2020 June SRRA President’s Letter

Dear SRRA Crew Members:

Welcome to the beginning of another rowing season.  As we have all come to expect from the pandemic, this season will look like none we have ever experienced.  The new Board of Directors has been meeting and planning all year and while most of our planning will likely not materialize as we envisioned, we are excited about the Club’s successes over the past year, and we look forward with great enthusiasm to what we will be able to do this year and the years to come.  Spokane Rowing and our Club are very much alive and well.

Here are some updates and plans for 2020:

Spokane River Flow

As you know, every year we constantly monitor the official River flow of the Spokane River to determine when we can access the water.  We feature information from the USGS on our website, https://www.spokanerowing.org/wp/river-flow/, where you can track the river flow for yourselves.  As of today, it is under 10,000 cfs (cubic feet per second); we typically wait until flows get down to 10,000 to 12,000 CFS before we consider it safe to get on the water.  

Gonzaga Women’s Rowing Coach

You may have heard that there is an opening for the head coaching position for Gonzaga University Women’s Rowing.  Our own Mark Voorhees has applied for the important position and we think he would be an excellent choice.  On behalf of the Board, I submitted a letter of recommendation for Mark, and our Past President, Marnie Schroer, also submitted her own personal recommendation.  Good luck, Mark!

Due Diligence

We are consulting with and monitoring a number of organizations, entities, and experts regarding the appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including US Rowing, Spokane Regional Health District, the Office of the Governor, Gonzaga University, and other local and regional governmental officials.  The goal here is to determine to what degree and in what form we may be able to engage our sport and to provide a safe and healthful environment for all of us.

Learn to Row 2020

The Board unanimously determined that our popular Learn to Row Summer Program will be cancelled for 2020.  We were all challenged by having to make this call, but all had strong conviction that this was the right decision.  There is simply too much uncertainty regarding access and safety to reasonably expect to be able to offer the program beginning early July.  We will certainly engage with those expressing an interest and keep them connected for a big splash in 2021.


As you all know, a portion of the money we pay every year is our Club Membership dues of $100.00.  The balance of what we pay is for our actual coached rowing and competition privileges.  The membership dues are just that; we pay to belong to SRRA.  The club’s operating expenses continue whether we are rowing or not, including US Rowing liability insurance, equipment insurance and licenses.   Because we consider this a contribution and because we are a 501(c)(3) corporation, this is a non-profit or charitable contribution.  Notwithstanding, this year is unique and likely our time on the river may be impaired, but each Board member will pay their membership fee for 2020.  We encourage each of you to do the same.  This can easily be done through our website https://www.spokanerowing.org/wp/practices/ or just send us a check to SRRA, P.O.. Box 13646, Spokane Valley, WA  99213.

Rowing Experience 2020

The more we live through this pandemic, and the more we learn about how the coronavirus is transmitted, the more challenging a rowing experience becomes.  It is a very athletic endeavor, with all of us exerting ourselves and breathing hard, as well as being in very close proximity to each other.  To say nothing of the amount of equipment we jointly share and handle.  We have not seen any recommendation which makes this an easily answered inquiry.

Nevertheless, we continue to look at all the possibilities of providing some kind of rowing experience this summer which would offer the depth of safety and health we expect as part of our “Rowing DNA.”  Stay tuned!

Other Club Activities

Because we are also a social organization, the Board is looking for ways to continue to engage and share our lives in other ways.   Marnie Schroer has offered to set up a Virtual Regatta if there is enough interest, we only need 15 competitors.  If you would like more details or would like to throw caution to the wind and just sign up, email Marnie at mschroer44@gmail.com.   How about a Zoom Happy Hour hosted by Carol Williams?    Carol will we put some dates and times together and we will get this party started!

More information to come!  In the meantime, please take care of yourself.

Peggy Coyle, President

Waiting for the all clear on COVID-19

With the beautiful spring weather, and 6 weeks of COVID-19 social distancing, no one is more anxious than we are to get back to rowing on the river or out at Silver Lake. But we want to make sure we don’t put ourselves at risk by getting back together too soon!

The SRRA board is meeting to map out our options and plans for a safe return to the water.  Stay tuned, and stay safe!  And until then, enjoy a virtual row:

Spring Rowing at Silver Lake

Hello SRRA members and friends,

Winter seems to finally be fading and it’s time to start planning for spring rowing. We had a successful boat maintenance day last month and have moved boats to Silver Lake for the spring season. The managers at Ruby’s on Silver Lake (17207 West Medical Lake Four Lakes Road, Medical Lake, WA 99022) have generously offered to let us launch from their site. Check Team Stuff to sign up and stay tuned for updates as conditions at the lake are still less than ideal. (Notices for practices, updates, etc. will generally be conveyed through TeamStuff going forward to avoid bombarding non-active rowers).  If you are not already on TeamStuff, you can register for SRRA here.

In order to prepare for the season ahead, please:

    • Make sure you have an active membership with US Rowing (this is imperative for our insurance) and have signed the online waiver. You will need SRRA’s organizational validation code QT79N if you have not previously registered with USRowing as a member of SRRA.
    • Pay your dues–membership dues are $100 this year and can be paid online via the PayPal Giving Fund
    • Make sure you’re set up on Teamstuff.
    • Be flexible. Spring weather and the active Gonzaga race schedule (which requires Mark to travel) will prevent us from having a consistent practice schedule for a while. Currently, we are set for our first uncoached session on Wednesday April 24. We’re also in discussion with alternate coaches and will add other (hopefully earlier) practices as we can. I recommend using a punch card until our schedule solidifies in June. 

For those who are interested in Learn to Row, we plan two sessions this year. They are scheduled for June 17th-29th and July 9th-20th.

Also keep in mind our friends at Coeur d’Alene Rowing. They will be on the water at Fernan soon and they offer a special rate for Spokane River Rowing members. 

Looking forward to seeing you all soon,

Marnie Schroer
SRRA President

Early info on the HOP (Head of the Pend Oreille)

Once again the Northern Idaho crew and committee volunteers are gearing up for our September Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta.  This will be our seventh annual event and with this year we are adding some new activities and moving others.   It is hoped you will be able to join us this year.  I will be sending an entry form in August as well as posting it on our website, porpa.org.
In the meantime, here is the basic nuts and bolts or should I say oars and shells of the 2017 Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta.
Friday September 29th:  welcoming boats to the Mudhole.  In the afternoon, there will be safety boats available and we encourage you to take a few practice rows.  The Friday night BBQ has been moved to Saturday.   

Saturday September 30th there will be two events (and a BBQ).  

  • 8:30am to 12:30p will be the sprint head race on the Priest River.  For those of you who rowed this last year you understand the sprint part.  This race is 1.7K and a lot of fun.  Talk about up close and personal spectator viewing.  
  • 1-3pm there will be a BBQ at the Mudhole—details to come.  The BBQ is hosted by PORPA (Pend Oreille Rowing and Paddling Association), who is also the host organization for the HOP.  
  • From 3-5pm there will be a 500m stake race for teams of 2,3, or 4 shells.  
Sunday October 1,  7am to 12 noon PORPA invites visitors to join them for a casual row on the Pend Oreille.  
If you have questions about lodging, etc please send me.
Patricia Sudick  (headrace@netw.com)
Event Chair

Masters Schedule Updates

Cody, Audrey, Brandan and Josh in the 4x.
Cody, Audrey, Brandan and Josh in the 4x.

Don’t forget to check the Calendar!

8/20/16: Our third and fourth sets of novice rowers complete Learn to Row.  Everyone is invited to come down from 9:00 – 11:30AM to fill all our boats and enjoy a light brunch afterwards.

8/13/16: Snakebite Regatta in Pullman.  We all rowed two to four events, generally placing 1st or 2nd.  Way to go SRRA!  Lots of fun with our friends from Palouse Community Rowers and Coeur d’Alene Rowing Association.

8/6/16: Nelson Sprints for a few… Masters on the Spokane at 9AM.

8/1/16: Third and fourth Learn to Row classes kick off.  Open rowing opportunities M/W/F at 6AM, and Tu/Th at 5:30PM

7/30/16: Novice Learn to Row folks get their first taste of rowing with the Masters.

7/25/16: American Experience – the Boys of ’36 at the Garland Theater – Doors open at 6:45PM. OVER 500 people came for the show!

7/16/16: Masters at 7:00AM; Learn to Row at 9:00AM

7/12/16: Learn to Row and Open Rowing begins this week.  T/Th 6:00 – 7:45 AM and 5:30 – 7:30 PM

6/6/16: Masters M/W 5:30 – 7:30 PM and Saturdays 8:00 AM

5/21/16: Moving back to the river.  8:00 – 10:00AM

4/29-30/16: Come see us at the Bloomsday Trade Show – Booth 817

4/11/16: Our earliest season start yet. We tuned-up the boats on 4/3 and 4/9 and moved them out to Silver Lake.


USRowing two minute promo video

This video is 2 minutes long, and features Spokane River Rowing Association members Joe Gasperi, Cindy Shirts, Jeff Evans, and Lisa Galow, from when they attended the Masters Training Camp in the spring of 2011!

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