Day 9 – January 5th
Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 at 9:28 pm

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Zack Peters
Hometown: Royal Oak, MI
Major: Finance and Marketing
Today was the last day on the water for the Laker Navy. I have thoroughly
enjoyed my time in Clermont. The Clermont Boathouse coaching staff has been
amazing and the community really made us feel welcome.

This morning the weather was great, the sun was shining, and the water was glass. It was the perfect morning to end a fantastic week. We filled our boats with water balloons and went out for a fun regatta of competitive leapfrog by fours. Each time a boat was getting passed it was allowed to throw two water balloons at the boat. It created a fun atmosphere for everyone involved.

After we finished the leapfrog regatta it was on to some technical training and video. We worked on some basic drills before stopping in the corner of the lake for a dip in the lake. We got back in the boat and rowed back to Clermont Boathouse. On land we proceeded to load the trailer and prepare for our trip home tomorrow. Once preparations were made we relaxed at the Lake Minneola beach
until the sunset. My group then had dinner at Lilly on The Lake before heading home to pack up for the trip home. Thank you to all of the donors and families that made this week possible. It means a lot to our program and has better prepared us for the Spring.

Women jumping in

Shelby Nesbitt
Hometown: Commerce, MI
Major: Behavioral Neuroscience
Today marks our last day here in Clermont, FL and it was a fantastic day to end our trip. The Laker Navy started off the day with a 9am practice in the beautiful 70 degree sunny weather. We were put into two eights and two fours and told we were doing some leap frog, but with a bit of a twist. While leap frogging, the crews threw water balloons at each other! You could hit a coxswain, a rower sitting out or a rower who was rowing. Coach B even got a few hits in from the launch! It made the leap frogs a chaotic but very fun workout. But we still had to keep the focus to piece together everything we’ve learned and worked on this trip. After a few rounds of leap frog all the boats went for a nice steady state row with some drills included to fine tune and enhance our technique. Following our practice we had to de-rig the boats and load the trailer. Then Coach B gave the group one final break down speech to close out the trip and the rowers were given the afternoon to do what we pleased.

Myself and group of others decided to go to a local beach on Lake Minneola to soak up some last minute sunshine. We brought a frisbee and volleyball with us to pass around both in the water and on the beach. It was a great way to unwind from a long trip with my teammates. On our way back to the house, some of us stopped by a frozen yogurt shop to get some much needed frozen yogurt and it was delicious! Back at the house we all just relaxed on the couch to watch some T.V. before we started cleaning the house and packing our things.

All in all it’s been a long and fulfilling trip for the Laker Navy. We’ve learned, laughed and had a ton of fun in the sun. The city of Clermont has been so welcoming to us and the boathouse is a great facility to row out of. Being a 4th year rower this is my final winter training trip, but it’s been one heck of a trip and I’m excited to see what the spring has in store for the Laker Navy. Until then, it’s back to Allendale and the erg. Thank you to everyone who helped make this trip possible! Go Lakers!

Drew Vielbig
Hometown: Fowlerville, MI
Major: Marketing
What a great day it was. We awoke at 8 am to convene at the boathouse for our last practice of the trip. I was-and I assume everyone else was-incredibly sore and tight from an intense week of two and three-a-days. We couldn’t have asked for better weather today. Mid 70’s, sunny, and no wind; the water smooth as glass.

After a mile run, team stretches, and a quick group meeting, we took to the water in fours and eights. Today’s practice differed slightly from what we had become accustomed to in the past week. Each boat was given 20 water balloons in order to play a game that Coach B pulled out of his sleeve. The game was simple- leap frog between two boats, but each rower in the opposing boat was also a target, worth ten points. To fully grasp the spectacle that this game was, you have to imagine the lack of hand-eye coordination that only a rower may possess. Needless to say, we all had a pretty good time with it. We played this “leap frog water balloon toss” game for about an hour, which turned out to be quite the workout.

Next, we moved on to one-hand rowing drills, alternating between outside hand rowing while pointing at the blade, inside hand rowing while outside hand facing forward, and rowing on the half feather. After several rotations of this, it was time to cool off. We took a break in the far corner of the lake to jump in and relax. After nearly two hours of strenuous drills and rowing with the sun beating down, the cool lake was incredibly refreshing. We continued practice by rowing across the lake focusing on balance and maximizing propulsion per stroke. After working on this for around 20 minutes, we entered the final stretch of practice- a race back to the dock. First starting out at a max rate of 28, we quickly jumped up to a “whatever it takes to win” rate of around 38 strokes per minute. We concluded our final row with an exhausting and rewarding taste of what spring race season would be like. After loading the trailer we had a meaningful and heartfelt group discussion with Coach B. After several hours out on the water, we were exhausted, hungry, and most were burnt to a rosy pink.

The rest of our afternoon was spent on the beach at Lake Minneola with the majority of our team. As a whole, we couldn’t have asked for a better day to conclude such a productive week of rowing. Clermont is a beautiful and welcoming community with so much to offer. I’m thankful for the hospitable Lake County Boat House who housed us for the week. Personally, I can’t wait to return to Clermont and take advantage of all that this great town has to offer.






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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