Fall Race Results 2016


Women’s Team at Head of the Riverfront in Hartford

Congratulations to the FVRA Racing Teams for a great fall season. We were able to enter 13 boats over four races through out October which is up from 9 entries in the fall of 2015. Improvements were made over the season and we were able to share some first races with members from both the men’s and women’s teams. It was a strong finish to the year and we look forward to picking up the momentum in January as we start winter training!

Head of the Riverfront
Hartford, CT – October 2nd
2.25 mile course or aprox. 3621 meters
Mens Master 4+ – 11/12
Raw – 21:25.83 – Handicap – 00:27.30 – Final – 20:58.53
Womens Master 4+ – 12/14
Raw – 21:35.34 – Handicap – 00:47.30 – Final – 21:08.04
Womens Master 8+ – 7/8
Raw – 17:32.03 – Handicap -00:05.70 – Final – 17:26.33
Mixed Open 2x – 1/1 🙂
Raw – 17:12.16

Head of the Housatonic
Shelton, CT – October 18th
2.7 mile course or aprox. 4345 meters
Mens Master 4+ – 20/20 – Raw – 18:57 – Handicap – 00:30 – Final – 18:27
Womens Master 4+ – 13/17 – Raw – 18:28 – Handicap – 00:58.1 – Final – 17:30
Womens Master 8+ – 10/13 – Raw – 17:18 – Handicap – 00:07 – Final – 17:11
Mixed Master 2x – 4/7 – Raw 17:18

Head of the Charles
Boston, MA – October 22nd & 23rd
3 mile course – 4800 meters
Womens Senior Master 4+ [50+] – 40/42 – Raw – 23:35.049
Womens Club 8+ – 36/39 – Raw – 20:40.558
Directors Challenge Mixed 2x – 28/37 – Raw – 22:39.934

Head of the Fish
Saratoga Springs, NY – October 29
2.3 mile course – 3700 Meters
Mens Master Lightweight 2x – 5/6 – Raw – 14:29.7 – Handicap – 00:39.8 – Final – 13:49
Mixed Master 2x – 9/23 – Raw – 13:05 – Handicap – 00:01.1 – Final – 12:59.4

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Race Recap – Derby & Festival 2015


Derby Sweeps & Scullsderby_women1

FVRA rowers gathered en masse at the Derby Sweeps & Sculls Regatta Saturday, June 6th in Shelton CT. FVRA participated in a record number of 12 races.

The mixed master’s 2x finished 4th as did the men’s masters 1x, men’s masters 2x, the women’s masters 2x, the men’s masters 4+, and the mixed masters 8+.

Newcomer to FVRA Mary Dinnean stroked the novice women’s 4+ to 3rd place. Also in the line-up was new member Alex Fisher. Elissa Center stroked the women’s 8+ to 3rd place.

Both Katie Ouellette and Gail Zaherek grabbed 2nd place finishes in separate flights of the women’s masters 2x, and then soon thereafter jumped into the women’s open 4x with Elissa and Sarah Center-Gray and rowed into a 2nd place finish. This was FVRA’s second 4x racing entry. And while the women’s masters 4+ competed, their finish was not recorded and therefore did not place.

Lowell Festival Regatta

There wasn’t a dry eye or any other dry body part at Lowell Festival Regatta last Sunday as heavy rain soaked rowers, boats, and oar handles for most of the day, but that didn’t stop FVRA rowers from a successful albeit soggy regatta experience.

Highlights of the regatta-

 Two women’s masters 2x entries with 2nd and 6th place finishes.

 Katie Ouellette rowed to a 2nd place finish in the women’s masters 1x.

 Ryan McMahon and Katie Ouellette finished their mixed masters 2x heat in first with raw time,

but walked away with 3rd place due to age handicap that continues to haunt them.

 Jacqui Futia stroked the women’s masters 8+ to a 1st place medal in their flight against CRI and Northampton, even though both competitor teams had greater handicaps. A special thanks to Karen Duni who filled in to make racing the 8+ a possibility at Lowell.

 Every inch counted in the women’s masters 4+, a race that was bow ball to bow ball between FVRA and Riverfront Recapture for most of the 1,000 meter course. With their handicap, Riverfront took 2nd place by literally a fraction of a second (00:00:00.37) knocking FVRA into 3rd place. However, it’s worthwhile to note that in raw time, FVRA beat Riverfront by 00:00:01.48. Every bit of length in each stroke counts!

 Men’s masters 4+ finished in 3rd place.

Five FVRA rowers travel to Syracuse, New York next weekend to represent FVRA at the US Rowing Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Master’s Regional Championships with entries in the women’s 4+, women’s 2x, and mixed 2x, and men’s 1x events.

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Spring Meeting Review


meetingSeventeen individuals braved howling wind gusts of 50-60 mph to attend the FVRA annual spring meeting on March 17th . Generously hosted by club member Tamra at her beautiful historic Farmington home, old and new members gathered around with treats and libations ready to discuss forthcoming season plans and schedules.

First up on the agenda was the 2015 budget which was unanimously approved without comment. Membership prices have been increased slightly this year and money has been appropriated for an oar rack and the shower project. Advertising expenses were also increased to help get the word out about our learn-to-row events and to help grow the general membership. Otherwise, there were no major changes to the budget.

A “welcome booklet” has been created for all new incoming FVRA members. The booklet covers important information such as race dates, the Camp Shalom Farmington River water course, equipment guidelines, and all the rules and regulations of which every new member needs to be made aware. Contact club President Katie Ouellette if you would like a copy of this slick little publication.

Team captains Ashely Shepard and Ryan McMahon talked up plans for the upcoming racing season and rolled out an assignment for those interested in racing this year-a goal sheet. Anyone interested in racing should complete the goal sheet consisting of both personal and team goals and email the completed task to both Ashley and Ryan. If you’ve not received the goal sheet, email either captain to obtain it.

Additionally, rowers should review the 13 (in some cultures 13 is a lucky number) races that the club plans on attending in 2015 (posted on FVRA.org) and provide the captains with an idea of your availability for each race. This will allow Ashley and Ryan to plan boats and seating well in advance so that teams can practice together.

A mandatory safety clinic will be scheduled within the next few weeks before we get out onto the water. A coxing clinic will follow soon thereafter.

Wednesday workouts at Power 10 will continue until further notice. Club members should be sure to maintain fitness levels over the next few weeks until we’re able to get back out onto the water. When that will be is anyone’s guess. Likely we can all agree it won’t be soon enough.

Posted in Club Updates

Winter Training 2015


wintertrainingIt’s February in New England. It’s cold, it’s dreary, and we’re all feeling winter’s cold icy clutch. Despite poor weather conditions, rowers are already deep into the winter training session preparing to hit the water in the spring ready to row.

This year we have 12 new rowers and 20 experienced rowers, most of who represent the FVRA men’s and women’s racing teams.

“We have a great group of new rowers of all ages and backgrounds,” says Katie Ouellette, FVRA President and coach for the beginner rowing group. “It’s amazing to see each of them gain more confidence in their stroke just during one session. Everyone has grown so much and I’m very excited to get them out on the water!”

The Trinity sessions include erging and then tanks followed by a group yoga stretch. After two Sunday practice cancellations due to inclement weather, there are only three remaining sessions at Trinity. The group is likely to stay with Wednesday training at Power10 in Avon until it’s safe to return to the water for the season.

There is still room for those who would like to join in on a session at Trinity or Power10 . Email info@fvra.org for more information.

6.45-8.15 pm

Trinity College
8.45-10.30 advanced rowers
10.30-12pm beginner rowers

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Annual FVRA Craftsbury Weekend – June 12 – 14


craftsbury3Join us for 3 days of sculling in beautiful northern Vermont.

For two years running FVRA rowers have attended a weekend sculling camp at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, VT. The tradition continues in 2015 June 12 – 14.

The weekend program at Craftsbury provides an intensive overview creaftsbury2of sculling technique. Weekends condense a lot of information into just three days and are great as a technical tune-up for experienced rowers while providing newcomers with an efficient, thorough introduction to the sport. The program has five scheduled coached sessions; one on Friday, three on Saturday, and one on Sunday before lunch. Video review sessions are planned two times through the course of the weekend along with evening video presentations and a yoga class. All weekend programs start at 3:30pm on Friday and end by 12:30pm with lunch on Sunday.”

If you want to attend this weekend session with the FVRA group simply register for the June 12 – 14 weekend session (3 days/2 nights) on the Craftsbury website http://www.craftsbury.com/sculling/schedule/schedule.htm After you register for the session with Craftsbury, please send an email to info@fvra.org so that we can include you in our 10% group discount (we need a group of 6 before this discount can be applied).  Register early to guarantee your spot. These sessions fill up quickly.

If you’d like to learn more about Craftsbury and hear more about the camp experience please visit their website at: http://www.craftsbury.com/sculling/camps/home.htm

Posted in Trips

Women’s Team Gears Up for the 2015 Racing Season


From left to right Sabrina Lavieri, Gail Zaherek, Kate Cohen, Ashley Shepard, Renee Jones, Nicole Rousseau, and Karen Duni discuss plans for the 2015 racing season.

Last month 14 members of the FVRA women’s racing team gathered together to share some holiday cheer, reflect on the 2014 racing season past, and to begin to lay the foundation of the forthcoming 2015 season.

Racing team members from the 2014 season were forced to adapt to low membership numbers, and for the most part made a seamless transition from sweep to sculling singles and doubles. And while membership numbers were down, FVRA team members entered 11 races in 2014 acquiring critical racing experience along the way. FVRA was represented at C.R.A.S.H.-Bs, the Head of the Charles, the Head of the Hooch in Tennessee (although the team never saw water at the Hooch due to extreme weather) and a number of local regattas.

In preparation of the 2015 season, the team will formally train together twice a week- Sunday morning at Trinity and Wednesday evening at Power 10- to get the team into rowing shape. Hitting the gym, erging at home, and yoga are all additional activities strongly encouraged to aid team members who want to get into optimal racing condition.

“One advantage our team has is that everyone takes pride in their fitness and working out,” says Renee Jones. “We know and expect that if someone isn’t at practice they are still working out hard at home. This year, if we want to attend the bigger regattas, we have to be already fit by the time we hit the water in March.”While the racing team will strive to practice together as often as possible during the winter training season, and up to four times per week May through November, it’s understood that there is no actual requirement. “We’re not college athletes anymore,” says Ashley Shepard, Women’s Racing Team captain. “Most, if not all, of us have an active life outside of rowing filled with work and family. The requirement is really to do what you can.”

“The focus of winter training needs to be the building on a goal,” says Katie Ouellette, FVRA President. “You better yourself and you better the team.”

The meeting also addressed what races to go after in 2015. Masters Nationals in Camden, New Jersey, the Head of the Charles, and the Head of the Hooch were all penciled in as team goals, as well as the usual local sprint and head races. A club listing of races will be posted to the FVRA website soon.

Despite low membership numbers, one thing is clear. The club is held together by a thread of passion for rowing. “This team is about personal betterment and about people rowing well together,” says Kate Ruppar. “This group is more enjoyable than any other I’ve been a part of as a masters rower.”

Posted in Racing Team Updates

Head of the Hooch Trip

The FVRA women’s race team in Chattanooga shortly after learning their race had been canceled due to weather.
The FVRA women’s race team in Chattanooga shortly after learning their race had been canceled due to weather.

The FVRA women’s race team in Chattanooga shortly after learning their race had been canceled due to weather.

Article Submitted by: Sonja Randall

Nine FVRA representatives from Connecticut and California planned practiced and traveled to Chattanooga, TN to row in the 10th annual head of the Hooch the second largest regatta in the US. Had Mother Nature cooperated, the FVRA women’s team would have rowed the 3.1 mile course down the Tennessee River in the women’s masters 8+ Row for the Cure event.

But Mother Nature refused her cooperation and instead presented winds of 15-30 mph coupled with frigid Canadian air. All races on the first day of the event were canceled.

The weekend was not a total loss. For a team who has not been able to spend much time together on or off the water this season, the weekend turned into a much needed women’s racing team retreat where they could not only catch up with each other, but also (and perhaps more importantly) discuss plans and goals for next season.

In the end, the weekend demonstrated the commitment of current team members to row and to race. While several team members were unable to attend the event this year, next year’s 11th annual Head of the Hooch should expect to see FVRA in attendance, and in more than just one boat. “Next year we will register for more events on both Saturday and Sunday,” says team member and instigator of FVRA’s participation in this event Renee Jones. “That way if this weather happens again, we will still get water time.”

The final line-up that never saw the water included Kate Ruppar cox, April Umek (formerly of FVRA and who flew in from California) in the stroke seat followed by Ashley Shepard, Karen Duni, Renee Jones, Karen Franzen, Janice Wingo, Sonja Randall, and Sabrina Lavieri in bow. Sunday races resumed as scheduled and the team was at least able to take in the atmosphere and watch some rowing before heading home.

Posted in Racing Team Updates

New Peinert 25x Added to the Fleet – “Edamame”


We are happy to announce a new addition to our fleet! We now have a second Peinert 25x, “Edamame”. It is the exact same size as “In the Red” and built for rowers 110lbs – 160lbs. It came from a single owner in Cheshire, CT. It’s a great addition to our fleet and will help us expand our sculling program.

We’ve made a couple of upgrades to the boat to make it ready for use. The main change being a brand new set of adjustable shoes to allow for more boat flexibility. We will soon add wiring for a speed coach, as well as boat name stickers. Bean (for short) makes her new home on the second tier of the back sculling rack right across from “In the Red”.  She has been added to the equipment sign out and is ready for use. The boat has been rowed and checked but if you feel any additional modifications are needed to improve your rowing experience please email Katie or Rene at info@fvra.org.

Hope to see you out on the water!



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New Dock Construction


dock1This week a beautiful crisp Sunday morning offered the club an invigorating spot of rowing, followed by a significant step forward in the progress of our new dock system. All in all it was a day of accomplishment, as evidenced by the completion of a durable and rock-solid frame that will form the supporting structure for the main ramp that will lead down to our floating dock section.

This days dock building adventure was guided by the steely fortitude of master planner Steve Galett teamed with the steady wisdom and wise hands of his lifelong friend Paul (Paulie) and son (Little Paul), with assistance from the clumsy but moderately capable Men’s Captain and the eagle eyed and ever daring Club President. There was much cutting of wood and an excessive use of power tools backed by the steady patter of critical chit-chat and an occasional bout of tom-foolery. In the end the aforementioned team (having retained all extremities) was able to take stock of what they had wrought, lean back with hands affixed to hips and feel mighty proud of themselves.

Work yet to come will include finishing out the ramp with decking, building a connecting upper deck with oar racks at the top of the ramp, as well as a pivoting portion to connect the bottom of the ramp to the floating dock. Once complete the dock system will easily support 8 hippopotami dancing an irish jig, with sand free feet. Needless to say this will be the realization of a recurring fever dream that has plagued the FVRA membership throughout this last season. Rest easier dear rowers, the nightmare is almost over, the fever will soon break.

steve_dockStay tuned for the next installment in this scintillating dock-u-mentary.


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Posted in FVRA Board Updates

Dock Improvements and Summer Programs


New dock sections came in and were assembled this weekend. The dock is now much wider providing more stability while launching. While it has been put in, the water is still very cold and rowing is not set to start for another couple of weeks.

We are wrapping up the details for our spring/summer programs. Around the end of May into early June we will have a 3 week session and during July we will hold a 3 day weekend clinic (Fri-Sun). Stay tuned for updates and registration which will be found under the “Row With Us” tab.


Other updates:

  • Plans are being finalized for a ramp to add before the dock on the beach
  • There will be a team boat moving day on April 13th @ 9 am – more details to come
  • We have purchased a second set of A-frame racks for additional boats coming over from Simsbury on April 13th.
  • The sectional is being listed on row2k.com in hopes of purchasing additional sculling boats

As we start the season in a couple of weeks please be aware of increased traffic down to the water. Both Riverfront and Trinity teams will be at Rainbow while they wait for the snow melt to recede in Hartford.


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