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Local Novice Rowers Take Home Carnegie Gold

The Carnegie Lake Rowing Association hosted the annual Carnegie Lake Masters Regatta last weekend. Open to athletes 21 years or older, this year saw a record number of entries from clubs throughout the Northeast and Midatlantic. Blue skies and comfortable temperatures along with plenty of food and music contributed to a wonderful day of competition and sport.

Host club CLRA fielded several winning boats, including standout performances by Gary Ahrens and Joe Oliver in the men's double and Patty Ahrens in the women's single. "About 35 years ago, I participated in a Learn to Row program and have enjoyed the sport and made many friends over the years. Now that I'm 70, I focus primarily on rowing a single scull. Rowing with the club helps me set and achieve personal goals. Winning was icing on the cake," said Ahrens.

Also triumphant was the women's novice 4+. Stroked by Jeni Sorli, a graduate student at Princeton University, the ladies started strong and held a solid lead over Greenwich Boat Club, taking first place with a time just under 4 minutes - a strong time for any women's masters team.

"There was no letting up in this race. We were younger than all of the other boats which means we had to overcome a 14 second handicap to win. As novices, the rowers hadn't had much time to practice shifting the stroke rate down so I just held them up at the high stroke rates the whole race. They rocked it," remarked Jen Whiting, coxswain for the boat.

Lynn Halling, Sarah Buchholz and Ruth Hochberg along with Sorli stepped into a rowing shell for the first time the previous fall. "I started Learn To Row with no rowing experience, so picking up the sport over the last 10 months had its challenging moments. Working with the other women in my boat to earn first place in our very first race is a great reward for sticking it out," said Ruth Hochberg of Princeton.

CLRA will launch the 2017 Learn to Row program on September 9th, 2017. Registration is open now, and spots usually fill quickly. For more information, visit www.clra.com.

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