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Tag: U.S. Rowing
See You at the 54th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta!
Fast approaching this weekend is one of the rowing world’s biggest annual events, and certainly the premier calendar fixture for the New England rowing community: the 54th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Saturday, October 20, kicks off the action, and members of the RowingPad team will be there to cheer on one of our founders (participating in a masters event), our talented RowingPad customers, and all the other incredible rowers taking on the Charles.
The Head of the Charles began in 1965, as a three-mile head race inspired by racing tradition in England. It has since evolved into the world’s largest two-day regatta, flooding the banks of the legendary Charles River with an estimated 225,000 spectators each fall. This year organizers anticipate 11,000 rowers from across the world, representing more than 800 schools, universities and organizations and 24 countries, to compete in 55 different events for juniors, Olympians, para and masters athletes. The event is expected to generate more than $72 million in spending to the region as visitors descend on Boston and its neighboring towns to be part of history.
Spotlight on: Women’s Eight
Some might say there is no obvious contender for this year’s women’s eight champ race, without one loaded boat of international superstars as often happens in this event. But that doesn’t mean the race won’t be riveting. U.S. Rowing has two entries, and, as Row2K so nicely describes, “divided between those two boats are eight of the nine women who won gold in the eight a month ago at the World Championships, and all four of the women who won gold in the four.”
Then there are the 23 fierce collegiate crews, vying for that surprise win and supremacy among their peers. They seek to do what only three different crews have accomplished in the last seven years: win the women’s champ eights. Who could do it this year? California hasn’t raced HOCR since it won this event in 2015, but they are the reigning NCAA champions. Or maybe Syracuse, with a new head coach and a promising record, could make a strong showing and best them all. We can’t wait to watch.
Spotlight on: Women’s Singles
Near and dear to our hearts here at RowingPad is the women’s championship singles, in which Newtown, Massachusetts, native and Olympic silver medalist Gevvie Stone will attempt her ninth (!!) win in this storied event. A frequent supporter of RowingPad, Gevvie often relies on our pads to keep comfortable and well-positioned in the seat. She has been training hard for HOCR after 14 months of doctoral residency, and we expect only the best from the hometown favorite.
Other top racers in the women’s champ singles include, according to Row2K, “training partner Mary Jones Nabel, a long-time international competitor and friend Magdalena Lobnig, and the woman who represented the United States in the single scull at this year’s world championships, Kara Kohler, as well as Canadian squad single sculler Carling Zeeman, and Felice Mueller, who finished second in 2018 and took the top Lotmann Challenge honors a week later in Philadelphia.” It’s an impressive group of competitors! Read more about their perspectives on the upcoming race and competing against Gevvie in the full Row2K preview.
Spotlight on: Men’s Singles
This is a loaded year for the popular men’s champ singles event. Will current course record holder and Harvard alum Andrew Campbell make history again? He hasn’t won the HOCR since his surprise 2014 victory, but according to an interview with Row2K, he’s determined to make this the year he get’s back to the winner’s circle. Or will one of the international elite racers—reigning Olympic gold medalist Mahé Drysdale of New Zealand or Olympic silver medalist Damir Martin of Croatia or two-time runner-up in this event American John Grave (pictured above)—vying for the top spot come out ahead?
As Row2K summarizes: “The 33 rowers entered in the men’s champ singles race hail from six different countries and include five Olympians, three Olympic medalists, four world champions, and two Head of the Charles course record-holders.” It will all come down to who’s in the zone when the moment arrives—and the whim of the Charles.
What to Know
Making your first visit to HOCR? Prepare yourself with Row2K’s excellent guide to this year’s event. It covers everything from what to wear to how and survive on the roads to where to potentially see the most crashes/oar-on-oar conflict (if that’s the sort of thing you enjoy…).
And it’s worth mentioning that you will find no portable cushion for spectating more comfortable and completely appropriate for the occasion than one of our RowingPad boat or erg pads. If you can’t join in the action this year, at least you can look the part! We hope to see you there!
June 2nd Is National Learn to Row Day: Get Out There and Try It!
This Saturday, June 2, 2018, marks the 17th annual observance 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.
Across the country, rowing clubs and health clubs will be hosting special events and promotions to increase awareness of the sport and attract new participants. Current competitive and recreational rowers are encouraged to bring friends and family to a workshop, class, or exhibition so they can test the waters (or an ergometer) for themselves.
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 shipping on all purchases for the entire month of June. (Use the code “RPLTR” at checkout.)
Looking to get involved in a Learn to Row event in the New Hampshire area? Check out our roundup of several great ones taking place this weekend and hosted by some pretty wonderful rowing clubs and organizations in our local area. For those farther afield, check to see if your area has a local rowing club or search for a registered event on the U.S. Rowing website.
We hope this year’s Learn to Row initiative brings the joy of rowing to many lucky people—both in our backyard and in the many beautiful rowing communities around our country.
NEW HAMPSHIRE AREA LEARN TO ROW EVENTS
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 special learn to row programs 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. (You might even catch one or two RowingPad representatives there taking part in the on-water fun and checking out the new docks just installed by the boathouse!)
Essex Rowing Club (Methuen, MA)
For those who live closer to the NH-MA border, the Essex Rowing Club is an active, award-winning rowing club committed to providing athletes of all ages the guidance and resources to reach their potential in the sport. This Saturday, 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 taste of on-water rowing. The club specifies that absolutely no experience is necessary to participate, saying “Don’t worry, our boats have training wheels!” 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 this Saturday 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 1 p.m. this Saturday. 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.”
Independence Rowing Club (Nashua, NH)
For those along the Merrimack in southern New Hampshire or northern Mass, stop by the Independence Rowing Club’s newly completed boathouse at 75 Crown Street. From 10 a.m. to noon, the IRC will be offering free instructional rowing out on the water to guests of all ages who are interested in checking out the sport. This well established club, which was founded in 1973 by a handful of competitive rowers from New Hampshire and Massachusetts and counts Olympic and National team rowers among its ranks, offers programs that covers all stages as newbies progress from introductory learning to preparing for popular local head races as well as private lessons. What better way to foster a newfound love for rowing than among some of the sport’s most talented members?
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