During the summer, rowing is one of the most peaceful yet rewarding exercises for people of all ages. The non-competitive aspect of the sport can take a rower into a world of tranquility and serenity.
Before one climbs in a boat, however, a future rower needs to learn the art of rowing, from keeping the boat on a proper course to important measures to keep both the boat and its occupants safe. That's where the Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association is avaliable to help.
For the final time this summer, the not-for-profit organization will be offering rowing lessons to anyone interested in learning about the sport.
Attendees at a previous learn-to-row event receive instruction on the dock before climbing into a crew shell. Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association will host its final learning event of the summer this Saturday.
"This learn-to-row event is a great way to get your foot in the door and try the sport without the immediate commitment of purchasing a membership," said rowing coach Steve Odrzywolski.
The CLRA welcomes everyone to participate, including those who have never stepped foot in a boat before. In a less formal setting than other rowing lessons, Saturday's Learn to Row Day allows interested participants hands on instruction.
"Everyone is welcome at the event," Odrzywolski said. "It is geared toward new rowers with no experience, but anyone can join."
The program begins at 9 a.m. with a three-phase "off the water" program, where students learn boating terms, practice rowing on indoor machines and go out to the dock for more rowing practice in simulated rowing shells. Once attendees practice outside of a boat, they will be given the chance to row up the outlet.
This is the last of three Learn to Row Days that the association has hosted this summer for the general public. The CLRA also hosted a two-day event for high schoolers in the spring, where teenagers in grades eight to 12 were taught rowing basics, dock work and boat safety.
"The previous events were a huge success," Odrzywolski said. "This year's high school program was the best it has ever been. We had three boats that each competed at three regattas. Many of those team members came from the high school learn to row."
Outside of rowing lessons, the CLRA has many benefits for its members. The organization trains a high school rowing team, has a recreational program, and competitive programs travel to about five competitions every fall.
"The CLRA has programs for just about everyone," Odrzywolski said. "Our primary goal is the formation and promotion of our high school rowing team." He added that the organization was started to give high school students rowing experience, which allows them to apply for college scholarships.
"We also have a very strong adult recreational program," he continued. "This program is for community members who are interested in casual rowing for the purpose of exercise, community, and of course, fun."
With cooler autumn temperatures still a month away, there is no better time than this summer to learn the art of rowing. To sign up for this Saturday's Learn to Row event, visit www.rowchautauqua.org or call Coach Odrzywolski at 913-2409. The cost is $10 for students and $20 for adults.