Winter 2010-2011 Newsletter


And the winner is... the Notorious G.I.G.!

And the winner is... the Notorious G.I.G.!

VCB statistician Pablo Garcia has released preliminary figures for the 2010 rowing season:

  • Total cruises: 547
  • Total rower days: 3270
  • Busiest boats: Notorious G.I.G., with 118 cruises, followed by Storm Queen (106) and Quixotic (96)
  • Note from VCB VP Phil Yee:

    “In 2010 our program at Pier 40 grew again whereas Stuyvesant HS, NY Harbor School, Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Community Boat Building lead the way in engaging people especially young people to our offerings. Our volunteer community served numbers which matched our big budget peers mostly through Community Rowing. The youths that we introduce to rowing and host have become championship caliber constantly besting the best of the Northeast, which is something we should be proud of. We only had one non minor injury of the 3270 rower days. This fall we deployed a second davit so we could decrease our launch and recovery times. We participated in two land maneuvers where our boats were pushed to the Village’s largest Block Party and the Village Halloween Parade for community awareness and exposure. The boathouse could not become what it is today without your vital contributions monetary, in toil and/or labor of love. Happy New Year’s everyone! See you on the water.”

    – Phil Yee

    Annual VCB Slide Show (warning — 167 photos!):

    Fall Youth Racing Report

    Once again, Harbor School's Tizoc Gomez wins the hat award.

    Once again, Harbor School's Tizoc Gomez wins the hat award.

    On November 13, VCB hosted its annual youth races, drawing rowers from as far afield as New Haven and Newburgh. Due to technical issues (one of the official timers took a bathroom break at an inopportune moment) the winner of the final could not be determined, and so a three-way tie was declared. VCB videographer Tony Rentschler caught some of the action here.

    A week later two Stuyvesant and two Harbor School crews journeyed to Hull, Massachusetts, for the Icebreaker Regatta and did very well indeed, with one of the Stuy crews finishing first in the four-oared nautical mile event.  Photos and full results available here.

    The racing season concluded with the American Star regatta, hosted by Floating the Apple at Pier 84. Check out Tony’s photos and videos.

    Other Autumnal News:

    The Nonpareil and VCB's Halloween Parade contingent, right to left: Eric Boyo, Mary Nell Hawk, and...could it be Rene Moreno?

    The Nonpareil and VCB's Halloween Parade contingent, right to left: Eric Boyo, Mary Nell Hawk, and...could it be Rene Moreno?

    ADVISORY BOARD SEAT: In November, VCB was offered a seat on the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council. The council, which meets every other month, brings community concerns to the Trust and will help our delegate, Treasurer Ruth Lindner, stay in the loop when it comes to development plans for Pier 40.

    IT’S ABOUT TIME: Harbor School on-water educators Ann Fraioli and Roy Arezzo were among eight recipients of the annual Sloan Awards for excellence in teaching math and science. Read about it here.

    ART ON THE WAVES: In December, VCB hosted a team of sound artists recording noises for a computer simulated art installation that will depict “a stylized ocean scene populated by small boats.” According to the group’s website, “[n]arratives emerge within each vessel as the people try to stay afloat and on course in turbulent waters. Heightening the richness of the experience is an immersive sound environment generated in real time which responds to the flow of visitors through the space and weather around the site.”

    FEATURE DOC ON GIGS: If you missed Keith Rodin and the Greenpoint Video Project’s “Building Whitehalls,” a documentary about local rowing and boatbuilding that aired on public-access TV last year, you’re in luck — you can now watch it online for free.

    Winter Boatbuilding Report:

    VCB elves hard at work a week before Christmas.

    VCB elves hard at work a week before Christmas.

    What’s happening in the boatshop? Well, the Lang College boatbuilders, in partnership with the Wednesday and Sunday crews of community and high school volunteers, has completed the planking of the new boat, a 32-foot, six-oared Cornish pilot gig. Now for the interior.

    Click here to see Tony’s photos of the build so far, and email us at [email protected] if you’re interested in helping in the shop this winter.

    VCB’s Sustainability Report Card

    Margaret Ma and champ recycler Jenny Cheng, right, at VCB's fall fundraiser on board the Light Ship Frying Pan.

    Margaret Ma and champ recycler Jenny Cheng, right, at VCB's fall fundraiser on board the Light Ship Frying Pan.

    The 2010 rowing season saw facilities manager Frank Cervi win the Thunder Bolt award for providing a 3-panel array of photovoltaic energy to power our davits while Hudson River Park engineers installed the two ground fault interrupt safety circuits.

    Phil Yee started providing transportation to the NYC Dept. of Sanitation recycling  center on 30th Street and 11th Avenue to dispose  used fluorescent lights and batteries.

    Last but not least the VCB support team started to recycle  plastic bottles that are cashed in by Jenny Cheng who then turns proceeds over to the Boathouse donation box. Way to go Jenny!

    –Pablo The Sustainable Fellow


    Tony, in a previous life.

    Tony, in a previous life.

    We’d like to offer sculling lessons to interested high school and community rowers this spring. Scullers use two oars, which are feathered (turned parallel to the water) on the recovery part of the stroke. Sculling boats are also equipped with sliding seats so that more power from the strong leg muscles can be applied during the drive. For training on the water, we’ll use a seaworthy, sliding seat boat with positions for one or two rowers. Instruction will include both time on the water and land-based, technique-oriented lessons on the ergs. If this sounds interesting, send an email to Tony Rentschler ([email protected]) and …. and …. We’ll make up a schedule of classes, days, and times based on demand.

    How To Get Involved With VCB:

    1)  Volunteer at the boathouse.

    We need trained coxswains, coordinators of the day, woodworkers, painters, oar repair technicians, statisticians, grant writers, tour guides, and, more than anything, people willing to sing in boats. Write us at [email protected] to volunteer your services.

    2)  Join our discussion group.

    If you are a regular rower or volunteer, consider joining the Village Community Boathouse Google Group. We discuss upcoming rows, events, boathouse policy–everything but stern flag sockets! Expect an average of 40 emails per month, and remember that, just as in a boat, civility is prized and the point is to all pull together.  Click here to join.

    3)  Kick in some cash.

    If you enjoyed rowing with us this season, or if you just like the sound of our mission statement, consider making a donation to VCB. We’re all volunteers, so 100% of your gift will go to buy supplies, repair boats, and buy insurance. All donations are tax-deductible. Visit our website’s donation page to make a contribution, drop a check in our donation barrel, or mail one to VCB Treasurer Ruth Lindner at 230 West 16th Street, NYC 10011.

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