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2009 Austin Winter Retreat Cancelled

18 December 2008 | glrfcentral
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GLRF member Karl S. relayed the news that the 10th annual Austin Winter Retreat has been shelved for 2009. Sara Mai Conway, Austin Rowing Club's new Club Manager, indicated in an email to retreat organizers that the club's facilities for the President's Day Weekend had already been booked by three visiting crews which effectively blocked all available launches. In addition, the annual Winter Warrior regatta, scheduled for Saturday, 14 Feb, would be taking up most of the Austin Rowing Club equipment.


The Austin Winter Retreat has been held every President's Day weekend since 2000. The event was first organized and run by Row Team Austin, the gay and lesbian rowing squad based out of ARC, and the dominant crew at the 1998 Amsterdam Gay Games. Following the integration of Row Team Austin into the Austin Rowing Club, the event became a profitable staple of the Austin Rowing Club. The retreat routinely hosted rowers (gay and straight) from Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Wisconsin, Washington DC, and California. The three-day event usually began on Thursday evening with a no-host reception at a local bar followed by twice daily on the water training sessions in both sweep and scull categories on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Monday morning, all remaining participants were assigned in two or three boats for a scratch regatta. The mix of social activities and a challenging rowing schedule each day made the event a welcome break for rowers suffering the winter blues in North America.


The 2008 Austin Retreat saw one of the largest attendance in the event's nine year history, with over 30 rowers attending the weekend including 8 women. Club members are looking to re-organize the event for 2010. Pictures of the 2008 event can be seen here.


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