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Summer 2019 Newsletter
Friends of River City Rowing Club

July 1, 2019

RCRC Members and Friends,

On Saturday June 29th, the club christened its newest boat, a sleek advanced lightweight 8+, named the “A.L. Gatsby”.  The acquisition of the lightly used Hudson racing boat was made possible because of a generous donation by Simon Yeh and his family, plus matching donations during Big Day of Giving.  At the ceremony, Simon—who is known for always exhorting his teammates to “Remember to have fun” before their races - explained that he loves RCRC “for the camaraderie.”  He also explained that “A” and “L” are the initials of his two sons’ first names, and “Gatsby” is a wish for RCRC boats to have “God’s speed.”  Thank you, Yeh Family!

On April 28th, at the club’s annual meeting, our beautiful coxed 4+ was christened on behalf of the generous family who made its acquisition - and that of other RCRC boats — possible: “The Dowling Family.” Sincere thanks from all of the members of the club to Dan Dowling, who has been incredibly generous, making it possible for us to row the Caroline Dowling 8+, Katie Dowling 8+, and now the Dowling Family 4+.

The purchase of both of these boats was possible with the generosity and dedication of all RCRCers and their families who supported RCRC's fundraising efforts this year. Thanks to everyone who donated to the Club on Big Day of Giving RCRC earned the Yeh family's matching fund donation to fully fund the Hudson 8. Donors surpassed the matching fund mark to begin the funding the expansion of RCRC's footprint. The Dowling Family 4+ was partially funded through fundraisers earlier in the season, from the West Sacramento Foundation charity raffle to the Junior Rowathon. Your donations are vital to not only to our purchase of the equipment we use every day but also the space all of RCRC will need as our Club continues to grow.


Upcoming Events
  • Start of 2019-2020 Membership year: July 1
  • RCRC Rebellion, Sunday July 28: visit website to view registration, boat reservation, volunteer & T-shirt order deadline!
  • 2019-2020 Junior Team registration: opens August 1
  • Sol-de-Sac Sprints Junior Regatta: August 4 
For updates check RCRC's Facebook pagelistserv, and website
Summer 2020 Newsletter - table of contents
- HUDSON 8+ & 4+ BOAT DEDICATIONS - Alison Merrilees
-COACH'S CORNER - Becca Weissman
- UPCOMING/ONGOING EVENTS: RCRC Rebellion & rowing classes

RCRC Coach's Corner

Becca Weissman, Junior Team Coach

This week has concluded the first installment of a three part summer camp series for River City Juniors. June’s camp, Strength and Sculling, introduced 22 athletes to basic Olympic lifts and accessory movements while applying these biomechanics to sculling skill sets. With alternating leg days working on deadlifts and backsquats, and arm days with pull-ups and overhead push movements, all athletes documented their progress to ensure progressive overloading of weight over the four weeks. Coach Becca also administered flexibility testing on the first day to prescribe individualized stretch routines for the end of every practice. This allows athletes to achieve symmetry where postural deviations were found, an imperative characteristic for sculling.

Junior Team transferring their weight training to the water
As the lead coach on the water, Coach Cody administered multiple drills in small boats, crystalizing focus on posture, bladework, and finger feathering. The workouts shortened in volume and increased in intensity throughout the weeks in preparation for our second camp; the next summer installment will focus on 1k racing in anticipation for our first annual Sol de Sac Regatta in August! We hope to see many participants in the next camp starting July 8!

On June 26th there was a huge turnout for RCRC plank member “Doc” Jim Margolis's 80th birthday celebration. More than two dozen current and former members showed up to Drake’s The Barn on a cool, breezy, but beautiful summer evening to celebrate.  As members socialized and enjoyed the excellent food, beverages, and river-close setting, they shared and heard stories by and about Doc and his many years with the club. For 35 years Doc Jim has supported RCRC in numerous ways and roles all building RCRC to the Club we are today. ED Arthur Ericsson shared news that RCRC’s well-used and beloved barge has recently been renamed in honor of Doc: “Start Slow . . . Then Taper.”
Upcoming & Ongoing Events
Get Ready for the Rebellion!
RCRC will host the Twelfth Annual River City Rebellion, a Small Boat Tournament, on Sunday July 28, 2019. After a record 76 entries in 2018, preparations are underway for another great event, and hopefully another record turnout from RCRCers and our fellow Northern California rowers. The Rebellion is a fun, fast, and - for us - a very convenient regatta!
To request a boat for the Rebellion email Holly at aed Requests will be received until July 8. After July 8 and the resolution of any conflicts in requests, the remaining Club boats will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

If you are not racing in the Rebellion  but will be in town that day, sign up to volunteer at this fun event! Then join all competitors & volunteers for the traditional post-race BBQ.

Volunteer Sign Up

Regatta Details

T-Shirt Pre-Order

Summer Classes & Camps
Adult, Junior & middle school Learn to Row classes are underway and going well, with 88 participants of all ages having learned to row at RCRC so far this season! Learn to Row classes for middle school, high school, and adult athletes teach the basics of rowing; technique, teamwork, and commitment. Spread to word to friends, co-workers and family about these programs:

Beginning Middle School Classes 
last Beginning class begins 8/6
- What's next? Team Sessions run through Fall 2019

High School Learn to Row
- last class begins 8/5
- What's next? Competitive team begins early Sept 2019

Adult Learn to Row
last class begins 8/28
- ROWsolution class begins Jan 1, 2020
- What's next? Join the Novice Masters Team

Junior Team Summer Camp Series
This summer, sign up for the re-designed Junior Team Summer Camps to stay in shape, get focused small boat & strength training so you can start the 2019-2020 season healthy, fit & motivated and also bond with the RCRC Junior Team as we train as a single group. ​Two camps are still upcoming, each with a different focus.

Camp 2: Summer Racing Team, July 8-Aug 4
Camp 3: Pre-Season Training, Aug 5-22

All class/camp schedules, programs costs & details are listed on the RCRC Registration page
Novice Masters Take On the Northwest - Arthur Ericsson

As my season coaching the novice masters was nearing an end and the next wave of learn to rowers was approaching, I asked the novices would be interested in racing at the NW Masters Championships in Vancouver WA. Nineteen of them committed and stayed committed. The team had recently transitioned to the Intermediate Team, so Coach Steve helped them get as much practice in their race lineups as feasible. This was not an easy task with each member racing in three events and a total of 10 women’s events and 5 men’s events. Since I was driving the trailer, and also racing in four events myself, I was their token coach for the regatta but considering how busy I would have to be at the regatta, I would not be able to hold their hands. Although members all found different ways to converge on the Vancouver area, most of the team stayed at a large Air BnB with 10 beds (which ended up sleeping 12) and provided support for Nancy and Cathy, who used their campervan nicknamed “Vanna White” for transportation and lodging.

When it came to the races, some highlights were two medals in the women’s novice 1x events: Emily Demars won gold in the B age group, and Sumi Hong won silver in the D age group; and one silver medal for Ben Rogers in the novice 1x (AA-B age group).  The men’s novice 4+ B (David Billingsley, Ben Rogers, Zac Stelly-Riggs, Jake Jablonsky, cox Ripley McChesney) also captured a silver medal by just one second over Sammamish.  Most of the events were open/non-novice events, so in most cases the measure of success was the determination and execution of the rowers against much more experienced teams, rather than medals. Our women’s 2- (Kassy Lane and Cathy Ruhl) handily took out two experienced crews to advance to the grand finals after only rowing a pair two times prior to their race.  Even in the handful of novice events that were offered, only Ben Rogers and Sumi Hong were novices in their second year of rowing.  Everyone else had just started rowing in summer 2018 Learn to Row classes or the January 2019 ROWsolution erg class. Racing starts were a common challenge for the team, but rowing with competitive stroke rates and strong ratio were not a weakness. The women’s lightweight 4x was an example of such good rowing, and those competitors are determined to build momentum for more competitive women’s lightweight RCRC boats in coming years.  

Perhaps the Intermediate’s incredible presence at NW Masters was best captured by their last race of the regatta: the women’s novice 8+ event.  With all seven lanes filled, RCRC was in third place going into the final 250 meters of the race. The boat held off late charges by three other boats breathing down their necks. All four boats of these boats finished within two seconds of each other, with RCRC crossing first.  But after the small age handicaps were calculated, they slipped off of the medal stand. It was one of the most exciting races of the entire weekend and left everyone feeling proud of their team. The team has tons of depth and spirit. I get the feeling this group will be back next year as second year novices, going after nothing less than gold.
Member Spotlight : Sumiko Hong

When did you join RCRC?
I was hooked the very first day my Learn to Row group went out on the water in August 2017.  I joined the novice team in September 2017.

How did you find out about the club?
We have friends whose kids had a lot of success on the RCRC juniors team.  Then in the summer of 2017 I met someone from the club who was tabling at the  Davis Farmers Market -- maybe it was Arthur??  When I signed up for LTR my family laughed -- the thought of me waking up super early was apparently hilarious and unbelievable.

Did you have any experience with or exposure to the sport, prior to finding the club?

My college roommate rowed for UC Davis.  She and her rowing friends were the coolest.

What team(s) are you on, and what is your role on the team(s)?
I row with the intermediate team and cox for the advanced men's team.  I also cox practices once or twice a week for the advanced women's team.  This spring I coxed some practices, scrimmages and races for the novice team.  With my last few months of eligibility, I rowed at Northwest Masters Regionals as a novice. It's been fun getting to know so many awesome people across many teams at the club.  

What is your favorite aspect of the sport?
There are a bunch of reasons I love rowing. I love being outside and on the water.  Even though it's an industrial area, there is a lot of surprising beauty in all seasons at the port.  I love being part of a team, working together to make the boat go fast and pushing each other to work harder and improve. I love the accountability to my team mates that makes me get up in the morning.  Finally, I love how incremental and seemingly tiny improvements in technique, or synchronicity with my team mates and our collective fitness add up to faster boats over time.  It's satisfying to grind away at the details, day after day, workout after workout and then, come race day, see how it all comes together to go fast. 

What is your least favorite aspect of the sport?
I really miss sleeping. 

How has RCRC changed your life?
The best changes in my life since I started rowing are being on a team and getting more physically fit.  For a lot of years when my kids were little, the only people outside of work who I had time to hang out with were the other parents of little kids or the families who were part of the same club soccer teams that my kids played on.  I'm so glad to have made a new circle of friends in rowing.  The coaches, my teammates, and the coxswain group at RCRC are filled with interesting, inspiring and fun people. I love that I have gotten physically and mentally stronger, am more aerobically fit and have well-defined, short term and long term fitness goals because of rowing.
If you were trying to persuade someone who knew nothing about the sport of rowing why they should give it a try, what would you say to them?
I tell anyone who will listen that rowing is the greatest. If you like to be outside and like challenging team sports, rowing is a great fit.  It helps if you're tall, but I've found that even as a short person, I can contribute to the boat and compete in masters rowing.  The coaching and numerous team options at the club mean that there are lots of ways to be a rower.

What do you do in real life?
I work at UC Davis, building innovation and entrepreneurship programs for students.

Tell us a little about your family, please.
My husband Matt and I met while leading backpacking, sea kayaking and whitewater rafting trips as students at UC Davis.  He works at UC Davis on environmental planning and local government relations.  He is finally signed up for Learn to Row at the end of this summer.  We have two boys, Owen, who will be a senior in high school and Kellen, who will be a sophomore.
Race Results
Northwest Regional Championships, June 21st-23rd at Vancouver Lake, WA. Masters rowers from RCRC’s Intermediate, Advanced Men’s, Open Women’s, and sculling teams traveled to the Northwest Regional Rowing Championships. Highlights included:
  • Novice/Intermediate: Gold medals novice W1x (B) (Emily Demars); silver medal novice M4+, novice W1x (D) (Sumiko Hong) & novice M1x (Ben Rogers)
  • Open Women: gold medal W4x(AA-A), W2x (AA-A) & W8+(B); silver medal W8+(A) & W4+(AA-A)
  • Advanced Men: silver medal ltwt M2x, ltwt M4x (A+) & M4+ (D); bronze medal M2x (C)
  • RCRC Scullers: gold medal M4x(E) (Joel Griffith & Greg Darrah in a composite crew), M2x(D), M1x(E) & ltwt M1x(E-F) (Joel Griffith) & M1x (D) (Greg Darrah)
Calendar of Upcoming Events
Updates posted on the RCRC Facebook pagelistserv, and website

  • Start of 2019-2020 Membership year: July 1
  • RCRC Rebellion, Sunday July 28: visit website to view registration, boat reservation, volunteer & T-shirt order deadline!
  • 2019-2020 Junior Team registration: opens August 1
  • Sol-de-Sac Sprints Junior Regatta: August 4
Copyright © 2019 River City Rowing Club, Inc., All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you are a current or former member of River City Rowing Club, have donated to RCRC, or asked to receive updates and information about the club. Go RCRC! 

Our mailing address is: 
River City Rowing Club, Inc.
PO Box 980401
West Sacramento, CA 95798

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