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Rowing season continues into fall

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news
special to the dailyThe Frisco Rowing Center plans to stay operational through mid-October or early November. It's a great way for winter athletes to get in shape for the upcoming season.
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The air is crisp, the mountains are capped and the leaves are turning, but there’s still plenty of time to hit the Dillon Reservoir and get in shape for ski and ride season.

The Frisco Rowing Center is a nonprofit facility offering access to the reservoir for experienced and novice rowers. President of the center Joanne Stolen says they’ll be out on the lake every morning likely through mid-October and perhaps into November.

“We’re a big draw for visitors. It’s a great summer venue when the rest of the country is sweltering,” Stolen said. “There’s some interest in us becoming a high-altitude training center, in fact. The national team members are thinking about training up here.”

Most enthusiasts agree that the reservoir is one of the best places in the state for rowing, especially early in the morning when the water is like glass.

“Most other rowing centers in Colorado are on very small reservoirs and they have water skiing and jet skiing,” Stolen said. “Rowers like really flat, calm water, and we have pretty much mirror-calm water in the morning.”

She said it picks up by 10 a.m. or so, but they’re usually off the water by then, so they row from dawn to 9:30 and pretty much have the whole lake to themselves. The reservoir is also great with 25 miles of shoreline; they can row in a straight line for a while and not be bothered by traffic.

The center currently operates as a 501(c)4 and, with the inclusion of adaptive and youth programming, it’s hoping to be upgraded to 501(c)3, which signifies it offers services to the community and would allow it to apply for grant and tax exemptions. The center is also hoping to operate under the department of recreation with the town, Stolen said.

“The former rowing center, the Frisco Bay Rowing Center, was run by the managers. They ran it as a business, as a camp,” Stolen said. “We bought them out, and we’ve been running as a club for three years. I feel like we’re growing and a lot more people are noticing that rowing exists in Summit County.”

Future needs and upgrades to the Frisco Rowing Center include:

• Three new metal racks to replace the wooden ones and one longer to place team boats

• New tent until a permanent boathouse can be built.

• New docks with accommodations for two coaching launches

• New coaching launch ($1000)

• New motor ($3000)

• Longterm upgrades: new rowing shells or good used – light-weight racing single ($5,000), three new recreational shells – two Echos, one Peinert Zepher or WinTech explorer ($15,000) – one quad ($7,000)

“Rowing is growing around the country. Wherever there are bodies of water, there are rowing clubs showing up, and we have one of the most beautiful places to row, although it’s a short season.” Stolen said.

Working every muscle group with no impact is a great way to shape up for ski season, especially for the Nordic racers.

“A lot of our rowers are pretty high-level Nordic skiers, and some of them are actually Nordic ski coaches. So it’s great cross training using your arms and your legs. It’s highly aerobic and good cardiovascular exercise,” she said.

If you want to get involved, it’s as simple as getting a hold of the club. They have lessons almost every day for beginners and advance rowers. Visit their website at http://www.friscorowing.com or give them a call at (970) 333-8320.


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