Spring Lake Crew is a co-ed club sport, open to all high school age students in the vicinity of Spring Lake, MI.  Rowers compete at Novice, JV and Varsity levels in regattas located throughout the mid-west but mainly in Michigan in fall and spring seasons. Most events are for groups of 4 or 8 rowers with one “Coxswain” driver on each boat. Currently, we need 4-5 students willing to be full-time Coxswains on the team. Smaller frames and loud voices are needed for these positions. Indoor winter training leads to indoor ergometer regattas in early spring. Rowers who are in other sports may chose to only row in spring or fall. Many row all 3 seasons. College rowing opportunities are plentiful.  College coaches love to see anyone with high school experience tryout for their teams.

2016 Program Highlights

Spring 2016: Led by Coaches Paul Winter and Maja North-Vredevoogd had 18 members on the roster from SLHS and GHHS. Events included Laddie Cup at Orchard Lake and States held at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids.

Summer Camp 2016: Led by Coaches John Bancheri and Coastas Ciungan from GVSU and assisted by Coaches Paul Winter, Blake Phillips and Amanda Rantanen was held in August and was a great start to the fall rowing season welcoming many new rowers and introducing the sport as well as developing the skill and form of our more seasoned rowers.

Fall 2016: Led by Coaches Amanda Rantanen, Paul Winter and Mandy Boersen had 21 members on the roster from SLHS and GHHS. Events included The Head of the Grand hosted by MSU where our boys beat all of the other teams from West Michigan and The Leelanau Chase where we competed in 4 events in one day. Results can be found at regattacentral.com.

Winter/Spring 2017: Lead by Head Coach Paul Winter and Assistant Coach Evan Wujcik. Indoor training is at Ferrysburg City Hall 4 days per week where we have new model Concept II ergs, weightlifting equipment and other physical training gear. With 27 members and growing, on water training will be at Spring Lake Yacht Club. Our team practiced at Conestoga Campground in Nunica for the past few seasons, however, due to growth of seasonal camping the campground no longer has space for our burgeoning program.  We are pleased to announce, we will be located at Spring Lake Yacht Club for on water practices starting this spring.  Look for us on the water on Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat!

Equipment Updates: Only because of our generous sponsors, our team acquired more good condition used oars in 2016, two more 4’s and a single scull from GVSU. We are on our way to raising enough money to buy 4 sets of sculling oars so that we can rig one of our fours as a quad and start teaching the sculling method of rowing where rowers have one oar in each hand. Currently, we only teach sweep rowing where rowers use just one oar. In 2016, we had two boats professionally refurbished and we installed all new shoes in all of the boats. We purchased a new cox box and other essential equipment for rigging. We had our speakers repaired by one of our handy parents who volunteered his time and talents. One of our other mechanically inclined parents used his skills and abilities to repair GVSU’s coach boat when it broke down during our summer camp. Our greatest need this spring is a new floating dock to be placed at SLYC in order to safely launch within their attenuating dock system.  This will cost $8k—$10k.  We are hoping to raise the funds in a hurry so that we can get kids on the water asap. A big goal. We hope you can help! Thank you to all who support our program financially and in service!

Volunteers: Our program would not work with out all the wonderful parents and others who volunteer to help. Many hands are needed to keep food tents going at regattas, for repairing and maintaining equipment, for packing and un-packing trailers, for running safety boats during practices and more. Thank you volunteers! If interested in helping, please email: springlakerowing@gmail.com.

The Shindig: A Concept II Rowing Machine will be auctioned off this year and all proceeds will go to the rowing team. Get your tickets now for April 30th at SLCC!

Current Needs: Easy-Lock Plastic Floating Dock for dry-launching the shells. Up to this point, we have been wading into the water to launch shells. With a floating dock, we are able to keep feet dry and warm. Estimated cost is $8,000 to $10,000. The floating dock system is rugged and will benefit the program for years, possibly decades. This is an urgent need as we are re-locating to Spring Lake Yacht Club this spring. In order to launch safely and effectively within their new dock system, we must have a floating dock like what is used at the Lubber’s Cup. Sculling Oars (at least 4 sets). One set costs about $500. Used sets are generally not available.Double Scull Rowing Boat – $3,000 to $6,000 range for good used boat.  Another Aluminum Boat with Outboard Motor (donation of good used boat accepted!)

Rowing is a very expensive sport. For an example, a brand new 8 person rowing shell runs about $60,000. All rowers pay seasonal dues to cover operational expenses. We work hard to keep those fees as low as possible by relying heavily on volunteers. Rower’s fees do not go towards capital expenditures or purchases of assets needed for the program. We buy used equipment as much as possible. This obviously requires more maintenance and upkeep however, it allows us to accommodate more rowers with more serviceable boats. Our donors have been so generous helping us acquire all of the team assets to date. We are expecting a record number of 27 high school rowers this spring! The program is growing and thriving! Thank you and please continue your support! Remember to attend THE SHINDIG at SLCC on August 30th, proceeds from the auction of the Concept II ERG go directly to our program!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s