North American Open Water Rowing Championship


Next Race is in 2013


November 20, 2011

After much discussion we've decided to try an every-other year format. This will give us the time and resources to put together another memorable event.

September 11, 2011

I am just now getting around to two years of neglect on this site. Let me start with the 2010 NAOWRC and work my way up to today.

The 2010 NAOWRC was spectacular in every way. The course was 15 miles in Port Townsend, WA through some of the most spectacular scenery and water. The first leg wound up along the shore in relatively flat conditions. It was pretty much of a drag race to the first turning mark at Pt. Wilson. The rowers were all heading up current. The fun began at Pt. Wilson where the course took the rowers away from the shore and into the most amazing tide rip. Luckily the current was with the rowers at this point so most got flushed through the 3' standing waves and back onto flat water.

Then the fog descended. The better part of the next leg involved trying to locate a turning mark that was only visible from a mile or so out. But to the credit of Steve Chapin and all of the crew he assembled from the Rat Island Rowing Club, the stake boats helped every rower make their way safely to the turning mark and back to the NW Maritime Center.

The day saw three of the most exciting performances I've ever had the opportunity to witness: Tyler Peterson and Evan Jacobs started fast and never slowed down. They finished almost 10 minutes ahead of the next boat -- a double ably rowed by Jordan Hanssen and Richard Tarbill. The third boat to cross the line was the Maas 24 of Robert Meenk -- 18 seconds behind the second place double. But 45 seconds after Robert was Dan Gorriaran which surely was the motivation for Robert. The first woman's single was Diane Davis who finished just ahead of Canadian Olympic Champion Adam Kreek.

Also of note is the double of Rainer Storb and Todd Silver who finished 4th overall and third in the Men's 2x. It is noteworthy because the night before the race a celebration was held for Rainer's 75th birthday. Rainer is one of those people that show the rest of us the possibilities for the human body and mind. Not to take anything away from Todd -- but he's not 75.

The 2011 NAOWRC was held in conjunction with the 25th running of the Blackburn Challenge around Cape Ann, MA. At 6 a.m on race day crews were busily preparing their boats in the 80 degree heat. At 7a all the racers went in to a meeting in the gym. By 7:30 when the meeting broke up the skies were the most interesting steel grey, the temperature had dropped 10 degrees and it was starting to rain. Conditions for the race were beautiful - a bit of rain and little wind but cool enough.

With the calm winds, Dan Gorriaran reached into his quiver of boats and selected his flatwater Van Dusen Advantage. As expected he came flying out of the river in first place and managed to extend his lead around the outside, even in the chop winning over Rich Klajnscek in his custom Van Dusen Rowhican. Dan's hands paid the price for his boat selection though as they were pretty raw.

The women's race was similarly won in a Van Dusen Advantage rowed by Gia DeAngelis. It was the day for Van Dusens.

In a great show of pure seamanship, Ted Van Dusen used figurative chewing gum and bailing wire to repair a broken boat and finish the race. Ted ran down a channel marker in the river hard enough to snap a rigger on his Peinert Zephyr. Instead of retiring from the race, Ted made his way over to a dock, pulled the boat out and 15 minutes later was back on the course and finished 8th in his division. WIthout the boat repair, Ted would most likely have won his division.

Onward to 2012 which will be back on the West Coast.

January 19, 2010

The 2010 event is coming together beautifully thanks again to Steve Wells, Steve Chapin and the rest of the Sound Rowers. The venue this year is the spectacular, new Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA.

This year there will be two days of racing for those with the stamina. On Saturday there will be the traditional Sound Rowers Rat Island Race. Then Sunday will be the NAOWRC over a different course.

All boat types are welcome. We're working hard to get the local surfski and outrigger paddlers to show up -- the more boats we have, the more fun we have.

For more details and an ongoing blog about the race, check out this site.

July 2, 2009

We're gearing up for another great race. Robert Meenk and Diane Davis are the sponsored rowers in the singles this year -- both won last year. Competition will be tough this year in both men's and women's singles as Dan G. has been recruiting hot shots from the East Coast. However, Diane Davis and Rachael Perry both finished within 15 seconds of each other at the Tahoe race this year. More importantly, they were only beaten by 1 double and two men's 24s. They are flying! I haven't heard how Robert's training has been going, but he's always strong.

We have a trailer getting lined up to take boats from Seattle and San Francisco out for the race. If anyone is interested in making the drive, I'm paying all expenses (and providing a nice tow vehicle). Let us (doug at maasboats dot com) know if you're interested in driving or putting your boat on the trailer.

Lastly, invite all your surfski and outrigger friends to join us. One of my personal agenda items for the coming years is to integrate these communities a bit better. We are all basically doing the same thing and having more boats at races is more fun all around.

If you missed it on the front page, check out this video that Ellen Braithwaite pointed out. It is a great video of the Open Ocean Race in Sausalito this year.

January 12, 2009

The news came in today from Dan Gorriaran that we are going to be allowed to race around Conanicut Island in Narragansett Bay. This looks to be an absolutely lovely spot and many thanks to Dan for pulling this together. Dan also pointed out that Jamestown is a wonderful vacation spot. I am going to take the time to enjoy the area this year and spend some time on the island before the race.

We'll be running a trailer out from the West Coast for the race. I don't yet know any of the details.

October 20, 2008

We're still figuring out where the 2009 NAOWRC will be held. The plan is to go back east again -- perhaps the Blackburn again.

I was reviewing the results from the Head of the Charles this year and noticed that many of the NAOWRC racers did quite well. In no particular order, here are names that caught my eye -- perhaps there are some more that I missed.

  • Robert Meenk was 8th in the open men's lightweight single. That's world class.
  • Diane Davis was third in the grand master's woman's single ahead of Judy Geer. The first two places were a former Russian Olympian and the woman who still holds the course record for the HOCR.
  • The double of Linse and Kinne got second in the senior master women's double.
  • Gorriaran & Smith continued their reign with another win in the master men's double.
  • Landon Carter took second in the men's veteran single.
  • The double of Kermond and Reynolds placed second in the mixed double category. (Peter also got a first in the senior master double with Scott Roop finishing just ahead of long-time open water rower Craig Leeds).
  • Peter Graves, rowing with Andrew Liverman, won the men's championship double.
  • Abigail Cromwell got fourth in the women's master single.

All in all, it is really great to see how well the open water rowers are doing in what is really the premier head race. I find all of these people immensely inspiring.


See Old News here.

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