A Sizzling Summer

Our team didn’t have to travel far to Masters Nationals this year because its location at Eagle Creek in Indianapolis was so near. The regatta had a good turnout and plenty of tough competition. Ben Boehm was our superstar, racing with both GDRA and composite crews and winning gold in the Men’s Lightweight B 2x, the Men’s Lightweight C 2x, the Men’s Lightweight C 4x, the Men’s Lightweight B 1x, the Mixed B 8+, and the Men’s Lightweight A-AA 2x, and silver in the Men’s Lightweight A-AA 1x, the Men’s Lightweight C 1x, the Men’s Open D 4x, and the Men’s Open C 4x. Paula Sideras and Denise Heuser won the silver medal in a very close race in the Women’s Lightweight G 2x. Luiz Franca won silver in the Men’s Open I 1x. Michael McCarty, Richard Pierce, Ed Walz, Brian White, Meg Evans, Deborah Taylor, and Brian Elwell also competed.

Some of us raced in the Chicago Sprints at Lincoln Park Lagoon on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9. It is a narrow course with only two lanes, where the top finishers in the heats advance to the finals. Ben Boehm won gold in the Men’s Lightweight 1x, gold in the Men’s Lightweight 2x, and silver in the Men’s Masters Lightweight 1x. Meg Evans and Deborah Taylor took gold in the Women’s Lightweight 2x and the Women’s Masters 2x. Meg Evans and Brian White finished second in the Mixed Masters 2x.

The Indy Summer Sprints took place on June 17, also at Eagle Creek. Competitors from GDRA were Ben Boehm, Brian White, Brian Elwell, Deborah Taylor, Meg Evans, Denise Heuser, Ed Walz, and Richard Pierce. Racing with composite crems, Ben Boehm won the gold medal in the Men’s Masters 4x and the bronze in the Men’s Masters 2x. Meg Evans, Brian White, Brian Elwell, and Deborah Taylor won the bronze medal in the Mixed Masters 4x.

Our Discover Rowing event on June 10 was well attended, and our Learn-to-Row classes have been going well. This has been a sizzling summer! The sprint season for GDRA will end this Saturday, July 29, with some of us traveling to the Midwest Summer Sprints at Dillon Lake in Nashport, Ohio.

Dogwood Dominance

GDRA had a large group competing at the Dogwood Masters Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Saturday, June 3rd. We brought so many boats that the trailer was almost full. Most of us arrived at noon on the practice day, Friday, and we got the boats rigged quickly with so many people helping. Then, after some practice in the buoyed sprint lanes, we enjoyed a pre-race dinner at Calhoun’s restaurant, which has a gorgeous view of the course on Melton Lake.

The organizers put together a good schedule that allowed for participation in multiple races with enough time in between. The races were competitive and fun. Our team did well. Kudos to Wendy Lathrop and Connie Howe, who learned to row with us in 2022 and took the bronze medal in their first stake boat sprint regatta!

Here is the full list of medal winners (thanks to Brian White for putting it together):

Ed Walz – Bronze – Mens Masters 1x
Deborah Taylor – Silver – Womens Masters 1x
Eric & Wendy Lathrop – Silver – Mixed Masters 2x, 43 -54
Meg Evans & Brian White – Gold – Mixed Masters 2x, 55 – 59
Brian Elwell & Deborah Taylor – Silver – Mixed Masters 2x, 55 – 59
Ed Walz & Denise Heuser– Silver – Mixed Masters 2x, 60+
Michael McCarty & Ed Walz – Silver – Mens Masters 2x
Meg Evans & Deborah Taylor – Gold – Womens Masters 2x, 50 – 59
Connie Howe & Wendy Lathrop – Bronze – Womens Masters 2x, 50 – 59
Paula Sideras & Denise Heuser– Silver – Womens Masters 2x, 60+
Meg Evans, Brian White, Brian Elwell & Deborah Taylor – Silver – Mixed Masters 4x, 50 – 59
Michael McCarty, Paula Sideras, Denise Heuser & Ed Walz – Silver – Mixed Masters 4x, 60+

Congratulations to all who participated!

Discover Rowing – Join the Adventure!

Greater Dayton Rowing Association invites you to take part in our annual Discover Rowing event on Saturday, June 10, 2023, from 10 AM to 1 PM. This is a FREE opportunity to enjoy the adventure of rowing in a team boat on the Great Miami River. Our volunteers will teach you about boats, oars, and how to get in a boat safely. Then we get on the water and row!

Discover Rowing will be held at the GDRA Boathouse, located just north of downtown Dayton at 102 East Helena Street, Dayton, Ohio 45404. Ages 18 and up. Pre-registration is required.

Sign up for Discover Rowing here!

Questions? Contact discover@daytonrowing.org

Spring Racing Season Gets Underway

Several rowers from GDRA traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to compete in the Percy Priest Sprints regatta on Saturday, April 1. Although we couldn’t race some of our small boats because of high winds, we all had multiple races even with the compressed schedule. The organizers were very helpful and flexible, adding mixed double and mixed quad events at our request, which ended up being fully subscribed and gave us some good competition.

Two GDRA boats placed in the Mixed Masters 2x race, with Deborah Taylor and Brian Elwell winning the silver medal, and Meg Evans and Brian White taking bronze. Taking the silver medal in the Women’s Masters 4x were Deborah Taylor, Meg Evans, Connie Howe, and Kathy Kremer (from Great Miami Rowing Center). This was Connie Howe’s first sprint race in very challenging conditions; bravely done!

Some of us also participated in the Sarasota Invitational at Nathan Benderson Park in Florida on February 26. This regatta is particularly fun for lightweight rowers because it features a Mixed Masters Lightweight 2x event, which most regattas do not have. Meg Evans and Brian White won gold in that event. Brian White took bronze in the Men’s Lightweight 1x, and a mixed quad made up of Meg Evans, Brian White, Kathy Kremer, and Brian Elwell also had a third-place finish.

Middle School Camp Registration Open

Greater Dayton Rowing Association is now accepting applications for our Spring 2023 Youth Racing Camp for 7th and 8th graders. We aim to introduce young people to competitive rowing in a safe, fun, and welcoming environment. The camp will run from April 10th to May 21st and will prepare rowers to compete in the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships on May 20th and 21st at Lake Harsha in Bethel, Ohio. There will be a scrimmage against Great Miami Rowing Center on May 6th in Hamilton, Ohio.

Applications are due by March 26th. Submit the online form today!

This camp is limited to 12 athletes, so don’t delay in applying! The cost is $225 for the season, which includes all coaching, equipment, entry fees, and a camp t-shirt.  Athletes will also need a basic membership to USRowing ($25). Financial aid is available. Parents are welcome to observe practices and, if interested, may join the club and learn to row.

Rowers will practice on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the GDRA Boathouse at 102 East Helena Street, Dayton, OH 45404. Our program focuses on sculling, in which each rower uses 2 oars. We will row and race in boats with 2 rowers (doubles) and boats with 4 rowers and a coxswain (coxed quads). The coxswain is responsible for steering the boat and giving directions to the rowers.

Head coach Ben Boehm has 27 years of competitive rowing experience and 8 years of competitive coaching experience. Ben is a USRowing trained coach who rowed in college, retired from the Air Force as a Colonel, and is a certified EMT. All of our coaches have completed NCSI background checks and SafeSport training. Find out about all our coaches.

A Snowy End to the Season

Last week’s pleasantly warm temperatures and calm water, which brought many rowers out to enjoy the near-perfect conditions on our river, gave way to chilly temperatures and snow on Saturday morning. Our fall racing season had ended the previous weekend, November 6th and 7th, with a trip to the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga. Ben Boehm won a gold medal (Men’s Masters 2x under age 50) and two silver (Men’s Masters 4x under age 50 and Men’s Open 4x) while racing with composite teams.

Rough water on Saturday caused the Mixed Masters doubles to be rescheduled to the end of the day for safety reasons. Because the new schedule caused this event to conflict with single-sex doubles, some of us didn’t get as many races as we had planned. Our mixed double over-50 crews did well, though, and were pleased with the results. Deb Taylor took silver, rowing in a composite boat with Don Bush from Great Miami. Brian White and Meg Evans, shown in the photo below, won bronze at the Hooch.

We also had several people traveling to the Speakmon Memorial Regatta in Columbus on Sunday, October 30th. Among our GDRA rowers were two recent Learn-to-Row graduates, Bethany Banakos and Laura Swope, who competed in the Women’s Masters 2x and had a great time! Two of our crews medaled in the Mixed Masters 2x; they were Mike McCarty and Paula Sideras, who won first place, followed by Deb Taylor taking silver in a composite boat with Brian Elwell from Great Miami. Richard Pierce won silver in the Men’s Masters 1x. Other GDRA competitors were Ryan Repasy, Brian White, and Meg Evans.

Today, with the 2022 season ending, a group of volunteers organized by our Boathouse Manager, Wilfred van Breukelen, tidied up the boathouse and got everything ready for winter. Thanks Wilfred! Our annual Jingle Bell Row, in which Santa coxes the trusty reindeer in a sweep boat, will be held this coming Saturday, November 19th, at 9:30 AM. Ho ho ho!

Not a Secret, We All Had Fun

GDRA was well represented at the 2022 Secret City Head Race in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on the weekend of October 8 and 9. Saturday’s races were downstream, while the Sunday races were upstream, allowing participants to see more of the regatta’s beautiful autumn scenery.

Our contingent had three recent Learn-to-Row graduates: Eric Lathrop, Wendy Lathrop, and Connie Howe. We’re all very glad to welcome them to our racing team! Eric won bronze in a composite Men’s Masters 4x on Sunday, Eric and Wendy rowed in the Mixed Masters 2x on Saturday, and Connie and Wendy competed in the Women’s 2x on Sunday. Eric also rowed a Men’s Masters 2x with Ed Walz. An impressive outing for our newest members!

Ed Walz and Denise Hauser took advantage of the opportunity to race the Mixed Masters 2x on both days, taking the gold medal in the Sunday race. Meg Evans and Brian White also competed in the Mixed Masters 2x on Saturday. Deb Taylor and Meg Evans took second place in the Women’s Masters 2x on Sunday.

Racing the singles on Saturday was challenging because the wind was higher than predicted, making the course choppy. Brian White rowed a single in the morning Men’s Masters race. The wind was stronger by the midafternoon Women’s Masters single race, and Deb Taylor persevered to win the bronze medal. Meg Evans also rowed a single.

Other regattas where GDRA members have rowed this fall season are the Chicago River Half Marathon, the Head of the Ohio, and the Hoover Fall Classic.

2022 Outdoor Experience

GDRA volunteers set up a tent and greeted many curious visitors at the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience over the weekend of October 1 & 2, introducing people to the sport of rowing. Our Recruitment Director, Linda Clemens, did a great job of getting everything organized!

Linda reports that 438 people hopped on ergs for our weekend-long competition. We also had a boat display to promote our Learn-to-Row classes and give people an idea of what it’s like to row on the river.

Everyone had great fun, and our volunteers were glad to have the opportunity to be part of this popular community event. Many thanks to everyone who participated!

Our 2022 Masters Nationals Adventure

GDRA rowers competed in all four days of the 2022 Masters Nationals regatta in Sarasota and very much enjoyed the trip! Ben Boehm had a “hot-boating” adventure on the first day when he rowed in a composite boat that won gold in the Men’s Light C 4x but had rudder problems, leaving the crew unable to row it in the Men’s Open C 4x soon afterward. When they returned to the dock believing that they would miss their next race, they were fortunate that another GDRA composite boat with Deb Taylor, Meg Evans, and Brian White, along with Brian Elwell from Great Miami Rowing Club, had just returned from the Mixed E 4x. The crews swapped their boats, with no time for Ben’s crew to adjust the feet or make any other changes, but they won the silver medal in the Men’s Open C 4x after rushing to the starting line.

Luiz Franca had a strong race, winning the silver medal in the Men’s Open I 1x.

Among other highlights of the regatta, Ed Walz and his son Brandon Walz, a former GDRA junior rower, finished first in a very competitive Father/Son double race. Ben Boehm raced in a composite Mixed B 8+ that took first place, capturing the Great Eight traveling trophy for Greater Columbus. Ben also won gold in the Mixed A 2x, with Kelli Vandermoer from OKC High Performance Center, and in the Men’s Light C 1x. Meg Evans and Deb Taylor took silver in the Women’s Light E 2x, a fast race in which the top two boats were right next to each other all the way. All told, GDRA’s rowers medaled in a total of 15 events, had a great time, and are looking forward to more adventures next year.

Sprint Season 2022 Highlights

GDRA rowers had a great sprint season this year, winning medals in every regatta we attended! We began by traveling to the Nathan Benderson Park Masters Classic regatta in Sarasota, Florida, at the end of February. Next up was the Clemson Sprints in South Carolina, in early April. After that, we were off to the Dogwood Masters Classic in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in May, which is always one of our favorite regattas. The Indy Summer Sprints came next in June, followed by two regattas in July — the Independence Day Regatta (IDR) in Philadelphia and the Midwest Summer Sprints Championships at Dillon Lake, Ohio.

IDR was particularly notable because Ben Boehm and his daughter Sage finished in 2nd place in the father-daughter 2x, out of 10 entries, and Ben also won first place (for which the prize is a commemorative watch) in a composite men’s 2x.

Seven GDRA members will finish the season by traveling to Sarasota again for the USRowing Masters National Championships, to be held August 11-14. The trailer is loaded and ready for departure this morning. We hope to win medals and, also important, to have a good time and represent our club well.