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GLRF hosts a booth at the US Youth National Champships

16 June 2014 | glrfcentral
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Champions at the Championship. Click here to see all the images.

GLRF hosted a booth at the 2014 USRowing Youth National Championships Regatta 13 - 15 June 2014 on Lake Natoma outside of Sacramento, California, United States. Approximately 1500 participants from 132 clubs competed in 357 entries. The racing venue is the site of junior regional championships, collegiate regional championships, and masters regattas.


The lake, as it is called, is actually a dam downstream from the more infamous location and dam, Folsom Lake. Folsom is known around California for its notoriety as a large prison facility. Less well known is that Folsom Lake plays a crucial role in California's water supply, capturing a huge source of runoff from the Sierra Nevada mountains.


The 2014 regatta marked the first time that the USRowing Youth National Championships were held on the west coast and this marked the first return of GLRF to the regatta as a vendor. GLRF had previously hosted a vendor's booth at the 2007 Youth National Championsip in Cincinnati, Ohio. The GLRF booth at that regatta was not without controversy. The regatta organizing committee, made up of parents of from a group of local catholic schools, had deemed the GLRF presence inappropriate and it was not until USRowing intervened that the booth was approved. Even so, after the GLRF booth was opened, the regatta committee stalked in and blatantly declared what was and was not appropriate for display and sale. (Example: Mark Tewksbury's book, Inside Out - Straight Talk From A Gay Jock, was immediately banned.)


Fast forward to 2014 and a different venue and the reception is 180 degrees different. GLRF is warmly greeted by the Sacramento State Aquatic Center staff. The volunteers and employees not only waive but some self-identify and express their happiness at the GLRF presence. Athletes and parents hoot and holler over the wild and crazy spandex and there is a fair amount of exhaling as everyone discovers the joys of 12 months of naked Warwick Rower Calendars, displayed for sale.


The regatta is the culmination of a nationwide series of regional championships and serves as a guide for the USRowing Junior National coaches seeking candidates for the 2014 US Junior National Team as well as collegiate coaches on the lookout.


The caliber of the rowing was amazing to watch and the strength of character, the warmth, the support of the rowing community was palatable.


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