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!

Masters Nationals in Michigan

GDRA was represented at the USRowing Masters National Championship regatta held August 15-18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On the first day, Meg Evans rowed a lightweight single.

Brian White, wanting more than just one lightweight event, rowed his single twice on Friday, in both his age category and the one below. Here’s a photo taken at the start of his first race (dark green boat to the left).

On Saturday we rowed team boats (double and quad). Thanks to Bob and Karen Symonds of Wichita for taking part in a composite quad; it was lots of fun!

The weather was pleasant during most of the regatta. Unfortunately, thunderstorms blew in on Sunday and cancelled the afternoon’s racing; but by then we already had finished our events and were packing up for the drive home.

Dillon Lake Sprints

Our team rowed at Dillon Lake on Saturday, August 3, and had a great time on a gorgeous summer day with plenty of races for all! Here’s a photo of our team at the end of the day.

Kudos to Sharon Hagedorn for racing in her first regatta. She rowed in a mixed quad with her husband Chad, along with Meg Evans and Brian White. We all thought she did great!

USRowing National Championship

GDRA was represented at the USRowing National Championship regatta at Harsha Lake last weekend. In this highly competitive 2000-meter sprint race, Ben Boehm rowed very well, winning a silver medal in the men’s intermediate lightweight 4x event with a composite team called “Greater Dayton Composite.” His team also raced in the men’s senior/elite lightweight 4x event and placed third. Both events were straight finals.

Brian White competed in the intermediate lightweight 1x time trial. Because weight requirements for the boats were in effect, he had to add weight to his boat so that it wouldn’t be too light.

More to Discover

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!

Indy Summer Sprints

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.

Boathouse Intact after Tornadoes

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.

Boathouse on May 30, 2019

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.

Dogwood Masters Regatta

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!