GDRA 2021 Learn To Row

GDRA is pleased to announce that we will be teaching Learn To Row (LTR) again in 2021. Each session will have six 2-hour classes meeting twice per week. The May session will meet from 10 AM to noon on Saturday and Sunday for three weekends: Saturday, May 1 & Sunday, May 2; Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16; Saturday, May 22 & Sunday, May 23. The June session will meet from 10 AM to noon for three consecutive weekends: Saturday, June 12 & Sunday, June 13; Saturday, June 19 & Sunday, June 20; Saturday, June 26 & Sunday, June 27. The July session also will meet for three consecutive weekends: Saturday, July 10 & Sunday, July 11; Saturday, July 17 & Sunday, July 18; Saturday, July 24 & Sunday, July 25.

Classes will be taught in starting in quads (4-person boats) and progressing to doubles (2-person boats) and finally singles (1-person boats). The cost will be $150 per person which includes club membership for the rest of the year. To reserve your spot or request more information, please contact ltrdirector@daytonrowing.org.

GDRA will be following all State of Ohio COVID-19 protocols as well as our current club protocols for team boats. (All instructors and fellow students will be fully vaccinated. No private information from your vaccination card will be distributed, except for the fact that you have been vaccinated and are therefore approved for team boats.)

World Rowing Indoor Championships Qualifier

GDRA’s Ben Boehm has qualified for two events in the upcoming World Rowing Indoor Championships—the Lightweight Men Open 2000m, which will take place on February 23rd at 9:06 AM Eastern time, and the Lightweight Men (40-49) 2000m, on February 24 at 7:05 AM Eastern time.

Here is a video of the Lightweight Men (40-49) event at the qualifying competition, the Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships, in which Ben advanced at the top finisher from the Americas:

And another video showing the Lightweight Men Open event at the CIRC regatta. In this race, the top two finishers from the Americas qualified to go on to the World Rowing Indoor Championships. Ben was interviewed at the end of the race.

Ben has a very impressive record for this season, having raced in 22 regattas in 2020 and another 15 regattas so far in 2021 through this weekend. He won the Lightweight Men’s (40-49) 2k at both the Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships and the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships. He came in second in the Lightweight Men’s (40-49) 1k at the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships.

Also, Ben finished second in both the Lightweight Men’s (40-49) 1k and 2k in the Danish Indoor Rowing Championships, although he modestly noted that those Danish events had only two competitors.

GDRA members, be sure to cheer Ben on when he represents the USA at the World Rowing Indoor Championships on February 23 and 24!

Follow-up edit, made March 11, 2021: The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is featuring an interview with Ben on its website. Ben talks about how much he enjoyed competing at the World Rowing Indoor Championships, his many years of rowing, and his approach to leadership. Read the article here.

Rowing during the Pandemic

GDRA has been rowing safely in singles and household doubles since April. Rowing a single shell in the middle of a river is perhaps the ultimate socially distanced sport.

Our GDRA COVID19 Protocols follow all CDC, Ohio, Dayton and USRowing guidelines. We added new facilities for hand and boat washing and a new online reservation system to prevent crowding. Masks are required inside the boathouse and all our members are being very conscientious about social distancing.

We are fortunate that our club has a lot of single shells (24 club owned singles and 17 privately owned). As a result, our members have been able to row as much as they want. Participation is actually higher than it was last year! Our big team boats are gathering dust on the racks, but it is just not worth the risk. USRowing Guidelines still discourage rowing in team boats because of the risk of transmission of the disease through respiratory signature.

We look forward, of course, to the end of the pandemic. We look forward to rowing in team boats again and traveling to regattas. But in the meantime, we can row safely. And once you shove off from the dock, all those tensions and worries are replaced by that simple sound of the blades dropping into the water

September Shout-outs

Ben Boehm, our always enthusiastic Racing Captain, has been doing a great job of keeping everyone’s spirits up in 2020 with ongoing activities all through the summer. In addition to keeping up regularly scheduled erg sessions via Zoom, he organized weekly time-trial rows, with GDRA members competing against one another by rowing 1000 meters upstream and downstream at any time during the week. He also sent emails letting everyone know about upcoming virtual rowing competitions, such as the USRowing Masters Virtual National Championships. Ben’s encouragement played a large part in our high participation, with more than 20 entries and seven medals. Because the virtual races did not have real medals, Ben took it upon himself to order actual metal medals for GDRA’s winners, which Linda Clemens distributed.

Others who have gone above and beyond the call of duty this season are Doug Barker, our current President and Board Chair, who has been regularly sending well-organized emails to the membership to keep everyone informed of current events, in addition to distributing the board meeting minutes. Our Boathouse Manager, Wilfred van Bruekelen, has been very busy this year, organizing volunteers to set up a new boat washing station next to the dock and many other tasks. William Turner, Mike McCarty, and Chad Hagedorn deserve much appreciation for their heroic efforts in cutting back invasive weeds in the river. And our Social Committee, Karen McCarty and Fran Phillips, organized a drive-in movie night at the boathouse.

Many thanks to all!

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.