Instant Family. Just Add Water.

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Parent’s Row 2013

Parents Row is next weekend, October 5th! Come out to our boat house at Fort Yargo State Park to meet our team, check out some apparel, eat some great food, and LEARN HOW TO ROW! email if you would like to receive a crash course in rowing followed by a race! Everyone is invited! You won’t want to miss it!!

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Betsy Bender’s Experience With UGA Rowing

This year will mark my 9th year with the sport of rowing, my 4th with UGA Rowing.  When I was deciding where to go to college I considered trying to go to an NCAA program and get a scholarship to become a student athlete.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t offered enough money to attend any of those schools so I ended up going in state to UGA!  I considered whether or not I still wanted to row because my high school team was very time consuming and competitive. But eventually I decided to join the team! I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID.  I started out with the novice team and got to know the program.  For my freshman year it provided an awesome outlet from schoolwork and allowed me to make friends that I would keep forever!  When I joined the team, I found my family at UGA.  The people that row are honestly the coolest people in the world and make school and life a lot more enjoyable.  The sport itself is fascinating because there are so many details that keep you wanting to learn more and improve every day.

One of my favorite things about rowing is that it is so team oriented.  A lot of different sports involve teams but yet still have names on the backs of their jerseys. When you race in a rowing shell, all 9 or 5 people in that boat come down the line together as a unit. Each person in the boat is contributing to making that boat faster or slower. Typically you won’t be able to point at one person in a boat and say THAT person is making this boat go. You can’t.  It is literally every person in that boat together that makes the boat move down the line.  For practices if someone doesn’t show up, you can’t go out! You count on every person on the team to contribute his or her part. 

When I started my junior year in high school I switched from rowing to coxing.  Being a coxswain is a very rewarding aspect to my life.  When I started coxing, I jumped right in to coxing the varsity men’s team at AJRA.  Bossing around high school boys is incredibly intimidating for a high school girl! But after a little while I developed some leadership skills that allowed me to be confident and respected.  I love coxing because of the feeling I get when I make a call to my rowers and can actually feel the boat start to move faster.  I love knowing that my skills are helping a boat move faster! 

I could ACTUALLY talk about rowing all day long because of how much I love it, but my last point is about the officer board.  UGA Rowing provides a unique opportunity for students.  We are a student run organization and so we have an entire 14-person officer board that consists our rowers! I have been on the board since my second year at UGA and I have learned a lot about what its like to run a business.  This will be my second year as the women’s executive officer where I will work with Walker (Men’s Ex O) to work with the club sports department and make sure that our officer board and team are running smoothly.  We’ve dealt with many difficult situations and have had to figure out how to handle them in a professional manner.  I feel more prepared for a job interview knowing that I’ve had real life business experiences because of my time on the board.

I love this sport and I love this team.  We are so excited to welcome new rowers into our family so that we can spread the love!

Betsy Bender

Class of 2014


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Caroline Zahnow on Going from Running to Rowing

I have always been a runner. I’ve been entering various road races since I was old enough to compete at the ripe old age of ten. I ran varsity track and cross country all four years of high school. I’ve won age group awards, and I’ve won my share of races, but the simple joy I had from running was starting to disappear by the time I entered college. I needed some time off, so I decided to try rowing instead. I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape, and there was a team aspect to it that I never really felt as a runner, so I gave it a go. I don’t think I realized how much rowing would change me.

I was used to 6am practices, to soul crushing workouts, to mental and physical exhaustion. What I wasn’t used to was the interminable love and support from my team. In running, you have a team but every workout is only as tough as you make it, you only do as well as you think you can. In rowing, the same somewhat applies, but I have pushed myself farther than I could have imagined for my team and I know they have done the same for me. We refused to let each other down, and we are bonded by more than a boat.

Winning a race while rowing is also quite different than winning a race while running. In running you know you are doing well when you cannot see your competition. The field is open before your eyes and you are not foolish enough to turn around even though you can hear the footfalls behind you, chasing you. In rowing the competition is still chasing you, but since you are facing backwards you can see each boat vying for your spot. It’s rather intoxicating to see your competition before you, and you find it within yourself to push a little harder and refuse to let a boat pass you.

If you decide to start rowing you will find within yourself more than you could ever imagine. You will find bravery to endure any and all weather conditions. You will find the determination to leave your bed at ungodly hours when your fellow students are still sleeping. You will find the strength to constantly push yourself to give more. But you will also find something outside of yourself. You will find a team who will be there for you no matter what, and you will find a bond beyond what you could have ever imagined.

I may have always been a runner, but now I define myself as a rower.

Caroline Zahnow

Class of 2015



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Erin Hill on Joining as a Sophomore

My only regret about rowing is that I didn’t join my freshman year. I spent my first year trying to figure out where my place was at a school of 30,000, but I didn’t find anything that I could love half as much as I love rowing. Most of my friends had been with me since high school, and I didn’t see the need to reach outside of my comfort zone at first. At the beginning of my sophomore year, it became clear to me that something was missing. I tried out for the team on a whim, and I had no clue that UGA Crew would shape not only my time at Georgia, but who I am as a person. Within days of joining the team, I had met people that I’m convinced will still be my best friends 50 years from now. Rowing was described to me as the “ultimate team sport,” and truer words have never been spoken. On and off the water, I know that I can call on this team for anything. As a team, we accomplish more before sunrise than most college kids do in an entire day, and if that can’t create a sense of family, nothing can. Before joining the team, I was shy and entirely unsure of my own abilities. Rowing taught me how to work harder than I ever had before, and trust everybody else to do the same. UGA Crew helped me gain a level of confidence that I don’t think I would have found otherwise, and that’s something that will stay with me long after my time on the team is over.

Erin Hill

Class of 2015

Social Studies Education

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Daniel Presto’s Rowing Experience

The UGA Rowing Team means a lot of things to me. For my first year it mainly meant fitness and a good way to meet lots of new people. In my second year it meant commitment to my team, advancement to varsity, and new experiences of physical feats and triumphs. My third year taught me how to balance my dedications to my professional / student life with my responsibilities to my fellow teammates and the rowing team as a whole. Even now, going into my fourth year with the team, I am excited to continue learning and growing with a team I have come to know as family.

Daniel Presto

Class of 2014


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Christian Walker on Joining as a Freshman

What Rowing means to me:

Rowing is a sport that can offer so much more than just what you see or hear about. It has provided me with friendships and memories that will always make my first year at UGA unique and like no other. It has showed me the importance of a team and what a strong bond between a team can bring to a sport. It has given me a new perspective on doing what you’re passionate about, which is really what college is all about. And lastly, it has given me an experience of a life time to be a part of a sport that has so much rich history and importance.

I have gained so much from just a simple club sport, that I had originally tried out for to stay in shape. Little did I know that it would change my college career and make me realize what I am truly passionate about in life. I wish everyone could experience the same experience I had with rowing but so many miss out on many wonderful opportunities like it. Having a team that is so close and strong becomes a vital role in your first year of college. They become a second family who can help you get through those tough spots that you wouldn’t be able to get through without a group of such passionate men and women. 

Rowing changed my entire mindset in college and for that I will always be grateful. There is no other sport as unique, thrilling, or intense as rowing. It has become so much more than just a workout or a way to socialize, but a defining pillar of my college career.

Christian Walker

Class of 2016

Biological Sciences, Pre-Dentistryimage

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Clemson Sprints Results

Clemson Sprints in Clemson, SC was a great way for our team to finish our regular season spring regattas! Despite some fog on the water early in the morning, we had amazing weather (which is definitely a first this season). Due to all the hard work our rowers put in this season, we were able to bring home some serious hardware!

Check out the results:

Novice Women’s 4+ 2nd place


Novice Men’s 4+ 3rd place, Novice Men’s LWT 4+ 3rd place


Mixed 8+ 3rd place


Varsity Men’s LWT 8+ 1st place!


Novice Women’s 4+ 3rd place


Varsity Women’s 8+ 3rd place


It was a great day of racing! Our next regatta will be the regional championships, SIRA, in Oak Ridge, Tenn. on April 20-21. This is a weekend full of racing you DON’T want to miss!

ALSO! Bow Ball is THIS FRIDAY at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on UGA Campus! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year! Bow Ball is our annual banquet/silent auction. It is sure to be a great time! Get more info here: 

Filed under rowing crew UGA UGACrew UGARowing Dawgs medals winning racing regatta Clemson

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John Hunter Regatta

It was a cold, rainy day in Gainesville at the 27th Annual John Hunter Regatta! Due to lightening in the area, the races were delayed until 11 a.m. Our rowers sought shelter in the Lanier Rowing Club boathouse where they tried to keep warm and get some rest. 

The rest of the day ran smoothly, each boat coming off the water with positive results:

The novice women’s 4+ received third place in their event with a time of 8:23.244.

The novice women’s 8+ also received third place with a time of 8:17.465.

The novice men’s 4+ received 2nd place with a time of 7:35.020

The varsity men’s lightweight 4+ placed 3rd with a time of 7:39.772

The varsity women’s lightweight 4+ placed 3rd with a time of 8:48.234


It was a great weekend of racing! We are so proud of our team! Our next regatta will be in Clemson on April 6!






Filed under rowing crew University of Georgia

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SERCS Regatta Cancellation

Dearest supporters:

Due to unexpected circumstances, UGA Crew has had to cancel the 2013 SERCS Regatta. We appreciate the extraordinary support we have received throughout the past few months, especially from those who were planning on volunteering. If you have any questions please direct them to the UGA Crew Executive Board at 

Thank you so much,

Sammy Slappey
Public Relations Officer 

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Welcome Back!

A big welcome back goes to all the UGA students returning from winter break! We are excited to start training for spring! 

We will be hosting our annual regatta this spring, SERCS, on Saturday, March 2. Be sure to mark your calendars! Click here to go to the regatta’s new Facebook page. We will be using this page to provide everyone with regular updates on the regatta. If you are interested in volunteering please contact We can use all the help we can get! 

On another note, we will not be recruiting this spring. We are very lucky to have a large number of talented rowers but do not have the equipment or coaching staff to recruit more. But don’t worry! We will be recruiting new novices in Fall of 2013, so keep an eye out!  

Looking forward to a great season of racing! Row Dawgs! 

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Head of the Hooch and Head of the South Results

The past two weekends UGA Crew travelled to Chattanooga for Head of the Hooch and Augusta for Head of the South. Our rowers took these two races as opportunities to show off all the hard work they put in throughout the semester.

Head of the Hooch, the 2nd largest regatta in the nation, attracts some of the best teams in the United States. This year, our team could only take a select amount of novice rowers due to entry restrictions. Although our team did not bring home any medals from Head of the Hooch, we are still proud to say that our Varsity Men’s 8+ placed 4th (of 16) and the Varsity Women’s 4+ placed 8th (of 29). 

This year we were fortunate enough to have 3 alumni boats race (2 women’s 8s and 1 men’s 8) Our women’s alumni 8 even won a silver medal! At the end of the day our rowers got the special opportunity to hear from the alumni. We all truly loved hearing about the positive impact UGA Crew had on their college experience. A special thanks goes out to the alumni and Mrs. Shoe (mother of former rower, Kenneth Shoe) for attending the regatta! 

great picture of the women’s alumni 8+


Head of the South was our last and most successful regatta of the season. Our rowers came ready to put up a fight and they have the medals to show it!

Men’s Novice Freshman 4+ first place
Men’s Novice 4+ first place
Men’s Novice 8+ third place
Women’s Novice 8+ A first place 
Women’s Novice 8+ B third place
Women’s Varsity 8+ A third place
Women’s Varsity Lightweight 4+ second place
Men’s Varsity 8+ third place

Congratulations to everyone for an amazing season! We are so excited to see our family grow to new heights. From the UGA Crew family to your family, have a safe and happy holiday season. We are already looking forward to some awesome spring racing! Cheers!