Potomac Boat Club Wins in Grand Style

by Ella Odland, | Aug 17, 2014
Washington D.C.’s Potomac Boat Club claimed the overall team points trophy at the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championships. Potomac dominated the rest of the field finishing with a total of 735 points and 30 gold medals.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Washington D.C.’s Potomac Boat Club claimed the overall team points trophy at the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championships. Potomac dominated the rest of the field finishing with a total of 735 points and 30 gold medals.

“The secret to the success is extremely hard work,” said Potomac men’s team captain, Ed Gehres. “We are a six day a week program with five days a week of organized coached practices. We’re consistently testing and training people of all from 22 to nearly 60 years old.”

The men of Potomac took home a trophy of their own after leading in men’s points the entire regatta ending with a total of 600 points and 25 gold medals.

“This year we brought another eight men and we were fortunate enough to bring back a handful of our most experienced rowers,” added Gehres about the flourishing men’s program at Potomac. “So were able not just to bring more folks than last year, but we brought some of our most experienced racers as well.”

Potomac Boat Club was second in the running for overall points last year, earning 496 points and 20 gold medals at the regatta’s end.

On the women’s side, Minneapolis Rowing Club won the women’s points trophy in dominant fashion finishing with 474 points and 16 gold medals.

“We came to do that (win the women’s points trophy),” said Amber Miller of Minneapolis who won the bronze medal in the A single sculls on Sunday. “It was our team goal. Our women’s team is pretty competitive.”

Overall, it was a fantastic week of racing in Grand Rapids, which was the first-time host city of the masters national championships.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Landon Bartley, president of Grand Rapids Rowing Association. “Given the amount of little things in the logistical puzzle for setting up a masters nationals, I’m pretty thrilled with how it’s turned out. The feedback that we’ve gotten from everyone has been positive.”

Bartley, a former varsity rower at Michigan State University, came on board as the president of Grand Rapids Rowing Association in February 2009. The club had five members then. Four years later, the 70-member organization was putting the finishing touches on its 2014 USRowing Masters Nationals bid.

“We put our bid packet together in February of last year, and started planning and making calls from the beginning,” said Bartley. “We’ve done regattas, a lot of regattas, but this event is ten times bigger than our normal summer regatta.”

“This is the largest Masters Nationals we’ve had outside of the northeast,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “The entry numbers this year were about a forty percent increase from the 2013 event in Sarasota.”

Landon credits the city of Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Sports Commission and an army of nearly 300 volunteers for the success of the event.

“This sport is doing great things for the city of Grand Rapids,” he said. “The sports commission is phenomenal. Without the sports commission, none of this would be here. We have our little regattas every summer, but nothing like this.

“All together, we have a total of almost 300 volunteers. It’s been kind of cool, because we have volunteers that know nothing about rowing, and have since being here this weekend, wanted to join our learn to row program. We have four volunteers here who’ve rowed more than 10 years. All the volunteers here are passionate lifelong rowers who just don’t know it yet.”

For complete results check out the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championships event coverage page.

About USRowing

USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 75,000 individual members and 1,200 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all. USRowing’s official suppliers include Concept 2, Croker Oars, JanSport, Nielsen Kellerman, Vespoli and WinTech. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners: ANXeBusiness Corp, Boathouse Sports, Connect-A-Dock, EMCVenues, JP Crickets, Ludus Tours and Rudy Project. The USRowing National Team program relies on strong partnerships to enable continued success. New opportunities exist to support the teams through the next quadrennial, culminating with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. America Rows, which supports diversity in rowing and the USRowing Para-rowing programs, also benefits from corporate support.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @usrowing | YouTube: | Facebook: | Tumblr: | Instagram: usrowingngb.
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