Spring Rowing and the Eclipse

Rowers here at GDRA enjoyed getting out on the river during a pleasantly cool Memorial Day weekend. Earlier this month, the aurora borealis or “northern lights” were visible much farther south than usual, brightening the night sky just before Ben Boehm’s adult rowing camp over the weekend of May 11th and 12th. The camp was well attended, with 20 participants rowing in all five of the club’s quads on Saturday, and smaller boats on Sunday. Many thanks to Coach Ben for volunteering his time and effort!

We had an amazing view of Dayton’s total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. Because the sky was clear, there was still plenty of sunshine even after the eclipse started. At first, it didn’t look much different from an ordinary hazy day. The birds and other wildlife behaved normally; they didn’t get confused and go flying home to roost, as they did in the 2017 partial eclipse when there was a thick cloud cover. When it reached the totality, the light suddenly drained away, leaving the river framed in sunset colors for several minutes.

Here is an eclipse photo taken from the bow seat of a double, over stroke seat’s head:

April was a good month for early spring competition. At the Percy Priest Sprints in Nashville on April 6th, in the first race of the day, two GDRA boats took first and second place in the Men’s Masters 2x. Other silver medal winners were Deborah Taylor in a single, Ryan Briggs in a single, a GDRA/GMRC composite crew in the Men’s Masters 4x, and another GDRA/GMRC composite crew in the Women’s Masters 2x. In the Mixed Masters 2x, Ryan Briggs and Deborah Taylor went fast and powerful, taking gold in a very competitive field; also racing in this event were Brian White and Meg Evans. The last event of the day was the Mixed Masters 4x, in which Ryan Briggs, Deborah Taylor, Brian White, and Meg Evans placed third. On the same weekend, Ben Boehm traveled to the San Diego Crew Classic to compete in the Men’s Masters C 8+ with a composite crew, finishing second after a strong sprint. Our rowers all got home in time to see the eclipse!

GDRA also was represented at the Sarasota Invitational on Sunday, February 25th. The weather was perfect, with very little wind and pleasant temperatures. Deborah Taylor had a stellar performance, competing in both the Mixed Masters 2x (winning silver) and the Mixed Masters Ltwt 2x (winning gold) and then following that up with another gold in the Women’s Masters 4x, a very competitive race in which Deb did a fantastic job in bow seat executing the sprint to the finish. Bronze medals went to Meg Evans in a single, Brian White and Meg Evans in the Mixed Masters Ltwt 2x, and later in the day, to our Mixed Masters 4x crew. It’s always fun traveling to Nathan Benderson Park to row in sunny Sarasota! The competition team would be glad to have more rowers join us next February, including those with little experience who are looking to get more comfortable with racing. This regatta offers an excellent opportunity to row on a high-quality course and enjoy an early spring-break getaway at the same time.