To celebrate our 30th anniversary year, we are running stories about Capital’s past, present, and future. In our inaugural post, Juniors rower and Captain Leon Bi reflects on the difference Capital has made to him.
Splash. Gulp. Splash. My body ached as I ungracefully pushed myself through the water.
At age seven, I started swimming at a competitive swim club. Despite practicing hours every day, I made little progress. Each practice was a reminder that others, who started even earlier, were physically more developed and received extra encouragement from coaches. After three years of feeling insignificant and insecure, I quit.
At age twelve, my life changed when I joined Capital Rowing Club. I was a scrawny kid with a history of feeling inadequate. Yet the team welcomed me to be a part of something greater. Capital’s mission is to offer the sport of rowing to people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, and fitness levels. Although our team initially appeared to be a hodgepodge of students from across the DC area, we bonded closely. Our differences were vast, but on the water we were equals who believed in each other, striving to row together in perfect unison. Through Capital, I gained the confidence I needed to shape myself into the person I wanted to be.
Capital took me in and believed in me when I had little faith in myself. In crew, the team is only as strong as the weakest link. I started as the weakest link, but my team always encouraged me. Looking back as Captain now, I am grateful for the chance Capital took on me years ago and hope to inspire others to reimagine the way they see themselves.
Learn rowing at Capital Rowing Club in a free one week summer camp! No previous experience is needed. The camp will run for a half-day Monday – Friday, with the option of doing additional weeks during the summer. You can sign up for any of the weeks.
For best consideration, please fill out the interest form
by May 1, 2018
– Session 1: Monday, July 9 – Friday, July 13
– Session 2: Monday, July 16 – Friday, July 20
– Session 3: Monday, July 23 – Friday, July 27
– Session 4: Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3
Ages: Rising 7th through 10th graders (or 12 – 16 years olds)
Capital Rowing Club’s Summer Learn-to-Row camp is offered free to participants and comprises four week-long sessions and meets Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Anacostia Community Boathouse. Summer Learn-to-Row offers boys and girls, ages 12–17, the chance to learn rowing for the first time, to explore the Anacostia riverfront, and to build teamwork and friendships with students from across all eight DC wards.
The program is taught in a fun and supportive environment, with a goal of developing a solid foundation of rowing skills. Over the course of the week, students:
- are introduced to basic measures of fitness and strength on the rowing machine (i.e., erg),
- learn rowing terminology and how to handle equipment, and
- develop a basic set of rowing skills.
Training takes place on CRC ergs and on CRC barges (i.e., eight-person training boats). The daily schedule includes warm-ups, on-the-water instruction and practice, and land-based team- and strength-building activities. On the last day of camp, students have an opportunity to race in a friendly, intramural environment. Afterward, we celebrate our achievements with an outdoor pizza party at the boathouse.
The Capital Men’s Competitive Program participated for the first time in the renowned San Diego Crew Classic on March 24th and 25th. The Crew Classic could be considered the Sprint edition of the Head of the Charles Regatta with 123 High School, College and Masters teams participating over two days. Ten men from the Comp Program trained over the winter, both indoor and on the water, to prepare for two events: The Men’s Masters Club Championship Event (Heats and Finals); and the Men’s Masters E Event (Final only).
A unique aspect of this regatta is the length and venue. The course is 2000 meters in Mission Bay with tides and consistent West winds typically between 8 and 12 mph proving to be an exceptionally challenging race. Most of the men had not raced 2000 meters since college, if ever.
The men in the Masters Club Championship Eight finished third in their heat on Saturday advancing them to the eight boat final on Sunday morning where they finished a strong 7th. Cambridge Boat Club stroked by 1968 Olympic Medalist Charlie Hamlin won the event.
The men finished a close fifth in the Men’s Master E event Sunday afternoon again with Cambridge winning the event but this time stroked by 1984/1988 Olympic medalist, Tom Darling. This was an open event with several “rolodex” crews made up on former elite/national rowers.
Coach Guennadi was proud of the men watching them row extremely well in the challenging conditions at a stroke rate (35 spm) typically not seen until June. To be the best, you have to row with the best, and that is indeed what they did. The men are looking forward to the Masters National Championships in Oakland, CA where they will see many of the same very competitive West coast crews.
Thanks to WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner for featuring Capital Juniors as part of their coverage on the Anacostia River. It’s a great piece, so make sure you check it out!
Capital Adaptive (CARP) had a great day at the 2018 World Indoor Rowing Championships. Shannon and Kenny won bronze medals and all 6 rowers who raced achieved personal bests! Shannon bested his PR by 15 seconds, Charlie by 18 seconds for year 2018/2 seconds faster than last year, Kenny by 1.6 seconds, Dan by 6 seconds, this was Louisa’s first competitive 1k and she beat her goal split by 1:12. Sherman by 52 seconds.
Way to go team and special thanks to Michele, Coach Brandon, Coach Susie, and our volunteers for helping to make it all happen (and of course Meagan!). Go CARP!