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.