Much Fun at Masters Nationals

GDRA was represented well at the 2021 USRowing Masters National Championships, held August 12-15 on Melton Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is an excellent course, among the best in the United States, and several of us were able to participate. With so many events over four days, there were many races from which to choose, and it was great to see friends from other rowing clubs.

Our members raced in 16 events at the regatta and earned medals in three of them. Lou Franca won a bronze medal in the men’s 1x. Brian White took silver in a composite men’s lightweight quad. Denise Heuser, Paula Sideras, Deb Taylor, and Meg Evans got bronze in a women’s lightweight quad.

(Photo courtesy of Row2K)

Head race season will be coming up soon! Be sure to register for the all-new Charlie Doyle regatta, with a live virtual 3000-meter erg race on September 12 and on-the-water asynchronous racing (2x1500m, in opposite directions) at any time during the weekend of September 11-12.

On the Road Again

GDRA was represented at the Midwest Summer Sprint Championships in Nashport, Ohio on Saturday, August 7th. Richard Pierce took third place in a single, as did Meg Evans. Brian White also raced a single. Deb Taylor and Meg Evans competed in the women’s double. Brian White and Meg Evans rowed a mixed double. A good time was had by all!

Now, we are back on the road again, heading out to this week’s USRowing Masters National Championships. The regatta is being held this year in one of our favorite venues: Oak Ridge, Tennessee. We have a larger group of competitors than we had on Saturday, and more boats on the trailer.

Looking forward to a fun week!

Charlie Doyle Memorial Regatta 2021

The Greater Dayton Rowing Association welcomes you to enter our virtual Charlie Doyle Memorial Regatta! After a lengthy absence that resulted from bridge construction, we are glad to bring this regatta back in 2021 as a virtual competition. We offer two options: live racing on Concept2 rowing machines (requires a PM5 and the free ErgRace app) and asynchronous racing on the water.

For the live portion on September 12, 2021, there will be a live announcer on Zoom, and competitors will be able to see each other. Rowers may do the asynchronous portion on their own schedule and at their own venues on either September 11 or 12.

The virtual regatta has a 3000-meter distance. For live racing, there are also team events (2x and 4x) in which team members will row a total of 3000m, and another live racing option is a 500m 1x event. In the asynchronous racing option on the water, rowers will race 1500m in one direction, turn around, and race 1500m in the other direction, thus doing one piece upstream and one piece downstream; rowers will start the second piece within 5 minutes of finishing the first piece.

To enter, go to the Charlie Doyle Memorial Regatta registration page.

Competitors may participate in both options and may compete in as many events as they are eligible to enter. When making entries, competitors will choose from the categories of Junior, Junior Lightweight, Open, Open Lightweight, Masters, and Masters Lightweight.

Download the registration packet here.

Winners for each event live category will receive a custom Dunkin’ Donuts gift card with the event logo, winners, name, event, and winning time. The top three finishers in each live and asynchronous event will receive a virtual certificate in .pdf format.

T-shirts and sweatshirts are available at

After expenses, 25% of the proceeds from this regatta will be donated to the Dayton Children’s Hospital.

For more information, contact

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
$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

~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 . 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
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.)

Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Ben Boehm
GDRA Racing Captain

GDRA 2021 Learn To Row

GDRA is pleased to announce that we will be teaching Learn To Row (LTR) again in 2021. Each session will have six 2-hour classes meeting twice per week. The May session will meet from 10 AM to noon on Saturday and Sunday for three weekends: Saturday, May 1 & Sunday, May 2; Saturday, May 8 & Sunday, May 9; Saturday, May 15 & Sunday, May 16. The June session will meet from 10 AM to noon for three consecutive weekends: Saturday, June 12 & Sunday, June 13; Saturday, June 19 & Sunday, June 20; Saturday, June 26 & Sunday, June 27. The July session also will meet for three consecutive weekends: Saturday, July 10 & Sunday, July 11; Saturday, July 17 & Sunday, July 18; Saturday, July 24 & Sunday, July 25.

Classes will be taught in starting in quads (4-person boats) and progressing to doubles (2-person boats) and finally singles (1-person boats). The cost will be $150 per person which includes club membership for the rest of the year. To reserve your spot or request more information, please contact

GDRA will be following all State of Ohio COVID-19 protocols as well as our current club protocols for team boats. (All instructors and fellow students will be fully vaccinated. No private information from your vaccination card will be distributed, except for the fact that you have been vaccinated and are therefore approved for team boats.)

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.

Rowing during the Pandemic

GDRA has been rowing safely in singles and household doubles since April. Rowing a single shell in the middle of a river is perhaps the ultimate socially distanced sport.

Our GDRA COVID19 Protocols follow all CDC, Ohio, Dayton and USRowing guidelines. We added new facilities for hand and boat washing and a new online reservation system to prevent crowding. Masks are required inside the boathouse and all our members are being very conscientious about social distancing.

We are fortunate that our club has a lot of single shells (24 club owned singles and 17 privately owned). As a result, our members have been able to row as much as they want. Participation is actually higher than it was last year! Our big team boats are gathering dust on the racks, but it is just not worth the risk. USRowing Guidelines still discourage rowing in team boats because of the risk of transmission of the disease through respiratory signature.

We look forward, of course, to the end of the pandemic. We look forward to rowing in team boats again and traveling to regattas. But in the meantime, we can row safely. And once you shove off from the dock, all those tensions and worries are replaced by that simple sound of the blades dropping into the water

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!