDRA 2020 Learn to Row

GDRA is pleased to announce that we will be teaching LTR in singles starting in July.  To teach safely and effectively, classes will be limited to 3 students per instructor.  Classes will be held on weekends.  Morning or early afternoon weekday sessions are also possible if there is sufficient interest.  The cost will be $175 per person.  To reserve your spot or for more information, please contact ltrdirector@daytonrowing.org.

Back on the Water

The GDRA COVID-19 Committee (Doug Barker, Mike McCarty, William Turner, and Brian White) worked hard to make it possible for our members to get back on the water this season while staying safe.

Early in the pandemic, GDRA identified that rowing could be an important way to maintain the physical and emotional well-being of our community during this unprecedented crisis. Initially, GDRA loaned rowing machines to members and developed ways for members to connect and train together remotely. (Zoom indoor rowing sessions continue to be offered.)

To be able to offer on-the-water rowing, the GDRA COVID-19 committee has done a lot of work to update the facility and establish protocols to ensure safe rowing.

Since the boathouse re-opened on 11 April, we have trained 45 members on our safety protocols via Zoom. Since that time, GDRA has experienced a 50% increase in rowing on the water compared to the same timeframe last year. We are excited that our members have found rowing to be such a valuable part of their lives during this time.

– Update provided by Doug Barker, GDRA’s President and Chairman of the Board

Virtual Erg Sessions

GDRA is offering regularly scheduled virtual erg sessions on Zoom starting Thursday, April 9, 2020. Organized by Ben Boehm, the sessions will be held at the following times:

Mondays: 5:30am
Tuesdays: 12:00pm
Thursdays: 5:30 pm

The workouts will follow the Pete Plan, which provides 6 workouts each week. The first one will be on Monday, the second on Tuesday, and the third on Thursday. Those who want to do some or all of the other workouts can do them individually.

An ergatta may be scheduled at some point, depending on how much interest there is.


(Photo: Linda Clemens and Doug Barker erging at home)

If you’d like to participate in these virtual sessions, check your email for Ben’s recent message to GDRA members, which contains the Zoom joining information. Questions? Email president@daytonrowing.org

GDRA Erg Program 2019/2020

Location: Downtown Dayton YMCA, Yoga/Pilates Room (adjacent to cycling)
Starts: December 5th
Schedule: Thursdays 6:15-7:15pm, Saturdays 11am-Noon
Coach: Jan Hill
Fees: YMCA of Greater Dayton membership is required, the initiation fee will be waived. You may cancel membership during any month. GDRA provides the rowing ergometers and coaching at no cost. If you already have a YMCA of Greater Dayton membership, then you are all set! And of course, your YMCA membership includes full access to Y facilities and programs in all Greater Dayton YMCAs.

To assist with obtaining your YMCA membership ahead of your first workout, GDRA will have someone at the YMCA counter on Thursday December 5 at 5:30pm, and Saturday December 7 at 10:30am.

As a GDRA member, you can use our ergs whenever the room is available. Also, there is likely to be a regular morning group ( more on that later).

Please let me know if you have any questions. See you there!

Linda Clemens
linda.clemens@me.com

2019 Jingle Bell Row

We closed out the 2019 rowing season on the afternoon of Sunday, November 17th with GDRA’s annual Jingle Bell Row, in which we decorate an 8+ like Santa’s sleigh, with the rowers wearing reindeer antlers and the coxswain dressed up in a Santa suit. The weather was just right—sunny and mild, with no wind at all. The river was completely calm, and the water was clear.

Usually we have enough people for a decorated sculling boat, as well. This year, we had eleven Jingle Bell rowers, so a double also took part in the festivities—bright red to fit the season.

Instead of announcing “ready” by seat number as usual, the sweep team sounded off by reindeer names as the double rowers enjoyed the show. It was very entertaining!

Afterward we enjoyed hot chocolate and yummy baked treats.

Many thanks to Janice Hill for driving the safety launch and taking the photos!

Hooch, Hooch, Hooray!

Our club’s last regatta of the season traditionally has been the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is a challenging and very competitive two-day head race, with so many entries that the course often looks like a traffic jam on the river when rowers are lining up to start. So winning a medal at the Hooch is an accomplishment well worth celebrating; and Richard Pierce deserves hearty congratulations for his third-place finish (with the second-fastest raw time) in the Men’s Masters 1x in the 65+ age category.

The current was extremely swift this year, so much that on the practice day on Friday, November 1, singles and novices were not allowed on the course. Conditions were somewhat better on Saturday when the regatta got underway, but the current was still fast, and the water became quite choppy with around 2000 meters left to go. Ed Walz and Denise Heuser rowed extremely well in these conditions in the Mixed Masters double on Saturday, finishing in 8th place in a race that had 48 entries.

William Turner and his daughter Julia placed fourth in the Parent/Child double, coming very close to a medal. Meg Evans and Brian White rowed in both the Mixed Masters double on Saturday and the Mixed Open double on Sunday. Mike McCarty and Denise Heuser also rowed in the Mixed Open double. Brian White competed in the Men’s Masters Lightweight 1x.

Overall, we were pleased with our results; the only flaw in an otherwise excellent weekend was that there was heavy fog on Saturday morning, which caused the cancellation of our races in both the Men’s Masters double and the Mixed Masters quad.

Our trailer’s parking space for the regatta was under a bridge. We took a team photo behind the trailer as we were getting ready to leave.

It took some maneuvering to get the trailer turned around in a tight spot, but our intrepid driver, Brian White, was up to the task; and our team and all boats arrived home safe and sound.

Speakmon Success

Our team won several medals at the Speakmon Memorial Regatta, held at the Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, October 27th. William Turner and Brian White took third place in the Men’s Masters double. Our Mixed Open quad also placed third, with Mike McCarty, Paula Sideras, Ed Walz, and Denise Heuser. Brian White came in second in the Men’s Lightweight single, and Meg Evans had first place for the Women’s Lightweight single.

GDRA also rowed a Men’s Masters quad at the Speakmon, with William Turner, Todd Sobol, Brian White, and Chad Hagedorn. This was Chad’s first head race — he had a great time and is looking forward to more regattas next season! Richard Pierce competed in the Men’s Masters single race, and we also had two Mixed Open doubles — one with Ed Walz and Denise Heuser, and another with Meg Evans and Brian White.

October was a busy month for GDRA. We were represented at the Secret City Head Race in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Saturday, October 19th. Some GDRA members went to the Music City regatta in Nashville on Saturday, October 12th, while others opted not to travel so far and instead went to the Hoover regatta in Columbus, which also was held on October 12th.

2019 Outdoor Experience

Linda Clemens, our Recruitment Director, organized GDRA volunteers to introduce people to the sport of rowing at the Outdoor Experience event, held the weekend of October 5th and 6th at Eastwood MetroPark. The rowing machines at GDRA’s tent were very popular!

Linda’s report is below. She wrote:

Wow, what a weekend! Our site at the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience had plenty of room for a big tent, four ergs, a large scoreboard, plus two boats. A steady flow of kids and adults tested themselves on the ergs, looked at the boats, and chatted about rowing. It was just super fun to introduce folks to the erg, and watch both kids and adults check out their scores. There was even a friendly rivalry among Five Rivers MetroParks staff.

GDRA volunteers handed out Learn-to-Row postcards and gathered contact information from people who said they would like to learn to row in the spring. Here are the numbers:

– 150 adults on the ergs
– 290 kids on the ergs
– 70 adults signed up for LTR information
– 21 GDRA volunteers

Our GDRA volunteers were fantastic. There was a lot of setup and tear-down, and the volume of visitors kept us all hopping. A big shout-out to Colleen, Stephanie, Amandea and Moe… it was great to get help from the LTR class of 2019.

Thank you to Doug, Ed, Jan, Wilfred, Colleen, Jim, Mike, Karen, Richard, Stephanie, Paula, Amandea, Moe, Patty, Fran, Peggy, Carol, Denise, Pete and Lorna for volunteering and making this event a success.

Regards,
Linda Clemens
Recruitment

Triumphant Triumvirate

Three members of our team won medals rowing at the Frogtown regatta in Toledo, Ohio, which was held on Saturday, September 28. Mike McCarty and Ed Walz took first place in the Men’s Masters double. Ed also won a third-place medal with Denise Heuser in the mixed double race.

Meg Evans is also shown in the photo, although without a medal, having finished fourth in the mixed double with Brian White. Rounding out our team was Richard Pierce, who rowed a single. Conditions were good; the Maumee River was mostly flat and calm during the regatta.

Cuyahoga Contingent

GDRA was represented by a small contingent at the Head of the Cuyahoga regatta in Cleveland, Ohio, on Saturday, September 21st. Richard Pierce competed in the single race and also rowed a composite double with Scott Callahan of Belmont Rowing. Brian White and Meg Evans raced a mixed double.

The Head of the Cuyahoga is a challenging course because it is narrow, has many curves, and passes through thick trees, with an occasional barge at anchor here and there. Rowers pass under several bridges, where spectators watch the race and cheer on the contestants.

Although we didn’t win medals, it was a lovely warm sunny day with perfect rowing conditions, and everyone had a good time. We plan to return next year!