Up North: Duluth Rowing Club to launch new beginners programs for 2021 | www.WDIO.com

Up North: Duluth Rowing Club to launch new beginners programs for 2021

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: June 02, 2021 10:51 PM
Created: June 02, 2021 10:06 PM

Rowing, it's known as the silent sport. 

"[It's a] great sport, a good silent sport. No fossil fuel needed to keep it going," chuckled Tom Rauschenfels, a board member for the Duluth Rowing Club (DRC).

However, last summer the DRC was too silent for those that love the boathouse.

"I would go up out here sometimes and no one would be here which is always sad to see, since it was usually pretty popping here in the mornings," said Christopher Kirby, enterting his fifth year rowing at the DRC.

After only being allowed to offer limited adult master classes in 2020, the Duluth club is excited to return their junior programs for 2021.

Coach Henri Laliberte said this season the team is deliberately focusing on not only on coaching current rowers, but introducing brand new people to the sport.

"In the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as Saturday mornings, we're going to be holding a learn to row class for people with no experience," Laliberte said. "It's going to be from the bottom up, from stroke one to potentially racing down later in the summer.

The club is also launching sessions to grow their mid level programs, including an Open Row session for anyone ages 30-50 years old.

"We welcome anybody that's interested in joining it to come down and give it a try, and take a look and see what we've got," Rauschenfels said.

If you do head down to Park Point to test the waters at the harbor side facility, you'll be in good hands with Lalibertie. He rowed for two years at the DRC, then four college, before heading to China to compete with the national team.

"To be able to just give the passion and the enjoyment, more than anything else is what I really hope to be able to pass over from my past experience to to the rowing club down here," Laliberte said.

Kirby added, "I'm excited for him to coach our team and get us more in shape for maybe next year when we can have some regattas."

Regattas have been canceled through the month of July for the club but members remain hopeful for opportunities to race later this summer. 


Alicia Tipcke

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