USRowing in Oak Ridge: Vesper Boat Club victorious again

Vesper Boat Club

The Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia swept the competition, winning the men’s, women’s, and overall team trophies at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships for the second consecutive year. The championships were in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Sunday. (Photos courtesy USRowing)


By Ella Odland/USRowing

Vesper Boat Club of Philadelphia swept the competition, winning the men’s, women’s and overall team trophies at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships for the second consecutive year. Vesper won a total of 14 gold, 12 silver and six bronze medals.

The 2014 championships were in Oak Ridge from Wednesday through Sunday. The 2013 championships were in Camden, New Jersey.

“We decided to shrink the numbers of the program this year and try to go for more quality,” said Sean Clarke, Vesper’s program manager. “It made things very exciting at the end for us, but everyone here really did a fine job of living up to Vesper’s tradition of ‘all together.’”

Vesper Boat Club Men

The Vesper Boat Club Men are pictured above.

The Vesper men narrowly beat out New York Athletic Club, winning the men’s trophy by two points.

“We had a solid outing,” said Vesper men’s coach Colin Regan. “We had some good results in a lot of our races and some results we’ll look to improve on going into Canada.” [Read more…]


USRowing: Last day of heats, semis Saturday; more finals Sunday

USRowing Club Nationals

Racing in the USRowing Club National Championships in Oak Ridge on Saturday consisted of heats and semifinals, setting up the second round of finals on Sunday. (Photos courtesy USRowing)


By Luke Reynolds/USRowing

If Saturday’s racing on Melton Lake in Oak Ridge could be summed up in a few words, it would be these: wet, saturated, and exhausted. The athletes—some on their fourth day of racing—rowed through a consistent, steady drizzle, and at times, a heavy downpour.

Such was the case for Sagamore’s junior B quadruple sculls boat coming off the water after its heat.

“This is my second race of the day, so I’m pretty exhausted,” Sagamore junior Patrick Ansalon said. “Today’s race went … not so well. We had a U17 eight, which got fourth, and I was in a composite four that qualified for finals tomorrow.”

Luckily though, the rain let up around 1:45 p.m. during the break and held off for the majority of the afternoon. Around the race course though, conditions remained muddy and saturated from the several hours of continuous rain.

Saturday’s racing consisted of heats and semifinals setting up the second round of finals on Sunday. [Read more…]

USRowing: First final session wraps up in Oak Ridge


Harborside Rowing at the at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships in Oak Ridge. (Photos courtesy USRowing)

By Ella Odland/USRowing

“‘Olé, olé, olé,’ rang out across Melton Hill Lake Friday morning as crews battled for the title of club national champion in the first bout of finals at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships.

The “olé” cheer could be heard during every race in which Harborside Rowing competed. Harborside won a gold medal in the lightweight women’s intermediate pair and two silver medals—one in the women’s senior four with coxswain and one in the lightweight women’s intermediate pair.

“We still have a lot to go; we are very excited,” said Harborside coach Hugo Guardo. “We hope the next three days are also good. It was a great day for Harborside.”

As for the unique “olé” cheer, Guardo says that it stems from his Mexican heritage, and it is something the crew has done for a few years now.

“It is one of the first things the kids learn,” Guardo joked. [Read more…]



Oak Ridge hosting 2014 USRowing Club National Championships this week

USRowing Club National Championships

The USRowing Club National Championships started Wednesday and ends Sunday at the Oak Ridge Marina. (Photo courtesy USRowing)


Story courtesy USRowing/Luke Reynolds

Crews from across the country ranging in every age and skill level converged on Oak Ridge this week for the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships, which started Wednesday and ends Sunday on Melton Hill Lake.

Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club is the defending overall team points trophy winner. The team brought nearly 200 junior men and women to compete on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., in 2013 and also took the men’s and women’s trophies to sweep the event.

This year, around 1,500 athletes from 80 different clubs will be participating in the event, which is hosted by Oak Ridge Rowing Association.

“The city is really trying their best to welcome people to Oak Ridge,” said Oak Ridge Rowing Association President Terry Holley. “The businesses are very excited for this regatta and all regattas hosted by USRowing. [Read more…]

Volunteers, launch drivers needed for USRowing National Championship

USRowing Youth National Championships Finals

The USRowing Youth National Championships Finals are pictured above in Oak Ridge in June 2013. (File photo)

USRowing is having its 2014 National Club Championship regatta in Oak Ridge from Wednesday, July 16, through Sunday, July 20.

The regatta is on Melton Hill Lake at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association is seeking volunteers for this event, a press release said. No experience is necessary.

“This is a great way to get up close to some of the best racing in the country,” said Terry Holley, president of the Oak Ridge Rowing Association. “We are pleased that USRowing has chosen Melton Hill Lake once again as the venue for this prestigious event.” [Read more…]

Atomic Rowing Women’s Youth team wins regional gold, headed to nationals

Atomic Rowing Women's Youth Team Practice

The regional women’s youth champions, Atomic Rowing, practice six days a week in preparation for the national championship races in Sacramento, California. (Photos by Sara Wise)


About two months ago, the girls of Atomic Rowing’s youth team came to Shannon Moore, their coach, and said they wanted to go to the national championship race. Now, they’ve won the gold medal at regionals and are set to race at youth nationals in Sacramento, California, on June 21.

Since winning gold at regionals, in Florida earlier this month, they have been practicing six days a week. Moore said the team of girls, ranging from eighth to 10th grades, are hungry for a national championship title.

“They’re just determined,” said Moore, who started coaching the team in October of last year. She has been coaching professionally since 1998 and was even the assistant coach for Ivy League rowing at Columbia University in New York City. Now though, she thinks she’s found her niche with the juniors team here in Oak Ridge. [Read more…]

New coach hired at Oak Ridge Rowing Association

Marc DeRose

Marc DeRose

Marc DeRose has been hired as the new head coach and director of rowing at the Oak Ridge Rowing Association.

“We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the applicants,” said ORRA President Bob Franks. “Even with such great applicants, Marc was clearly the person for the job.”

DeRose comes to Oak Ridge from the University of Central Florida, where he has served as assistant coach of women’s rowing. His resume includes coaching the 2011 Canadian National Champion in men’s eight at St. George’s School in Vancouver, British Columbia. [Read more…]

Atomic Rowing qualifies at Southeast District Championships

Atomic Rowing


Local women’s varsity four headed to national rowing championship

Atomic Rowing had the home field advantage going into the 2013 USRowing Southeast Junior District Championships held May 4-5 on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge. Atomic Rowing entered 18 entries into the two-day rain-soaked event that attracted 339 boats and 43 teams from across six states.

“Despite the rain, the racing was high quality throughout the weekend,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “The Oak Ridge organizing committee and referee corps from the Southeast stepped up to the challenge presented by the weather and delivered a championship-level racing experience.” [Read more…]

New pavilion erected at Oak Ridge Marina

Melton Lake Park Pavilion

Construction workers erect a pavilion this week on the city’s waterfront at Melton Lake Park.

A few weeks after the old pavilion was removed, construction workers have started erecting a new pavilion at Melton Lake Park.

The Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department has hired Rich Construction of Lenoir City to build the 2,300-square-foot pavilion at the Oak Ridge Marina.

The pavilion is in the same spot as the old 880-square-foot picnic shelter that was between the playground and the Melton Lake Greenway. The picnic shelter was torn down in late September.

The $159,000 pavilion could be used for rowing and community events. The Oak Ridge City Council awarded a construction contract for it in May.

It’s the second major step in a waterfront development plan approved by City Council in December 2009. The first was the paving of the parking lot at Elza Gate Park.

Rich Construction began site work for the new pavilion in early October. The pavilion itself has arrived and is now under construction on the city’s waterfront, offering “exceptional views of Melton Hill Lake and the Oak Ridge rowing course,” a city press release said.

Construction could be completed sometime in late November, depending upon the weather, the press release said.

The city asked the public to use caution in the park while the pavilion is under construction.

The hexagonal, prefabricated picnic pavilion will include a metal roof, ceiling lighting, and a low stone wall with electrical outlets. It’s designed to serve as a “signature facility” that sets the theme for future waterfront development.

Funding for the proposed pavilion comes from a $140,000 donation from UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and from savings that result from staff turnover in the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department, the city staff said.

The park is used by rowers, runners, walkers, bikers, and families.

For more information, contact the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department at (865) 425-3450 or visit the city’s website at

Pumpkin Fest, regatta, car show this weekend

From a regatta and football to a car show and pumpkin festival, there is much to do in Oak Ridge this weekend.

Tonight, the Oak Ridge Wildcats football team wraps up its regular season with a 7:30 p.m. game at Campbell County.

On Saturday, the Secret City Head Race starts at 8 a.m. at the Oak Ridge Marina, and the annual Pumpkin Fest starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. in Grove Center.

[Read more…]

About 5,000 people expected at US Rowing youth championships

US Rowing Youth National Championships

One hundred thirty-five teams from 30 states are competing in the US Rowing Youth National Championships at Oak Ridge Marina this weekend.

The US Rowing Youth National Championships are in Oak Ridge again this year, and about 5,000 people are expected to attend, including athletes and their families, an organizer said Thursday.

The regatta starts Friday morning and ends Sunday afternoon. It will include about 1,800 rowers from 135 teams in 30 states, said Allen Eubanks, Oak Ridge Rowing Association head coach.

[Read more…]

Music, rowing, politics, fundraisers this weekend

Activities this weekend include a Friday morning visit to Clinton by Gov. Bill Haslam, music (some of it free), nonprofit fundraisers, and a regatta at Oak Ridge Marina.

[Read more…]