By Frank Cervi & Joe Fung
On Saturday, June 1st, early morning risers met at the boathouse and towed the Notorious GIG, Warrior and the wherry to Overpeck Park, Lenonia NJ. The VCB rowers were hosted by the Overpeck Community Rowing Association. as part of National Learn to Row Day, a nationwide event sponsored by US Rowing.As we headed into the park, Frank Cervi, Joe Fung, Jenny Chen, Miad Hoque, YuQing Xu, Kenneth Chuen, Marcus Chan, John Olson, and Margaret Ma enthusiastically unloaded the boats at the launch area.
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and were ready for the sceptical community at a floating dock 50 yards away.
“I never seen boats like this”, one man said to his wife.
After erecting our tent over a picnic table and setting up our promotional materials, we started to sign up parents and kids.
After a day of boat trips lasting approximately 20-30 minutes, in the end we took 40 patrons out on the water.
A mother commented “if we knew this was here we would not plan to go to the shore.”
The afternoon progressed though steamy hot sunshine. Neighbors and friends started to arrive, bringing their kids who experienced something right at their back doors. They came off the boats with plenty of smiles.
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About 3:30 John Olson was very excited to get the grill going and I noted the long day’s effort on all our volunteer’s faces who looked forward to sustenance. We invited Coach Clemens and his local high school crews for a feast, conversing about our boathouse. There was growing interest in collaborating on around the Manhattan row with local high school kids. Coach Clemens expressed how well the day went for all and this met with satisfaction from us too. Eating our fill with our strength reacquired, we knew it was time to reload the boats onto the trailer.
We got to back to the boathouse at 7pm.
Joe: “Rowing in Overpeak Park was unique; it was a rare opportunity to row in calm water that is not usually available to us on the Hudson. It was a fun and learning experience seeing how the local high school clubs in that area operated. Overall, although left tired and sunburnt, the event was a success. It provided something for everyone, the newer generation of VCB coxswains got to experience something out of the norm and the locals were able to row in Whitehall gigs, boats uncommon in Overpeak.”- Joe
Marcus: “I learned to cox better and improved my rowing.”
Jenny: “Overall, the row last Saturday seemed fairly successful and I think the people who were able to get onto a boat and row, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It was personally really fun teaching and having adults as well as kids aboard. It would definitely be something I wouldn’t mind spending time doing again and I imagine it would be just as successful the second time around.”