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US Rowing Kicks Off Season in San Diego

26 Mar, 2015


When the first big weekend of the racing season kicks off this weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic, USRowing will be there in full force to feature U.S. national team training center athletes in action, kick off its “Row to Rio” campaign and recruit championship members to “Join Our Team.”

USA v. Canada: The USRowing Training Center men’s team is hosting the Canadian men’s team at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in nearby Chula Vista, Calif., and will conclude the week by participating in a series of exhibition races at the San Diego Crew Classic.

Racing will be held on Mission Bay in conjunction with the main event, which features racing for every level, from junior to masters and collegiate crews. Some 130 clubs and schools from across the country have placed almost 400 entries in the two-day event.

"We are very pleased and excited to have the opportunity to race at the SDCC with the USRowing men’s squad,” said Curtis Jordan, USRowing High Performance Director. “This combines two great opportunities for us – a great set of races with our friends, the Canadians, and a chance to highlight our national team hopefuls in front of their fans and supporters. The San Diego Crew Classic race committee has worked very hard to make these opportunities available. I look forward to some exciting races and a fun weekend."

Row to Rio Kick Off: Don’t miss the Row to Rio Kick Off! The multi-faceted platform is designed to actively involve the entire rowing community in support of the U.S. National Team as it embarks on its journey to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.

U.S. national team athletes, hopefuls and Olympians will be on site to meet and greet fans and rowers Friday and Saturday afternoons. Fans are encouraged to bring signs that read, “Go USA,” “Row To Rio” or wish the hopefuls good luck. Some of the signs will be autographed by the national team athletes attending the kickoff. Watch for a special announcement on USRowing’s new Gold Medal sponsor.

The Row to Rio kickoff will take place Saturday at 3 p.m., at the National Rowing Foundation tent, next to the Beer Garden. Olympic hopefuls and athletes from the Olympic Legends Circle will be available to talk to fans and rowers. This is your chance to meet Carol Brown, Pete Cipollone, John Chatzky, Susan Francia, Scott Gault, Ginny Gilder, Carie Graves, Mike Teti, Alison Townley and Mary Whipple.

“USRowing is thrilled to partner with the San Diego Crew Classic to host such exciting events, and we’re looking forward to meeting many current and new USRowing members throughout the weekend. There is no better place to kick off the 2015 season and build excitement for the months of racing ahead,” said Beth Kohl, USRowing Chief Marketing Officer.

“We’re especially excited to launch our Row to Rio campaign with the terrific support of our partners, and we encourage the entire rowing community to engage with the 2016 hopefuls as we head to Rio. We are proud to launch our Legends Circle and hope everyone will come to the launch event Saturday at 3 p.m., to meet some of the greatest names in our sport, alongside the 2016 hopefuls. It will truly be a day to remember.”

Olympians galore will join the festivities all weekend. Two-time Olympian and 1984 silver-medalist women’s quad coxswain Kelly Rickon Mitchell has orchestrated a reunion of the athletes from 1976, 1980 and 1984. They will gather for activities including a golf outing, tour of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and reception with USRowing Training Center athletes. They will also be recognized at the Row to Rio launch.

Activities at the USRowing Tent

  • This weekend, USRowing is offering a special championship membership discount, where members can join or renew a championship membership on site for $10 dollars off. A championship membership provides benefits that include Rowing Magazine, discounts on Rudy Project sunglasses and 30-70-percent discounts from several vendors including, Merrell, Helly Hansen, Timbuk2, Asics, 2XU, Diamondback, Pearl Izumi, Scott, Obermeyer, Gore Running And Bike Wear and more.

  • Row to Rio Meet-Up with Olympic Gold Medalists Susan Francia and Mary Whipple at the USRowing tent Friday at 3 p.m. They will share their top-secret rowing tips, take photos and sign autographs, prior to the coach and coxswains meeting. Bring your team and get some tips to be in top form for your race.

  • Talk shop with the CEO on Sunday morning from 8-9 a.m. Fans and parents can stop by the tent and talk rowing with USRowing Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Merry. Enjoy coffee, juice, pastries and fruit, and hear what’s new at USRowing. Find out about a new membership opportunity and get in on the ground floor to develop it.

  • Check out great deals and the latest USRowing gear at the Boathouse Sports tent, right next to the USRowing tent. Wear the gear that the U.S. National Team wears! A portion of every sale benefits our 2016 Olympic hopefuls.

  • All weekend, follow us on Twitter/@usrowing, Instagram/usrowingngb and Facebook/USRowing. Tag your photos with #usrsdcc and #rowtorio for a chance to win Boathouse Sports merchandise. More details will be announced.

National Rowing Foundation: In addition to the activities at the USRowing tent, the National Rowing Foundation is planning a variety of events before and during the race weekend. In keeping with popular tradition, the annual “Beers and Brats” function will take place Saturday from 2-4 p.m., at the NRF tent.

Among the 50-some athletes from past Olympic teams making guest appearances at the NRF tent is Olympic silver medalist Gilder, who will autograph copies of her recently published book, Course Correction. A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX.

The NRF, which provides direct financial support to the national team, has also partnered with the regatta organizers to raise money under the Regatta Grant Project. Under the project, the NRF will get one dollar for every seat rowed in the event.

“The NRF has enjoyed the hospitality and support of the Crew Classic in recent years, and we are excited to have the SDCC participate in the Regatta Grant Project,” said Charles Hamlin, NRF Executive Director in a press release. “Its participation, and that of the rowing community that enjoys this great regatta, will be much appreciated by those national team members who have the honor of representing our country.”

Visit www.crewclassic.org for race schedule, results and full regatta press coverage.

Snapshot of Events

Thursday, March 26

  • 11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. NRF reunion golf outing at Eastlake Country Club, by invitation

  • 4-5 p.m. NRF reunion tour of the U.S. Olympic Training Center, by invitation

  • 5-7 p.m. NRF reception with the U.S. men’s team at the OTC boathouse, by invitation

Friday, March 27

  • 3-4 p.m. Row to Rio meet-up with Susan Francia and Mary Whipple at the USRowing tent

Saturday, March 28

  • 10:44 a.m. California Rowing Club men’s quadruple sculls crew races Canadian men

  • 10:52 a.m. U.S. men’s fours race Canadian men’s four

  • 1 p.m. Book signing at the NRF tent with Ginny Gilder, author of Course Correction. A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX

  • 2-4 p.m. Beer and Brats in the NRF tent

  • 2:56 p.m. U.S. men and Canadian men’s eights race in combination lineups

  • 3 p.m. Official joint USRowing and NRF Row to Rio Kick Off

  • 3:04 p.m. U.S. men’s four and Canadian men’s four race the world champion four-man kayak team from the Czech Republic in a 500-meter dash event.

Sunday, March 29

  • 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. NRF Crew Classic Brunch by the Bay

  • 8-9 a.m. Meet USRowing CEO Glenn Merry in the USRowing tent

About USRowing: USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 75,000 individual members and 1,200 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, JanSport, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners: ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, Ludus Tours, Rudy Project and Shimano. USRowing relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and provides opportunities for those with disabilities, also benefits from corporate support.

Additional information may be found at www.usrowing.org | Twitter: @usrowing | YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/usrowingorg | Facebook: www.facebook.com/usrowing | Tumblr: http://usrowing.tumblr.com/ | Instagram: usrowingngb.

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