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  • Friday, October 12, 2012 8:16 AM | Anonymous member
    The Occoquan Challenge 2012 was held Saturday, October 7th and several Virginia Boat Club (VBC) participants earned medals. The Challenge is rowed on a 5K course on the Occoquan Reservoir in Fairfax, VA. The race allows competitors to race flat out on a fully buoyed course with several challenging turns. Each year the Challenge contributes most of its profits to a grant program that supports paddling sports throughout the region.

    Virginia Boat Club excelled this year against some strong competition--especially strong college programs. The Men's Master 8+ won first place with a time of 14:45 "smashing" the course record of 15:06.

    Congratulations to all VBC members who participated!

    • Men's Master 8+ (40-49 age class): First Place. Rowers: Katie Wood (coxswain), Brian Hood (stroke), Will Sauve, Steve Abbot, Paul Georgiadis, Sean Bamman, Joe Manfredi, Olaf Barth, Steve Chilmaid

    • Women's Master 8+ (40-49): Second Place. Rowers: Maura Norford (coxswain), Brooks West, Loretta Molin, Kim Nelson, Kelly Kennedy, Caitlin Toynbee, Sheila Bullock, Fran Mason, Katherine Townsend

    • Men's 4+ Club Event: Sixth Place "behind some very strong college programs." Rowers: Nick Altimari (coxswain), Brian Searle (stroke), Yuriy Levitskiy, Mark Moran, Josh Crist

    • Men's Master 4+ (40-49): First Place. Rowers: Katie Wood (coxswain), Brian Hood (stroke), Jason Rife, Steve Abbot, Steve Chilmaid

    • Men's Master 4+ (50+): Second Place. Rowers: Laura Joseph (coxswain), Bob Benway (stroke), Art Mayer, Jeff Molin, Brian Nelson

    • Men's Quad 4x: Second Place. Rowers: Sean Bamman (stroke), Joe Manfredi, Mark Willis, Olaf Barth
  • Tuesday, October 02, 2012 8:18 AM | Anonymous member recently (September 2012) featured the Virginia Boat Club, one of Richmond’s oldest surviving outdoor recreation clubs. Click here for a link to the article.
  • Monday, October 01, 2012 8:21 AM | Anonymous member

    THE "BACKWARDS" MOVIE CHALLENGE: SUPPORT A ROWING FILM! Rarely are there films with rowing in them...and less that have rowing as the centerpiece of the film.  (I can count them on one hand!).  Take a look at the below challenge and overview from the film's executive producer, Sarah Megan Thomas. 
    BACKWARDS, a feature film about rowing and starring James Van Der Beek, Margaret Colin, Glenn Morshower, and Sarah Megan Thomas is now complete and ready for distribution.

    Rowers, athletes, competitors, Romantics, Dawson's Creek lovers out there --  help us create the buzz to get this movie into theatres nationwide!

    You can sneak preview the film's official trailer on our Facebook page:

    View the trailer. "Like" the film's page on Facebook! Spread the word. The "LIKES" are important as the more Facebook Page "LIKES" the sooner BACKWARDS is in a theatre near you.

    BACKWARDS tells the story of Abi, a fiercely competitive rower, who fails to make the Olympic boat and reluctantly takes a coaching job at a high school where her boss happens to be her ex- boyfriend. When given a chance to rejoin the Olympic team, Abi confronts the personal sacrifices and professional choices that impact the world of athletes with Olympic ambitions.
  • Saturday, October 22, 2011 8:22 AM | Anonymous member
    Whether you’re a novice or an experienced sweep rower, the learning curve always changes - stroke technique, erg form, strength conditioning, boat drills… it’s endless.  And, as I’m told by the vets in the club, appropriate rowing hygiene is a journey driven by years of practice and patience.  It’s a process.  A series of baby steps that can either be self-actualizing or laden with frustration.  In either case you need boat time to make it happen, but more importantly you need people in your boat.  Tolerant people.

    Fortunately, there’s the Master’s Rowing Program that consists of approximately 25 individuals (and growing) who sign up via Google docs to row as often as three times a week.  And while most folk set goals to row within a set crew, Master’s attendance doesn’t always cooperate.  The end result is a sometimes wacky algorithm of boat seating that can best be summed up by Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates… you never know what you’re gonna get.”  Granted, this process isn’t for everybody.  But if you embraced this crazy crew culture over the course of the summer, you were rewarded with regular boat time and the satisfaction of belonging to a rowing program built on the premise of inclusion, regardless of age, skill, experience and gender.  Makes me warm and fuzzy all over.

    In light of the above, I’d like to share some recent Master’s news, accolades and a few off-centered observations, as told through the eyes of a Master’s regular.

    Bittersweet Autumn 

    The BIG GIRLS, as we like to call them, had an awesome summer.  I’m talking about Molly, Lyons, Erin, Jess and Maura.  It all started in July as they navigated through a maze of craziness on their way to the D.C. and Occoquan Sprints .  This included rising above several snafus, including renting a truck, driving and parking a trailer for the first time and breaking off the M3’s skeg minutes before race time.  Fortunately, the big girls were able to borrow a skeg from Capitol Rowing and quickly attached it.  They placed 2nd, yielding only to Alexandria Community Rowing.  The next day at Occoquan Sprints, the ladies finished first.  

    As August approached, the big girls organized a fundraiser at the Barrel Thief and continued to train hard at Rocketts.  Finally, in August, all five flew to Oklahoma City to race at Nationals.  They were met by wind, strong currents and a Vespoli rental boat they scribed with electrical tape, “4 Oars.”   On day one, they placed fourth in the Women’s Open 4+.  On day three, they entered the Women’s Club 4+, placing first in their preliminary heat.  They advanced to the finals where they won Silver medals, bested only by Boulder, Colorado. 

    Victory Lap

    Did you know Brooks, Kelly, Jen Mac, Loretta, Kim, Lisa, Caitlin, and Katherine never actually rowed together as a set crew before the Occoquan Challenge, yet took second in the Women’s Master’s 8+ (40-49)?  Bob, Jeff, Brian and Art, posted the same in the Men’s Master’s 4+ (40-49) even though they’ve only been rowing together since August.  Fast Fact… Steph coxed both boats.  Not too shabby!

    Art's "Power 10"

    Katherine might just be the smallest of all the Master’s rowers, if not in all the VBC, however, she pulls pound for pound with the largest of hearts.  Katherine is the petite beast of the James.  Aka… PBOJ.
    Olaf is one of the few Robious men who occasionally works out with the Masters.  He is a rowing machine.  And as such, if Olaf was a transformer, his arms and legs would be oars, his body a hull and he’d have a skeg and rudder for a hat.  His name would be Robolaf.
    There’s a woman on television that looks just like Kelly.
    Cindy and Suzi are two separate people, I tell ya.
    A coxswain’s microphone can also be used to tell jokes to a captive audience.  “So this flea walks into a travel agency…”
    Dustin coxed the Heat off the dock after an auspicious “bow landing,” having coxed only a handful of times.
    Sometimes the biggest comeback isn’t winning a race, but getting back in the saddle after a nagging injury.  Gold to Loretta!
    The most valuable member of our Masters Program, or any rowing program for that matter, is the boathouse manager.  Resume bonus point  – must be able to tolerate random acts of destruction.  Dave Austin gets the gold here, if only for the amazing fact he kept the Rocketts’ armada consistently afloat despite numerous nautical mishaps, as well as everyday wear and tear.  All this and Dave still taught sculling lessons and was a member of the Rocketts Landing Regatta Committee.
    Lyons told me what some of her tattoos mean.  I’ll never tell.
    Organizing the Master’s Rowing Program is a job in itself.  Many thanks to Molly and Erin for setting up the Google docs and taking time to get as many people into boats as possible.  Climbing aboard since mid-August were Fran, Katherine and Lyons, who have also taken on a chunk of the responsibilities.  Duties include sorting ports and starboards into seats, bribing coxswains, coaching, recruiting launch drivers, registering boats for regattas and generally keeping the peace.  Molly is extremely excited about the direction of the Master’s program and can’t wait to see what the future brings.

    The Finish

    A huge thanks to Scott for driving the launch during Master’s practice.  Coaching wouldn’t be possible without his generous time on the water.  Also, thanks to the entire cadre of Master’s coxswains (Maura, Chet, Martha, Dustin and Stephanie),  who give up a ton of time to manage our boats.  We’d also like to thank Yuriy and the VCU crew for allowing the Masters to occasionally borrow a boat and Hank who keeps watch over the Omer and heavy weight at Robious.

    Also, thanks to all the new learn-to-row folk who joined the Masters.  Keep coming!
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Virginia Boat Club    |    P.O. Box 8468    |    Richmond, Virginia 23226
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