Several RCRC rowers and assistant coaches had a little lagniappe of fall rowing at Head of the South Regatta on the Savannah River in Augusta, GA this past weekend bringing home 2 gold medals, a silver medal and 2 bronze medals. Assistant Coach Kevin Cardnorowing for UAH rowed for gold in the championship 1x and had the fastest time of the day on the course for all boat classes. Assistant coach Logan McEwan joined Kevin in the Championship 2x to best the field again. Jessie Cowart and Claire Mosely placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Womens Junior Novice 1x and Titus Thompson placed 3rd in the Men’s Junior Novice 1x.


Rocket City Rowing sent 19 of the 2,009 boats that participated in the 2015 Head of the Hooch Regatta, the second largest regatta in the United States November 7-8 in Chattanooga TN. Competing in large fields with nationally competitive crews from around the United States, Diane Winters received a silver medal in the Women’s Lightweight Masters 1x and assistant coaches Logan McEwen andKevin Cardno received a bronze in a composite Men’s Open 4x. Other top 5 finishes include the mixed masters 2x crew of James Robinson and Elizabeth Theiss (Nashville Rowing Club) and the Women’s Masters 4+ with top half finishing boats in the Women’s Masters 4x and, Men’s Masters 2x.

Our youth crews gained much needed racing experience in sometimes challenging conditions. Novice rowers stepped up to row in varsity races in the Women’s Youth 4x and Mixed Youth 8+. The Mixed 8+ had an especially fierce finish.

Seven Rocket City rowers including 2 of our most recent adult Learn-to-Row graduates, had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of rowing in a 24-person sculling boat, the Stampfli Express which is touring major regattas in the eastern United States this fall. On Saturday and Sunday what was expected to be leisurely cruise up and down the Tennessee River turned into an actual race down the course with ratings up to 32 strokes per minute, truly astonishing considering that no one in the boat had trained together as a crew.

With the conclusion of fall 2015 team racing, masters, youth, and middle school rowers will retire to the boathouse for winter training to lay in the fitness and mental discipline needed for the spring sprint race season that starts in March 2016.


RCRC youth programs competed in 10 events at the Secret City Head Race in Oak Ridge, TN this weekend and put in respectable performances. Since competitors have to row up to the start from the finish line, the 10,000 meters of rowing to complete the 5,000 meter race was the longest single stretch of rowing the novice rowers have done since they started rowing this summer. Some of them did it more than once! This regatta also was the debut race for the RCRC Middle School program. They rowed a competitive race on shortened course against boats from Atomic Rowing (Oak Ridge, TN) and Asheville Youth Rowing (Asheville, NC), demonstrating a lot of promise for the future. Congratulations to our rowers and coaches!


It was medals all around for Rocket City Rowing Masters at our inaugural head race of the fall season, 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal which gave Rocket City Rowing 3rd place in club team points for the regatta.

George Wheeler started off racing for RCRC in the mens veterans 1x with a silver medal. The women’s 4+ crew of Elysa Jones, Peggy Collins, Diane Winters, and Betsy Bock with coxswain Carla Bossard had a solid row on an optimal course to win the Masters Women 4+ on the fastest scratch (un-handicapped) time over boats with much younger crews and promptly hot-seated the entire crew for the Master’s Womens 4x. In a test of competitive technique and fitness, the RCRC boat placed third with a scratch time 1 minutes 15 seconds off the winning time. That is over 20,000 meters of rowing inside of three hours

James Robinson with his Nashville Rowing partner Elizabeth Theiss had the fastest scratch time in the mixed masters 2x, winning silver. To round out the medals for RCRC, RCRC masters men won gold and silver in the Mens 2x. George Wheeler and James Robinson rowed to gold in a strong performance followed by the newly formed men’s 2x crew of Joe Della Silva and Alex Rutberg with silver. Both RCRC crews triumphed over much, much younger teams from the University of Georgia, University of the South and East Tennessee Rowing.

Kevin Cardno, RCRC assistant junior coach, rowing for UAH won gold in the Championship 1x with a margin of 11 seconds over an Atlanta Rowing Club boat.

It looks like “Go Rocket City” paid off!