911 Hero & Olympic Gold Medal Rower Jason Read Inspires 200 Guests at Celebration of Rowing Banquet

Greensboro, North Carolina – American hero and Olympic gold medal winning rower Jason Read gave the keynote address at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet held at Sedgefield Country Club on Saturday night and he did not disappoint.

Kiwi Mike Hitchcock

Almost 200 rowers, parents and friends from across the Triad gathered into the Sedgefield Country Club ballroom for what has quickly become the most prestigious social event on the rowing calendar.

High Point Masters rower ‘Kiwi Mike’ Hitchcock, serving as Master of Ceremonies, opened the evening by introducing Greensboro youth rower Benjamin Huitt to give the invocation.

After enjoying a delicious feast, Kiwi Mike then returned to the podium to begin the formal ceremonies, which began with High Point rower Charlotte Curri, who recited “The Oarsman’s Poem” by legendary rowing coach Steve Fairbairn.

Mary Hollingsworth then presented the High Point Parent of the Year award to Conni Curri for her service to the crew. Greensboro parent Julie Higgins then presented the Greensboro Parent of the Year award to Sara Nichols.

Jackie King, last year’s Masters MVP winner and this year’s chair of the Celebration of Rowing banquet, was then invited to the podium to introduce the 2017 recipient – ‘Girl Jeanne’ MacPherson. Congratulations Girl Jeanne – Masters Rower of the Year! Unfortunately, Jeanne could not be at the banquet due to work commitments.

Greensboro coach and 2004 Olympian Lisa Schlenker then talked about the progress of Greensboro Crew and concluded by presenting the Katherine Dickson Award for youth service to Greensboro Crew to MaryBlake Murphy.

Maddie Mullins then presented the Caroline Howard Cup for youth service to High Point Rowing Club to Junior Ognovich. Words can not do justice to the inspiration that Maddie filled the ball room with her theme of excellence and giving to your team mates

Jason Read

Jason Read was then introduced to guests by club founder and High Point Coach Gene Kininmonth, who shared his own personal experience of 911: “As we wondered how we would flee this madness, elsewhere a small number of others were heading straight for it….driving directly into this abyss with full expectations in that moment that the horror would only get worse. Jason Read was one of those few. I am looking forward to hearing Jason’s story from tragedy to triumph this evening.” 

And our keynote speaker did not disappoint.

A volunteer rescue squad fire chief from the age of 21, Read received the call to Ground Zero on the morning of September 11, 2001 shortly after the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.

Just three years later Jason Read represented his country again, bringing home the Olympic gold as part of the men’s eight rowing crew at the 2004 Athens games.

After his speech, which received a standing ovation from the 200 guests, rowers and parents alike approached the rowing legend to thank him for sharing his story of inspiration.

Greensboro Crew rowers with Jason Read at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet at Sedgefield Country Club.

Julie Higgins (left) presented the cup for Greensboro Crew parent of the year to Sara Nichols (Ella’s mum) at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

(left to right) Claire Howard, Eduarda Blaschke, Olympic champion Jason Read, Maggie McIntyre, and Kate Messick at the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet.

Katherine Dickson with Greensboro Crew coach Lisa Schlenker and MaryBlake Murphy at Sedgefield Country Club.

200 rowers, coaches and family members attended the 2017 Celebration of Rowing banquet at Sedgefield Country Club to hear guest speaker Jason Read.

Registration is Open for Youth Winter Indoor Rowing at Revolution Mill

Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Crew is excited to announce a new season of Youth Indoor Rowing for high school and middle school students at its Revolution Mill Indoor Rowing Studio. The purpose of the Youth Indoor Rowing is to foster healthy living in a fun team environment for students through the wonderful sport of rowing. Students will be be prepared for the challenges indoor rowing competition and the spring boat racing season after completing the indoor rowing program.

No prior rowing experience is necessary. 

“The Greensboro Crew indoor rowing program will be led by world record holder and Olympian Lisa Schlenker,” says club founder Gene Kininmonth. “Indoor rowing has taken off as the new spinning and Rowing is low-impact making it safe from the types of head and knee injuries we see in other sports.”

In addition to indoor rowing, students will also participate in strength and conditioning as well as a boxing fitness regimen (which does not involve students hitting each other).

Format: Participants with no prior experience will start with a learn-to-row format on the Concept2 rowing machines.  As technique and stamina improve, a more competitive format will be adopted.

Dates and Times: Each day, Monday – Friday from 4:30pm – 6:00pm (students travelling from further away can arrive later) and at 9am on Saturday mornings. Students are not expected to be at every session. The season begins on Monday November 13 and will go through to February 24, 2018

Attire: Tee shirt, form-fitting shorts, and running shoes are usual attire. Loose fitting shorts will likely catch in the “slide” (where the rowing seat moves back and forth on the rower). Bring a water bottle too!

Address: Revolution Mill, 1100 N. Revolution Mill Drive, Greensboro, North Carolina 27405.

Cost: $275 per participant. No partial refund for missed sessions or weather related cancellations.

More Info: Email contact@greensborocrew.com


Greensboro Rowers Shine at 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival

The Duck looked resplendent in the morning sun at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival until winds lifted it from its anchors and sent it hurtling down Oak Hollow Lake with rowers in pursuit.

High Point, North Carolina – Greensboro rowers enjoyed an epic day of racing among a record 500 rowers and an estimated 1,500 spectators at Festival Park at Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday for the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

The annual regatta, hosted by High Point & Greensboro Rowing Clubs, attracted a record number of participant entries from youth, collegiate and adult rowing clubs across the southeast region.

Boat racing at the rowing festival was a 4,500 meter time-trial in 42 boat classes defined by size of boat, age, and experience level. Boats race across Oak Hollow Lake and around a giant inflatable rubber duck some three stories high.  The penalty for crews not racing around the duck was instant disqualification.

Brisk 15 mile per hour winds at the start of racing, however, lifted the duck from its anchors and sent it flying down the lake.

Mayhem ensued, as the first round of crews, fearing possible disqualification, began chasing the duck down the lake at full speed.

The giant duck soon ended up on land by Centennial Avenue and rowers were directed back on the race course.

“The winds blowing the duck away certainly messed up timing and results for the first two rounds of racing,” said regatta co-chair Mandy Greene. “But in hindsight it may add to the lore of this regatta, which continues to grow in leaps and bounds.”

Race organizers quickly restored the race course. The duck was quickly deflated but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm among the rowers which remained high. 

High Point – Greensboro rowers, racing as HPG Rowing, led the medal table at the conclusion of racing with 8 gold medals. Raleigh based Triangle Rowing Club finished in second place with gold medals. Asheville were just behind with six gold medal wins.

The College of William & Mary from Virginia led the medal table for universities with six first place finishes. NC State won 3 golds. Wake Forest University were third on the medal count. The local student club program from High Point University declined to participate on Saturday.

Raleigh Rowing Center picked up 6 first places in the adult or Masters division races. Carolina Masters won three gold medals.

For Lisa Schlencher, Greensboro Crew’s new head coach, the weekend was an outstanding success. “Our rowers came prepared to race. We focused on getting everything right off the water as well as in racing. We are seeing progress.”

Greensboro Crew was strongly represented as HPG in the women’s masters event at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.


Triangle youth rowers carry their 60′ long shell to the dock at the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.

Olympic Rower Lisa Schlenker Joins Greensboro Crew

GREENSBORO, NC – Greensboro Crew has hired Olympic rower Lisa Schlenker, who has previously coached the University of Wisconsin and the United States U23 national team.

Coach Schlenker will have a “signature role” on the club’s youth program and guiding its current coaches.

Schlenker served on ten U.S.A. national teams winning three world championship silver medals during her career as a lightweight rower. In 2004 she represented the United States in the women’s lightweight double scull at the Olympic Games in Athens. Off the water, Schlenker has broken three world records on the Concept II ergometer rowing machine, two of which still stand today in age related categories.

Upon retiring from international rowing, Schlenker went on to coach rowers at both the international and collegiate levels. At the University of Wisconsin, she served as head coach of the women’s lightweight squad, where her crews won 5 medals at the national championships.

Coach Schlenker. says she is thrilled to be joining the coaching staff and community of rowers in Greensboro. “I hope that my love for this sport will be a vessel of enthusiasm for those choosing to join the Greensboro crew family. No matter what level of experience a rower has, my goals remains the same; learn from others, grow as a person, create lasting bonds and share in the joy of being on the water and pulling as one.”

Greensboro Crew founder and executive director, Gene Kininmonth says the club conducted a 6 month national search for an elite rowing coach. “Coach Lisa is the ideal coach to guide our rowers and coaches in Greensboro. Her lifetime track record of success – both in personally winning championships and guiding others to also do so – is a testament to her commitment to excellence. But just as importantly, Lisa understands that rowing is an opportunity for kids to get outdoors, to relax, and just be themselves. An opportunity to get in great shape and do it in a very safe and healthy way. We are honored that she has joined our rowing club.”

Watch Lisa Schlenker racing at the 1999 World Rowing Championships.