Day One – December 28th
Posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2016 at 11:31 pm


Zack Peters
Hometown: Royal Oak, MI
Major: Finance and Marketing

This morning I arrived in Clermont Florida at 6 am. I was a part of the group that rode the vans down from Grand Valley. After a quick nap, we prepared breakfast from ingredients provided by the team. The townhouse that the team is living in is equipped with a full kitchen, so making breakfast was quick and easy.

After breakfast the men’s team set out on a mile run to the Clermont boathouse. It is a beautiful venue and the weather is much better than the ice and snow of Michigan. Our morning practice started with a long chalk talk focusing on the relaxation and timing of the recovery. We then rowed around the entire lake in eights and got acclimated to the humidity. This row really helped brush the dust off of our rowing technique.

We then enjoyed lunch at the townhouse before returning to the boathouse for an evening technical practice in pairs. We spent a lot of time doing circle drills and stationary drills. After practice we cleaned all of our boats, so the salt from the trip does not corrode the hardware. We finished the day with a pizza dinner provided for us at the boathouse from Napoli’s Restorante and Pizzeria in Old Clermont. Overall it was a fantastic day. Thank you to all of donors and parents that make this trip possible.

Women's Varsity 4+

Faith Platz, Women’s Team Captain
Hometown: Grand Haven, MI
Major: Statistics and Economics

Today was our first day down in Clermont, and it has definitely been a change of pace being in the 85° sun! This morning we got to the very nice Clermont Boathouse and rigged our boats. Apparently we are the first college team to use this facility, so we are very grateful for this opportunity! We then had a chalk talk to brush up on our rowing technique before hitting the water. Then we headed out onto Lake Minneola for our morning row, where started to work out the kinks in our rowing after being off the water for so long.

After practice, we headed back to the townhouse and had a few hours of much needed rest and relaxation. For many of us, we arrived very late last night (or even this morning), so most of us napped the afternoon away. Our townhouse is very comfortable and it is so great to have the whole team altogether instead of being in a hotel. We are very fortunate to be in a place like this! For our second practice, we worked even more on our technique in fours. After a short row, we washed all our boats and ate some delicious pizza from Napoli’s Italian Ristorante and Pizzeria in Downtown Clermont. Some of us then headed to the store to stock up on some sustenance for the week.

It was a great start to what I am sure will be an even better week, and I look forward to the warm weather, sunshine and (hopefully) tanner skin. Keep pulling for the Laker Navy!

Learning from each other

Jacob Spiess
Hometown: Whitehouse, OH
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Yesterday I flew to Orlando from Detroit. This is the first time I have ever been to Florida and am very excited to be here.

Today was the first day on the water since winter started and it was nice to finally take some strokes in a boat as opposed to an erg. The weather was 80 degrees as we were running from our house to the Lake County Rowing Center; the boathouse that we launched from. The facilities here are absolutely gorgeous and we are all very happy to be here.

After the practice we washed the boats and put them away for the day. In our free time after practice, I joined a group of people who went out for a walk in downtown Clermont. Down there we found a great bookstore called the Rabbit Hole, which had a lot of cool books and comic memorabilia and a neat little frozen yogurt place. I think this is the start of what looks like an amazing experience and winter training trip.

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club challenges its student-athletes to reach the highest level to which they aspire both academically and athletically, while continuing to build and sustain a nationally competitive intercollegiate rowing program.

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