Tag: New England rowing clubs

  • Don’t Miss These Great New England Fall Rowing Events

    Don’t Miss These Great New England Fall Rowing Events

    By the time September rolls around, most “fall” rowing programs in our charming corner of the country are well under way. But as New Englanders, the RowingPad team still regards September and October as the autumnal glory days, full of classic local regattas and the global highlight that is the Head of the Charles.  

    As supporters of rowers local (RowingPad is a proud sponsor of Great Bay Rowing’s juniors program) and international, we follow each of these events with equal enthusiasm and even, when we can, take part in some respectable masters and alumni racing. 

    Here are some excellent rowing events taking place across New England this fall. We hope to see you at one or more! 

    Courtesy @criboston

    CRI Fall Classic Regatta, September 21, 2019

    This early-season 3-mile head race on the Charles River hosted by Community Rowing Inc. is in its 10th year. Featuring a buoyed course and supervised by U.S. Rowing refs, it welcomes rowers of all levels to its 40-plus races, including adaptive events. Originally called “Rumble on the River,” the first installment coincided with the organization’s move to its new Harry Parker Boathouse in 2010 and featured rowing plus a battle of the bands. 

    The course and scope of the event evolved rapidly, and as the group’s website says, “In 2015, the event became the CRI Fall Classic Regatta to reflect its development into the premier early fall rowing event in New England. In 2010, the first regatta had about 40 entries. The 2018 regatta last fall had about 302 entries, including competitors from many New England states and New York, as well as a number of new youth crews.” That’s something to celebrate! If you are spectating, partake of the yummy food truck fare and make sure to check out the beautiful boathouse.

    Head of the Merrimack, September 28, 2019

    The Essex Rowing Association hosts this fun day of racing on the Merrimack River in Methuen, New Hampshire. The 5K race, which includes juniors, high schoolers, and masters levels and is a regional favorite event among the private rowing clubs in the area, traces some of the river’s most scenic spots along the Methuen shore. 

    An old event logo, courtesy of Putney Rowing Club.

    Green Mountain Head Regatta, September 29, 2019

    Putney Rowing Club, based out of the idyllic town of Putney on the Vermont-New Hampshire border, hosts this charming and beloved local race along the northern Connecticut River. Why do we say “charming”? Well, the event traces its origins to the 19th century, and despite the illustrious rowing figures who have participated over the years, the awards still feature maple syrup for first place, a bag of apples for second and a gallon of cider for third. Join approximately 350 racers (a fair number of them in wooden boats) for the stake race, launched in intervals, that runs 1.5 miles upstream, around two buoys and back again. If you’ve never seen a stake race, this is truly a fun event for spectating!

    The Textile River Regatta, October 6, 2019

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of this vibrant head race on the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts. Schools and clubs from throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania compete in nearly 60 different events across all levels—so the energy level will be high. You can even tune in to the Textile River Regatta Radio, the event’s own radio station featuring live calls on race day. Check out the stunning photos captured at last year’s event and plan your trip to partake in the live action the first weekend in October.

    The launch point at Head of the Housatonic, courtesy of New Haven Rowing Club.

    Head of the Housatonic, October 12, 2019

    We’ve seen plenty of New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts regattas in our day, but the Head of the Housatonic Regatta, held in the southern reaches of Shelton, Connecticut, offers a different kind of race format. At this popular annual event, hosted by the New Haven Rowing Club at Indian Well State Park along the Housatonic River, competitors launch from the sandy beach by walking boats into the water (there is no dock). Boats follow a very specific traffic pattern involving colored buoys—we’re intrigued to see how this all works in the thick of the race!

    New Hampshire Championships George Dirth Memorial Regatta, October 13, 2019

    Can you handle back-to-back weekends of intense fall rowing competition? If the answer is yes, then head to the George Dirth Memorial Regatta, which takes place the weekend before Head of the Charles and has the distinction of being the largest New England rowing event north of Boston. How large? More than 2,000 athletes rowing nearly 400 sculling and sweep boats. 

    Hosted by the Amoskeag Rowing Club in Pembroke, New Hampshire, the 3-mile head race begins upriver on the Merrimack and finishes at Memorial Park. In addition to providing a wonderful day of racing in a beautiful fall setting, this year’s event honors George Dirth, a former member of the rowing club and varsity rower at Oregon State University who died tragically at age 27, and awards a New Hampshire Cup team trophy for the best overall team performance.

    A RowingPad founder and his crew during HOCR 2016.

    The 55th Annual Head of the Charles, October 19-20, 2019

    Want to learn a fun piece of RowingPad trivia? One of our founders, Victor Pisinski, has quite a record with this beloved Boston regatta. The first HOCR was held in 1965. Victor made his debut on the Charles River course in year three…and he has raced in the event many years since! Unfortunately, 2019 marks one of the first years in a while Victor will not be able to compete due to a pesky foot injury, but you can bet he will be there in spirit!

    This year’s installment of the Boston head race, the largest two-day regatta in the world, is sure to bring some fresh elements, including a brave push for sustainability and lessening environmental impact, and heightened racing with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon.

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  • National Learn to Row Day Is June 1: Visit Your Local Boat Club!

    National Learn to Row Day Is June 1: Visit Your Local Boat Club!

    Saturday, June 1, 2019, marks the 18th annual celebration of National Learn to Row Day, an occasion sponsored by U.S. Rowing and Concept2 in an effort to bring the joy of rowing to people of all ages and fitness levels.

    Each year, rowing clubs and health clubs across the country host great workshops, classes and exhibitions to increase awareness of the sport and attract new participants. Curious to test the waters? In search of a new activity that both connects you to nature and provides an excellent full-body workout? Helping to guide a young adult toward a challenging (and rewarding) new sport? Now is the time to see if rowing is for you or a friend or family member.  

    As a company founded by rowers for rowers, RowingPad is passionate about spreading the good word about our sport and its many benefits. To celebrate National Learn to Row Day this year, we are offering free domestic shipping on all purchases—including our newest introduction, boat pads with anti-slip technology—from June 1 to June 10. (Use the code RPLTR19 at checkout.)

    With its many scenic waterways and outdoor enthusiasts, New Hampshire is a prime region for rowing, and many local rowing clubs go to great lengths to connect with potential new participants in their communities. Check out our roundup of these wonderful Learn to Row events taking place June 1, 2019. (Tell them your friends at RowingPad sent you!)

    Not in our neck of the woods? Use U.S. Rowing’s map to locate the 2019 “Learn to Row” event nearest you.

    Happy rowing to all those out in the boats (or on the ergs) for this year’s Learn to Row! And always remember to grab your RowingPad boat or erg pad before set off on your next rowing adventure.  

    Great Bay Rowing Club (Dover, NH)

    Join the Great Bay Rowing Club at the Dover Boathouse on River Street from 12 to 4 p.m. for a tour of the new docks and boathouse and special learn-to-row lessons along the banks of the Cocheco River. This wonderful local club, which operates out of both Jackson’s Landing in Durham and Dover and shares facilities with UNH, offers everything from learn-to-row programs and sculling classes for juniors (grades 8 through 12) and adults to competitive racing for all ages and levels.

    Essex Rowing Association (Methuen, MA)

    The newly formed Essex Rowing Association (building on the heritage of the former Essex Rowing Club) is a member-run rowing club committed to bringing rowing opportunities and excellence in rowing back to the diverse communities along the Merrimack River. On Saturday, June 1, rowers ages 12 and up can get insider access with a boathouse tour and guided introduction on that notorious indoor rowing machine, the erg. Then head out to the scenic Merrimack River for a beginner’s taste of on-water rowing. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 656 Lowell Street.

    Amoskeag Rowing Club (Hooksett, NH)

    Those along the more northern reaches of the Merrimack River should head to the Amoskeag Rowing Club Boathouse in Hooksett on Saturday, June 1, for a morning of introductory rowing fun. From 9 to 11 a.m., stop by for a tour of the facilities and some instruction on rowing technique, then hop into a boat for a little on-water lesson. Who knows? You might want to sign up for one of the adult or junior learn-to-row sculling programs on the spot and find yourself participating in the annual Blue Heron Regatta come August. (The club also has a solid FAQ section on its website that might answer any question you have about the sport or the on-water rowing experience in general.)

    Concord Crew (Concord, NH)

    If you have a young person in your life who has expressed interest in rowing (or perhaps just enjoys the outdoors or water activities in general), head to the Concord Crew event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. This nonprofit, competitive regional rowing team based on the Merrimack focuses on teaching boys and girls in grades 8 through 12 sweep oar and sculling, and this weekend it’s hosting an open house for both middle and high school students. Take a tour of the boathouse (located at 15 Loudon Road), try out the rowing machines and even head out on the water with some of the club’s experienced rowers and coxswains to get a feel for the sport. The club emphasizes the team aspect of rowing: “All of the students—boys and girls, everyone from varsity first boat to sixth boat—train together, practice together, race together.”

    Greater Lawrence Rowing (Lawrence, MA)

    For those along the Merrimack in southern New Hampshire or northern Mass, Greater Lawrence Rowing’s Abe Bashara Boathouse at 1 Easton Street. On Saturday morning, June 1 (contact the club for exact hours, which were not posted yet), the group will be offering free erg demonstrations and instructional rowing out on the water to guests ages 12 and up. Part of the Greater Lawrence Community Boating Program, this club, which was founded in 2006 with the goal of making the sport accessible to as many people as possible, offers year-round programming, low program fees and even offers full scholarships to those who need them. Read the bios of the highly experienced coaches and feel inspired to make your mark in the Merrimack Valley rowing community.

    Squam Community Rowing (Holderness, NH)

    Squam Community Rowing was established in 2013 to bring together individuals with a passion for rowing, maintain lifelong fitness and protect the natural beaut and peaceful character of Squam Lake. SCR’s “Learn to Row” event is unique from the others on this list in that it requires advance registration and costs $75 per participant. But in an area defined by its beautiful bodies of water, the cost seems well worth it to explore rowing—and it includes your lesson that day, plus 3 additional sessions with an experienced rower, and the fee can be applied to a yearly membership should you choose to join. The June 1 event is full, but SCR has planned a second for Saturday, June 29, from 8 a.m. to noon. Claim your spot now to test the waters and consider becoming a part of this growing rowing organization.

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