Learn to Row This Summer!

Greater Dayton Rowing Association has been operating since 1992. Our boathouse is at 102 East Helena Street, on Island MetroPark, near downtown Dayton. We are focused 100% on adult rowing. We welcome everyone from college students to retirees. Both recreational rowers and competitive racers are welcome. Our membership is a pretty even split between men and women.

We will teach you how to row!

– Sign up for Adult Learn-To-Row by contacting Brian White at LTR.director@daytonrowing.org.
$150 for 6 lessons. You start out in quads (4-person boats), progress to doubles and finally singles.
Saturday and Sunday at 10am-12noon for three weekends in a row.
The June class runs from June 12-27.
The July class runs from July 10-25.

– After graduating from Learn-To-Row, your first year membership is free !

If you already know how to row,
then join GDRA now!

– As a member, you have full access to the boathouse at any time of day. So, you can row on your own schedule, or team up with someone, or join the regularly scheduled sweep practice.

– We have 40 club owned boats to choose from, ranging from entry level boats to elite Hudson racing shells. The fleet includes 2 eights, 2 fours, 1 pair, 5 quads, 7 doubles and 23 singles.

– If you have your own boat, we have berths available.

– Membership fees are reduced for Young Adults (age 18-27) and summer-only College Students.

– For current membership fees, go to Regatta Central.

– Active and Retired Military discounts on all classes and membership fees.

– For more information, contact Ed Walz at membership.director@daytonrowing.org.

~Doug Barker, GDRA President

Discover Rowing 2021

Greater Dayton Rowing Association invites you to sign up for Discover Rowing. It will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021. This is a FREE opportunity to try rowing in a team boat. We’ll teach you about boats, oars, how to get in a boat safely, and then get on the water and row. This event is for ages 18 and up, and swimming proficiency is required.

PRE-REGISTRATION is required. We will be following all State of Ohio COVID-19 protocols as well as our current club protocols for team boats. All rowers and guests will be fully vaccinated or have documented natural immunity.

How to Sign Up:

1) Email a photo of your vaccination card or positive PCR test (which counts as immune for 90 days after a PCR test and quarantine) to covid19@daytonrowing.org . We will not use or distribute any personal information other than the fact that you have been vaccinated or have natural immunity.

2) To reserve your time slot and get more information, contact discover@daytonrowing.org
It will be great to see you there!

~Linda Clemens, GDRA Trustee

Notes on the event, added to this post on Tuesday, June 8:

We had a really nice day on Saturday for Discover Rowing with the river at 27 feet and sunny skies.

• 19 visitors signed up and rowed
• 20 GDRA volunteers
A big THANK YOU to the all the GDRA volunteers. Everyone worked to make this a positive experience for our guests, and it was so nice see everyone pulling together. Many of you arrived early on Saturday morning to get things rolling, spent for hours on the water, and sweated it out until every launch, erg, oar and boat was put away. Thank you all.

World Erg Challenge 2021

GDRA Outstanding Results in World Erg Challenge

Congratulations to everyone who was part of the GDRA Team for the Concept2 World Erg Challenge! From March 15 to April 15, the 17 members of our team rowed 3,443,563 meters on our rowing machines! After all the meters were counted, we were 6th out of 110 on-water teams, of any size. (Last year, we were 28th). We were 7th out of 182 teams (of any type) with 6 to 20 members participating. (Last year, we were 10th.)

https://log.concept2.com/challenges/wec/2021/teams?type&subtype=all&size=20

Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Ben Boehm
GDRA Racing Captain

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.

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!

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

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.

Speakmon Success

Our team won several medals at the Speakmon Memorial Regatta, held at the Griggs Reservoir in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, October 27th. William Turner and Brian White took third place in the Men’s Masters double. Our Mixed Open quad also placed third, with Mike McCarty, Paula Sideras, Ed Walz, and Denise Heuser. Brian White came in second in the Men’s Lightweight single, and Meg Evans had first place for the Women’s Lightweight single.

GDRA also rowed a Men’s Masters quad at the Speakmon, with William Turner, Todd Sobol, Brian White, and Chad Hagedorn. This was Chad’s first head race — he had a great time and is looking forward to more regattas next season! Richard Pierce competed in the Men’s Masters single race, and we also had two Mixed Open doubles — one with Ed Walz and Denise Heuser, and another with Meg Evans and Brian White.

October was a busy month for GDRA. We were represented at the Secret City Head Race in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Saturday, October 19th. Some GDRA members went to the Music City regatta in Nashville on Saturday, October 12th, while others opted not to travel so far and instead went to the Hoover regatta in Columbus, which also was held on October 12th.