After so many people had a great time discovering the sport of rowing at our May event, GDRA held another Discover Rowing day on Saturday, July 13 and once again had the pleasure of welcoming a new group of enthusiastic visitors. Turnout was fantastic; we had 34 people registered, and they all showed up to row, along with a few drop-ins.
Volunteer participation also was excellent; we had almost as many volunteers (organized by our hardworking committee, led by Linda Clemens) as we had visitors. Several new volunteers who recently had completed Learn-to-Row classes were happy to spread the word about how much they’re enjoying the sport!
The river was flat and calm, just right for beginners, and it was a perfect sunny day. We had four quads on the water at the same time, with two experienced rowers and two visitors in each quad.
The Millennium, our big sweep boat, also made several trips up and down the river. As soon as one group returned to the dock, we had more visitors eager to take their place.
As with our previous event, many of the visitors had such an enjoyable time that they promptly signed up for the upcoming Learn-to-Row sessions. With so many new rowers this year, it’s great to see plenty of fresh faces on the river!
Our team had a good trip on Saturday, June 22, to the Indy Summer Sprints regatta at Eagle Creek. The water was quite calm, although that venue often can be windy. Thunderstorms in the area passed harmlessly to the south. Overall, the weather was excellent.
Richard Pierce took second place racing a single. He later commented in an email to our rowers’ list that traveling to a regatta is a great learning experience, and even a bad day rowing is better than staying at home and cutting the grass.
Brian White (who agreed with that sentiment and got the lawn mowed on Friday) and Meg Evans placed third in a double. A fun time was had by all.
Eagle Creek is only a two-hour drive from Dayton, making it easy for our rowers to attend races there. This October, on Saturday the 5th, the Indianapolis Rowing Club will host the Head of the Eagle regatta at the same venue.
GDRA was very fortunate that our facility was untouched by the Memorial Day tornadoes that caused so much damage in the Dayton area. One of the tornadoes passed very close to the north of Island MetroPark, leaving some fallen trees. Our boathouse, docks, and the boats in the outdoor cage are intact.
We won’t be able to row for several days because of high water, debris, and contamination. However, this is only a small inconvenience, for which we are thankful. We hope that all our members, along with others in the Dayton area who may be visiting this site, were not injured and have a safe place to stay.
This year’s Dogwood Masters regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was held on Saturday, May 25, one week later than its usual date. Although this was Memorial Day weekend, there were plenty of clubs in attendance. The regatta actually had more entries than in past years. Morning fog caused an hour delay, but after that it was a warm and sunny day, with almost no wind.
As it turned out, we had two singles in early-morning races with the same bow number, which is why it’s always a good idea to be careful when packing for a sprint race and make sure to bring multiple sets of bow numbers. We did, and all was well.
Brian White took third place in his single. Medals are being mailed this year, so there’s no swag photo to illustrate this post. It was a good result though, and we have many more races left in the season!
GDRA’s Discover Rowing Day on Saturday, May 11, was a success! We had an excellent turnout, welcoming 27 visitors who were eager to learn more about rowing. A committee led by Linda Clemens, our Recruiting Director, organized our volunteers and made sure that we had plenty of experienced rowers available to coach and assist visitors. Several of our rowers commented that they enjoyed helping and were glad to have had the opportunity to take part in the event.
With so many volunteers available to row team boats, our visitors could choose between sweep and sculling. Some enjoyed their first experience of rowing so much that they wanted to do both. There were plenty of smiles and cheerful remarks. The event began by taking the Millennium 8+ out on the water, letting visitors feel the power of a big sweep boat.
Sculling was popular too—we had three quads on the river at the same time. The day started out a bit chilly, but it soon warmed up as the sun came out in a lovely blue sky, giving us perfect weather for the event.
Our visitors had so much fun that several of them signed up over the weekend to take Learn-to-Row classes. In fact, we had to increase the size of the upcoming class to accommodate the large number of people interested in enrolling. Fantastic! Many thanks to our organizing committee and all the volunteers.
Mark Wilson from All-American Rowing Camp visited GDRA last weekend to coach our rowers in morning and afternoon sessions from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5. Although we had some concerns about rainy weather in the forecast, all went well because the river did not rise as high as predicted, and the water was beautifully smooth.
Each session consisted of two coached rows, with breaks in between to watch and discuss video. Having an opportunity to improve our skills with the help of a professional coach, just in time for the sprint race season, was very helpful. As a bonus, the weather was gorgeous on Sunday, with a brilliant blue sky.
Janice Hill volunteered to organize the lunch and snacks, along with coffee and yummy hot chocolate, which were much appreciated—many thanks, Jan! The first two days, we all went out to dinner as a group, enjoying some social fun after a very productive camp.
Several GDRA members went on a “spring break” trip April 12-16, 2019, and enjoyed rowing on the Melton Lake course maintained by the Oak Ridge Rowing Association. This high-quality course, located on the scenic Clinch River in the Knoxville area, regularly hosts many regattas that include championship events. With six docks in a sheltered lagoon, launching and recovering boats is quick and easy.
During the sprint race season, the Melton Lake course is fully buoyed with seven lanes, giving our spring break rowers an excellent opportunity for sprint practice. A convenient parking area for boat trailers is provided next to the docks, making it easy for GDRA to bring boats to the venue so that our members can enjoy rowing their favorite boats.
A well-maintained bike path that runs directly past the docks provided more opportunities for outdoor fun. The weather was great, and we all had a wonderful time visiting Oak Ridge. Spring break in Tennessee is becoming a GDRA tradition!