CAZENOVIA — On June 4, the annual Cazenovia Rowing Club (CRC) “Learn to Row” event will return after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The free event, which is open to anyone age 18 to 90, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Gypsy Bay Park, located on Route 20 across from Lorenzo State Historic Site.
During the three-hour workshop, participants will learn rowing terminology and the basics of the rowing stroke and spend time in a boat with experienced rowers.
Attendees are encouraged to wear tight fitting pants, socks, and shoes that are easy to remove.
Interested community members can pre-register by visiting cazenovia.recdesk.com and clicking on “Programs.” Select “Sports” and scroll down to “Rowing.”
Active for nearly 30 years, CRC is a recreational and competitive club that provides community members of all experience levels with the opportunity to enjoy the sport of rowing. The club is a member of the United States Rowing Association and operates with oversight from the Town of Cazenovia and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation – Central Region.
According to CRC President Mindy Holgate, the goal of the Learn to Row event is to introduce adults to rowing and hopefully help the club grow as a result.
“[Rowing is] a sport that you can do well into your older years,” said Holgate. “It is a non-impact exercise, so even people with back and joint issues can enjoy participating in a competitive sport. In addition, we love that we are offering rowing to the Cazenovia community. Communities that are rich in exciting and unique opportunities strengthen and grow, and are exciting places to live and raise families, and we love being a part of the Cazenovia community.”
After Learn to Row, CRC offers a coached program for novice rowers. Once that is complete, rowers can choose to either advance and compete at races in the fall or row recreationally.
“In addition to improving your overall fitness, you will meet a great group of people who will teach and support you along the way,” said Holgate.
CRC’s only fundraiser of the year, the Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast, is also returning this summer after being canceled in 2020 and 2021.
Last June, CRC’s home base at the south end of the lake sustained significant damages due to a major thunderstorm.
Two fallen trees destroyed several of the large boats in the club’s fleet. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Holgate determined that the trees had crushed both eights, five of the fours, and the quad. The trees also flattened the club’s storage shed, resulting in the loss of cox boxes, speed coaches, boat equipment, a rowing machine, safety devices, an outboard motor, batteries for a solar energy system, tools, and many other items used for the rowing program.
Fortunately, the club’s oars, solar panel, and smaller boats (singles and doubles) were undamaged.
Clean up began right away, and a “GoFundMe” page was set up to help offset the costs of the damage.
“Once we had the boats looked at, we learned that one of the eights was repairable,” recalled Holgate. “It was an expense, but compared to the cost of replacement, we were thrilled to be able to keep that eight, the ‘Doris Soladay’ from Syracuse University. In addition, we were able to retain two of the fours that we originally thought were lost, although one of them was an older boat that we never used anyway. Unfortunately, our best and favorite boats were the ones we lost.”
According to Holgate, the GoFundMe campaign raised approximately $3,000.
Holgate noted that although some of the boats lost during the storm have been replaced, the club has decided to maintain a smaller fleet than it has in previous years.
Currently, CRC is working on replacing the storage shed and reinforcing its boat racks.
“The destruction definitely had a substantial impact on us, but we are remaining positive and moving forward,” said Holgate.
All donations to CRC are tax deductible. To learn how to donate, visit cazrow.org/sponsorship.
“Donations are of course always welcome, especially as we move forward on our plans to reinforce the racks and replace our shed, as these will be costly projects,” said Holgate.