The Rocket City Rowing youth program closed out their spring season this past weekend at the Dogwood Junior Championships at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Drawing from 32 clubs from Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois , 2,000 junior rowers raced a schedule similar to the USRowing Youth Regional Championships that will take place in mid-May. The rowers experienced fast racing, close finishes, and lots of mud!

Saturday started out strong with men’s and women’s varsity singles making it to the Grand Finals, the Women’s Novice Double racing to a Second Place finish in their heat, and the Second Varsity quad (with a novice in bow!) racing to a close 4th to just miss out on the Final. Because afternoon racing was cancelled due to violent weather, final race results were calculated by heat times. Tinsley Copeland and Maya Van Houten (Women’s 2V 2x) were awarded silver medals in their first ever sprint race.

Sunday brought sun, mud, and even more great racing. Starting out the day with Jesse Cowart in the 2v women’s single (1x) placing second in her heats and silver medal finish in the Grand Final. The Novice Women’s quad (4x) had a heart-breaking finish, missing out on a medal by 1.1 second right at the line. The women’s lightweight double (2x) also made it to the Grand Final, the fourth race of the day for two exhausted young rowers!

At the end of the weekend RCRC Youth exceeded the expectations of their coaches After six months of hard work on and off the water, Rocket City Rowers raced against some of the fastest boats in the district region and were able to hang with them!

The Rocket City Rowing Youth Program is looking forward to a summer at the boathouse and on the river improving upon their fantastic racing skills learned this weekend!


The RCRC Youth Program participated in our first sprint regatta ot 2016 on Saturday, April 2 at Lake Hartwell in Clemson, SC at the Clemson Sprints. It was a gorgeous, breezy spring day in a beautiful venue; however, races that were pushed back to after 1:00 p.m were cancelled due to the wind. Only 2 Rocket City Juniors and Assistant Coach Kevin Cardno were able to actually compete in their races. Coach Kevin won his Men’s Open 1x race handily for a gold medal. Our guys fought hard races in tricky conditions in Open category races against collegiate-level opponents. All other Rocket City Rowers got out on the water where their races were cancelled at the start line. It was a challenging row back in the gusty winds. It was far from a fruitless trip since it provided the opportunity to take in the regatta environment, practice our rigging and loading skills and experience a new venue for Rocket City Rowing!

Our next racing opportunities are in Oak Ridge, TN at the end of April. Go Rocket City!