The happy smiles on the faces of these folks result from each one having finished sculling 13 miles alone in their single boats! Each took right around 2 hours to complete the course. Congratulations due to all! Not pictured are Duke & Denise from DSC who dropped buoys to mark obstacles on the course and then staffed a safety launch for more than five hours! Then they picked up the buoys! And many thanks to North Bay Rowing Club for organizing and holding this wonderful annual event! See you next year!
What an amazing day it was at the Gold Rush Regatta at Lake Natoma on May 10th! At the forefront were two Delta Sculling Center athletes, R. and Valdez, who finally rowed in their first regatta. The drama began at the dock they were about to launch from when it was announced that their race might be cancelled because of the 16-17 mile-an-hour winds and even stronger gusts that whipped up the water. Many elite single rowers were giving accounts of how challenging it was to row on the choppy lake and threatening to “scratch” in their own events. After those agonizing moments of uncertainty, Coach Pat Tirone in consultation with launch driver Toby Johnson and Regatta Organizer DeDe Birch decided to give it a try, fully understanding that they may have to abort the event if the winds proved too difficult. The race was on and adaptive scullers R. and Valdez rowed strongly down their lanes. The cheers from those on the shore were an indication of how historic an event this was at the annual Gold Rush Regatta, perhaps the first time adaptive single scullers raced in California’s Central Valley.
While R. and Valdez were at the forefront, those behind the scenes insured that the event could take place. Duke, his wife Denise and Bob L. were incredible at helping to get the boats and all the equipment loaded at the boathouse in Stockton the evening before the regatta, going over Coach Pat’s detailed list of items needed for the race. Pat and husband Bob arrived for the coaches’ meeting at 7 a.m. and to ready boats and oars for the scullers. A couple of hours later Duke, Denise, and Bob L. arrived at the lake and unloaded more equipment. After R. and Valdez and friends and family members arrived, volunteers Andre, Jeanine, Angela, Anne and Theresa showed up to lend their hands to launch the scullers. Bob L. and Andre, who had both rowed in sweep boats in prior regattas, sculled for the first time in a regatta that windy day, providing solid pacing and competition for Richard and Valdez.
Not to be forgotten was the incredible support of regatta organizer DeDe Birch, starter Eric Weir, the regatta launch drivers (including Toby Johnson), and the Sac State Aquatic Center under Brian Dulgar’s direction. They not only allowed adaptive scullers to participate in this year’s Gold Rush but also provided two single sculls and oars for Bob L. and Andre to race alongside Valdez and Richard, respectively.
Finally, Carol Coddington & Linda Acton, volunteer assistant coaches and Coach Steve Mayo provided many months of dedicated commitment to help ready R. and Valdez for this first regatta. Always at practice without fail, always providing encouragement, support and challenge, these folks traveled the long road with our athletes to their first regatta. Never has the saying about “It takes a village…” been more appropriate than on that windy day in May!
Baby Cora, who rocked to the rhythm of Momma Anne’s sculling till a week prior to her birth, is Delta Sculling Center’s first newborn “sculler-to-be”. Six pounds 6 ounces at birth, Cora is already growing rapidly so she can get back in a scull with or without Mom next time. Thanks to sculler Theresa C., Cora’s photo is taped to the boathouse wall, providing new energy for all DSC scullers who chat there before their training sessions. In the picture you can see that Baby Cora is already looking longingly at her new DSC unisuit which she is anxious to grow into. Congrats to Anne, husband Chris, and Cora’s sister Claire for the healthy new addition to their family and our DSC family!
Andy Baxter and Ron Harvey, both world champion rowers with stories of courage and unwavering determination, will share their incredible respective journeys to the Olympic trials and the Paralympic Games at a special event at the University of the Pacific, June 8th from 1-3 p.m. at the Vereschagin Alumni House on the University’s South Campus. The event, which will inspire rowers and other athletes, coaches, athletic trainers, rehab professionals, physical therapists and sports and exercise enthusiasts, will be hosted by the Delta Sculling Center with the support of the University of the Pacific. The cost is $10 for the general public and $5 for students.
Andy Baxter is the author of Rowing Yesterday and a two-time Master World Champion and U.S. and Canadian Master Champion. His book chronicles his and Stephen Kiesling’s incredibly arduous training regimen for pairs competitions that got them to the Olympic trials in 2008. They were both in their 40’s and a testament to what disciplined training and a never wavering commitment to a goal can accomplish. Baxter will share his expertise as a specialist in ageless health and fitness, medical exercise and post-rehab conditioning and address many of the needs, concerns and interests of audience members.
Ron Harvey, who finished 5th and 8th in adaptive single sculls at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games, respectively, will do a question-answer session during the two-hour event. Harvey, who also medaled at the 2004-2006 World Rowing Championships, will share the challenges of training and of making the kinds of adaptations necessary to be among the world’s best adaptive scullers.
Both speakers will provide a very memorable afternoon that will leave you inspired to pursue your own life changing goals.
March roared in like a lion and out like a lamb for DSC. After pioneering a two-night Sample Sculling class in February, Dale Mizuno, Clare Hanley and Tom Tillotson all kept their momentum by completing Sculling Level I on March 21st, the first such class in DSC history. Hot on their heels was a second group of Sample Sculling grads in early March, Anne Dowling, Monika Levy, Sue Lavieri and Theresa Chinchiolo. Their enthusiasm for their new-found sport was so great that instead of waiting to run the next Level I class in May, as originally planned, DSC created a Sunday morning Level I—and graduation day for the 2nd group was March 30th. All seven grads truly appreciate the beauty, grace and cognitive and physical demands of sculling and have decided to take Level II, which will help them refine the basics they gained in March. In fact, some committed to using DSC’s facilities for a year to erg weekly, which will augment their Level II (and beyond) experiences. In that way their sculling will benefit from on-going fitness and technique work on the erg, which will allow them to push boats further and faster during their Level II lessons. Many thanks to all the wonderful experienced scullers who assisted our newest scullers: Carol Coddington, Linda Acton, Susan Ollis, Lisa Rodrigues, Bob Lee, Angela Ferrarese and Kari Jones.
Lago di Como in Italy, the River Shannon in Ireland, the Ticino region of Switzerland—and now the Stockton waterways. A contingent of six rowers on tour with the Rowing The World organization completed two long adventure rows out of Buckley Cove, April 12-13. The visiting rowers from Canada, France, Norway and Seattle teamed up with the Delta Sculling Center, in collaboration with the Stockton Rowing Club. The Saturday expedition was several miles into Fourteen-mile Slough, and on Sunday the scullers braved choppy waters past the port of Stockton and went down the more protected Calaveras River on their way back to Riverpoint Landing. The 40 kilometers of sculling during the weekend was punctuated by social activities and information about the California Delta. Sculler and naturalist Phoebe Storey accompanied DSC Coach Pat Tirone in a coach boat alongside the scullers to share her knowledge of the Delta.