Busy team gaining momentum

Nov 11, 2021

White Rock Lake Weekly


White Rock Rowing, most recently crowned National Rowing Champions for U17 Women’s Pair Event, returned to Dallas this week after a jam-packed two weeks of racing which took the team from Boston, Mass., to Austin, Texas.

Photo courtesy of White Rock Rowing

In late October, White Rock Rowing arrived at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston with 20 athletes to compete on one of the most rigorous and feared courses in rowing in the United States. On Sunday, Oct. 24, Dallas was proudly represented among the more than 11,000 athletes and 2,000 boats that lined up to compete in the largest 2-day rowing regatta worldwide.

White Rock Rowing rose to the massive challenge. One of the team’s best boats — women’s U17 4+ — got off to a flying start and passed 4 crews within a matter of minutes. Just when victory seemed within reach, another boat crashed into them and brought progress to a halt. The rowers, though shaken up, shook it off and finished strong in fifth place.

The men’s youth hit the water a few hours later, starting at the back of the pack. But the varsity four improved by 20 spots over their starting position to finish in third place overall.

Watching our young athletes row so well at such a mature and challenging racing event in the rowing capitol of the U.S. filled our hearts with joy and pride,” said Chris Leonard, men’s head coach at White Rock Rowing. “The performance we witnessed out there is a very positive sign for the future of White Rock Rowing. We’re going to bring home a lot more medals in the near future. These athletes have the talent and the hunger to win tough competitions like this.”

Exactly one week later, the team packed its bags and boats once again to make its way down to the races at the Head of the Colorado in Austin, Texas. This time, the women’s U17 4+ won first place, beating the second place team by almost a full half minute. The men’s U17 4+ came in second place, more than 60 seconds in front of the third place boat.

“Rowing in any competition is incredibly nerve racking, so we were greatly impressed with how our novice rowers performed,” said Annie Couwenhoven, women’s head coach for White Rock Rowing. “They were calm and collected, but they also left everything they had out on the water, securing three spots above fifth place! Watching the more experienced youth encourage and support the beginners was the absolute best – the camaraderie is palpable, and it’s one of this team’s greatest assets.”

White Rock Rowing is the premier rowing destination in North Texas for youth and adults, featuring multiple national championship titles, elite training and the largest boathouse in the state, while also providing equal rowing opportunities through financial aid regardless of a rower’s financial status or background. White Rock Rowing is housed under White Rock Boathouse, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department to steward and use city property to bring recreational fun to Dallas residents. Learn more by visiting whiterockrowing.org.