A Sparkling Summer

We had a great view of the City of Dayton fireworks show this year! Although thunderstorms rolled through in the afternoon, the sky cleared by evening, just in time for our annual Fourth of July picnic. Also, this year, we had smooth new gravel to set out our sports chairs for the event. A project to lay down fresh gravel between the boathouse and the dock, capably managed by GDRA President Doug Barker and Facilities Manager Wilfred van Bruekelen, with the very helpful assistance of Jim Wall, Mike McCarty, and Lou Franca, was completed quickly and affordably. Our rowers now have a smooth, comfortable walkway, sparkling in the summer sun, when carrying boats to and from the river.

Our trailer also has been upgraded with new cargo nets, which are much easier to clip into place than the old ones. The new nets work very well and make loading and unloading quicker when we travel to regattas.

GDRA had an excellent outing when we traveled to the Dogwood Masters regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Saturday, June 1st. This regatta is always well attended, with a schedule that allows scullers to row in multiple races with enough recovery time. Many events have competitive age group races with no handicaps. Ryan Briggs took gold in Men’s Masters 1x D, as did Brian White in Men’s Masters 1x F, and Deborah Taylor took silver in Women’s Masters 1x E. Our mixed double races went well also: in Mixed Masters 2x C-D, Deborah Taylor and Ryan Briggs took gold; in Mixed Masters 2x F, Meg Evans and Brian White took bronze; and in Mixed Masters 2x G-J, Ed Walz and Denise Heuser took gold while Paula Sideras and Michael McCarty took bronze. Moving on to the single-sex doubles, Michael McCarty and Ed Walz took bronze in Men’s Masters 2x D-K, Meg Evans and Deborah Taylor took silver in Women’s Masters 2x D-E, and Paula Sideras and Denise Heuser took gold in Women’s Masters 2x F-K. In the mixed quad races at the end of the day, Meg Evans/Brian White/Deborah Taylor/Ryan Briggs came in second in Mixed Masters 4x D-E, and Michael McCarty/Paula Sideras/Denise Heuser/Ed Walz also took silver in Mixed Masters 4x F-J.

Next up on our travel schedule was the Indy Summer Sprints at Eagle Creek in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 15th. GDRA members won medals in 4 events. Deborah Taylor won gold in the Mixed 2x with Ryan Briggs and also won the Women’s 2x with Kathy Kramer from Great Miami Rowing Center. Deborah Taylor, Ryan Briggs, and Ben Boehm, with Laurie Gunzelman from Greater Columbus Rowing Association, took silver in the Mixed 4x. Ben Boehm and Ryan Briggs won silver in the Men’s 2x. Ben Boehm, Richard Pierce, and Brian White competed in the Men’s 1x, Deborah Taylor competed in the Women’s 1x, and Brian White and Kyle Ellis competed in the Men’s 2x.

Scouting out Oklahoma City’s course in advance of July’s National Championship racing at Rowfest, Brian White and Meg Evans rowed in the Stars & Stripes regatta on Saturday, June 22nd, taking the bronze medal in the Mixed 2x. Brian White also competed in the Men’s 1x. Returning for the OKC Night Sprints, Brian White and Meg Evans did a 500-meter dash, in a boat decorated with glow sticks, and took silver.

GDRA also plans to compete in the Chicago Sprints, which will be held July 12th through July 14th.