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Fall Season Closes - Winter Indoor Training Starts in New Facility

The RRA's Fall Season came to a close in early November, but not before some new major accomplishments were reached.  The Youth team competed at several fall regattas.  As usual a number of our crews won medals - including:

Head of the Passaic: 1st in boys' Varsity single, 3rd in girls' Varsity single, 1st in girls' Varsity four, 1st and 2nd in boys' Varsity quad, 3rd in girls' Varsity quad, 1st in both girls' and boys' Varsity double, 1st and 2nd in girls' Novice quad,  3rd in boys' Novice quad
Head of the Riverfront: 3rd in boys' Varsity quad, 1st and 2nd in boys' Novice single, 3rd in girls' Novice quad
Head of the Schuylkill: 3rd Place for JV girls, while the girls' Novice quads came in first and second

But the standout success for this fall might be the girls' Varsity 4+, which having practiced in a sweep boat (one oar each rower, instead of our typical sculling where each rower uses two oars) for only a couple of months, placed in the top half of racers at the Head of the Charles to give the RRA an automatic qualifier for next year's race.  The Head of the Charles is an international race, with over 10,000 rowers this year coming from around the world to compete at this marquee event. This is the first time one of our youth boats has qualified a boat for the following year's race and is a testament to these young ladies' efforts and skills.  We are also excited by the number of our seniors who have already been recruited to collegiate crews and are anxiously awaiting a few more results.

In the meantime, we have found a new home for our winter training - 256 Main Street in Nyack.  We have been searching for a location where we could set up our rowing machines and weights for several months.  This location opened up in November and offers us a grand space for all our equipment. Our volunteers have already cleaned it up and painted the floor.  More work needs to be done, but winter training is moving ahead at full speed.

Summer Season Comes To Close with Lots of Hardware - Fall Season Starts August 18th

The RRA teams had a successful summer season.  Eleven junior athletes in three boats qualified for, and competed at US Rowing's Junior Nationals in California in June.  Then, closer to home in July, the junior rowers competed at the Independence Day Regatta (IDR) in Philadelphia and then in the Philly Youth Regatta.  At IDR, six junior boats qualified for finals, and two won medals - including both the Women's Junior 16 4x (Lucy Tasker, Cassidy McGovern, Maya Bose and Julia Nelson) with a bronze and the Womens Junior 4x (Shannon Pritzker, Alice Rudolph-Shabinsky, Paige Vignone and Camryn McGrath) with a silver.  Shannon Pritzker had qualified for finals in the single, but scratched in order to focus on stroking the 4x.  At the same regatta, the team of Ivan and Alice Rudolph-Shabinsky also qualified for finals in the father/daughter race with the fastest morning heat time, but scratched due to the close proximity of that final to the Womens Junior 4x final.  On the final day of the regatta, the Mens Masters team defended their crown in the 4x, winning the gold medal in the Class D final by 0.24 seconds.  Not to be outdone, the Womens Masters sent the dynamic duo of Leslie Horn and Kathy Kearny to several regattas - including Derby Sweeps and Sculls (gold) and Diamond State Masters Regatta (bronze).  Finally, the junior team competed at the Philly Youth Regatta where 46 athletes won medals!  RRA teams won 7 gold medals, 6 silver and 3 bronze.  Again the girls' quads won gold and posted the fastest overall times among all flights.  Shannon Pritzker put in double the effort, winning gold in her singles flight and posting the 3rd fastest overall girls'  singles time of the regatta.

We saw some great racing this summer and look forward to building on our success into the fall.
Our Fall Season starts on Monday, August 18th.  If you plan on participating this fall, please sign up via our web-site (  There are also important documents on eBoard that need to be sent in or brought to practice - accessible via our members page on our website  (  The password for eBoard is sent once online registration is complete.

If you have already registered for our programs in 2014 and have submitted all paperwork, we do not need anything from you except payment.  You can sign up electronically via the website and pay online, or simply send (PO Box 7, Nyack, NY 10960) or bring a check (payable to the River Rowing Association) to the first practice.

This fall we will be enforcing the no payment, no rowing policy.  Until payment is made (or arrangements made with Kathy -, rowers will not be allowed to row.  We will have a registration table set up on Monday, August 18th during practice to assist anyone with registration issues.

If you know someone who would like to row, please invite them to visit our website or contact us by email (  Our first Fall Learn-to-Row also starts on Monday, August 18th.

Practices times are listed on our calendar:

Generally, practices are in the mornings until school starts.  There are three scheduled fall regattas plus the Head of the Charles should we win any entries by lottery:

10/5 (Sun) – Head of the Riverfront -- Hartford, CT
10/11 (Sat) – Head of the Passaic – Rutherford, NJ
10/18-10/19 (Sat/Sun) – By Lottery or Qualification – Head of the Charles – Boston, MA
10/25-10/26 (Sat/Sun) – Head of the Schuylkill – Philadelphia, PA    

Finally, our Fall Awards Dinner will be held on Sunday, November 2nd, so please save the date.

Pull With Purpose

Learn to Row and Adaptive Clinic a Success

Beautiful weather assisted in the RRA holding a great learn to row day on Saturday, June 7 at Rockland Lake.  The RRA provided free rowing experiences for youth and adult rowers wishing to try the sport of rowing.  Additionally, the RRA worked with Helen Hayes Rehabilitative Hospital to run an adaptive learn to row clinic.  We couldn't have done it without all the RRA and Helen Hayes' volunteers.  Helen's Angels were a huge help in working with adaptive athletes who needed assistance with accessing the RRA rowing shells.  Everyone had an enjoyable time and we look forward to further such events later this summer.

Helen's Angels helping one of our adaptive rowers into a shell.

RRA rowers providing rowing experience on beautiful Rockland Lake.

National Learn to Row Day - Saturday, June 7

The RRA will be holding free introduction to rowing sessions this Saturday at Rockland Lake (Parking Lot #6) from 10 am to 1pm.  Participants will learn the rudimentary basics of rowing and be given a chance to get out on the lake with some experienced rowers in order to get a feel for the sport.  Participation is on a first come, first served basis, with rolling 45 minute sessions.  Please come before noon to ensure you get an opportunity to get out on the water.  Both children (ages 10 and up) and adults are welcome. Our coaches and staff will be available to answer questions about our various rowing programs for both youth and adults. Concurrently, there will be an adaptive rowing clinic running from 9am to noon.  Please e-mail should you have any questions.

Directors' Cup - Parking More Plentiful in Lot #1

Anyone attending today's Directors' Cup - please note that Parking Lot #6 gets very crowded on Saturday mornings.  Consider parking in Lot # 1 in the corner by the Nature Center and walking the 1/4 mile to the RRA site from there.  Thanks.

Spring Season Ends with Two Boats Qualifying for Nationals

The River Rowing Association had a successful spring season.  Following a winter that wouldn't end, the RRA Youth team skipped their first race (Greenwich Invitational) due to a lack of time on the water to prepare.  Once they were able to practice on the water and started racing, the RRA rowers did very well at Mercer Sprints and then Cooper Cup.  Unfortunately, the Long Island Rowing Championships were cancelled due to strong winds.  This was particularly disappointing in that many of our novice rowers use that as their first racing experience.  The final race of the season was the Mid-Atlantic Junior Regionals at Mercer Park.  The RRA performed well, winning medals in multiple events, including a first place by Ryan Sullivan and Kyle Woolley in the men's second varsity double.  The highlights of the regatta for the RRA were the women's varsity quad (Lizzi Ginsberg, Alice Rudolph-Shabinsky, Paige Vignon and Shannon Pritzker) and the men's varsity lightweight four (Reece McNichol, Dylan Kelly, Tyler Jenss, Adam Donlan and Brenna Henry at cox) who both placed third in their finals - qualifying them for USRowing's Youth Nationals in June.  Both boats had to fight back from 4th place in the middle of the race to make the medal stand and win the opportunity to go to Nationals.  Congratulations to all who raced!

Pull With Purpose! Rowathon Raises Over $16,000 for Nyack Center

Saturday, March 15 saw a packed Nyack Center with 20 teams competing in the annual Pull With Purpose Row-a-thon. Competitors included local teams from Nyack Center, Nyack Rotary Club, Nyack Fitness and the River Rowing Association, as well as visiting teams from Row NY.  The top placing team in the racing category was the RRA's own varsity boys who had both the top raw score and the top adjusted score.  Their effort was all the more impressive in that their erg lost connection and caused them to fall back about 300 meters behind the RRA Directors with 20 minutes to go.  Their amazing effort to come back was inspirational.  On an age/gender adjusted basis, the top 5 teams were extremely close.  See below for the final results:

Pull With Purpose Row-a-Thon - March 15th

The River Rowing Association will be hosting it's 8th Annual Pull With Purpose Rowathon on March 15th.  As in recent years, the 2014 event will be a fundraiser to support the Nyack Center - a local community center that supports low-income families with many before and after school programs, including free breakfasts, after school tutoring and summer camps.  The Nyack Center is a critical resource for our community and we are thrilled to again support its important work.

Please consider creating or joining a team this year.  No prior rowing experience is necessary!

The event is free, but all participants are urged to raise funds.  The easiest way is to use online fundraising available via - simply go to the website and:

1. Sign in / create an account for yourself if you've not participated before.
2. Search for Nyack Center and register for the Pull With Purpose Rowathon 2014
3. Create a team or join an existing one.
4. Create your own fundraising page - you'll need to do this even if you've participated in prior years.
5. Use FirstGiving's website to invite people to donate to your page via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You can also simply email a link to your page to friends and family.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 this year!  The Pull With Purpose Rowathon is a 2 hour team relay race on indoor rowing machines called ergometers, or ergs for short.  Each team shares one erg among its members - rowing the erg in relay fashion to try to cover more electronic meters than other teams.  Teams can have any number of participants, however to register as part of the competitive category, teams are limited to 5 or fewer rowers.  If you're just doing it for fun, larger teams of rowers can keep this a very manageable event even for those not in the best shape of their lives.

All teams whose rowers raise at least $75 per person will receive t-shirts.

As in the past, the RRA coaching staff will be on hand before and during the rowathon to give pointers on proper technique.

The rowathon will be held at the Nyack Center (58 Depew - corner of Depew and Broadway in Nyack, NY) on Saturday, March 15th.  Registration opens at 8:00am and the competition starts at 9:00am.

To find out more about the Nyack Center - please visit

Sammi Wins a Hammer at CRASH B's!

Sammi Hashash was part of the RRA crew of 11 youth rowers that headed to Boston for February 16th's C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor Rowing Championships.  Competing in one of the adaptive categories (LTA - Vision Impaired), Sammi won!  This was the RRA's first trip to CRASH B's and we are thrilled to have one or our rowers come back with a coveted CRASH B Hammer.  With over 2000 rowers competing from all over the world, the CRASH B's offer the ultimate in competition on indoor rowing machines.  While none of the other RRA rowers won, many set personal records and placed very well among an extremely competitive field.  For more information about CRASH-Bs, see and for more details and photos of RRA athletes competing there, please visit our Parent Advisory Commitee blog at

RRA's rowers will next compete in our Annual Pull With Purpose Row-a-Thon on March 15th to benefit the Nyack Center.  Stay tuned for more details.

Enrollment is currently open for all 2014 Junior and Master programs.

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In November of 2010, River Rowing invited Laura Schwanger, Paralympic Rowing Champion to our Annual Gala for a talk. Watch the video.