August 2020
This is what Holyoke Rows is all about! Holyoke Rows reaches beyond the traditional rowing population and makes passive river recreation  -- like the rowing, sailing and kayaking in this photo -- accessible to the entire community by eliminating the physical, financial and social barriers to participating in our programs.

All ages, abilities and interests are welcome!
Todas las edades, habilidades e intereses son bienvenidos!
I just need to tell you all what amazing families we have paddling this summer. Sixty-five family members this year. Moms and Dads carrying boats down, getting kids and grandparents on the water and then getting everything back up that hill and put away. I am in awe.   

And our scullers! In three short months, we have gone from scullers hanging on to pontoons for dear life to a group of self-sufficient competent scullers.  

Kayaks and shells are being regularly cleaned and put away. Keep up the good work and please remind others to care for our boats. Members, these  are your boats. Our kayaks should never be run aground.  

What about the Paper City Regatta? Due to the pandemic, we will run a smaller, sculling-only regatta on Saturday, October 3. No spectators, no hanging out before or after your race and no pies -  but that doesn't mean you can't eat pie when you get home. Look for pie recipes in our September newsletter! 

I encourage all of our scullers to race at our home race. We will have a race for every level and every age sculler. You will be surprised at how much fun you can have. We also need volunteers. Email John, regatta director extraordinaire, if you can help out before, after or during the event.
To register to race, contact me at the email below.

Whether you're interested in racing or not, we still have three more months to kayak and row.  Enjoy!

-Stephanie Moore
Director and Coach, Holyoke Rows
In order to try to keep everyone safe and adhere to the state's regulations, the following policies are in place:
  • wash or sanitize hands upon arriving
  • wear masks at all times - except once out on the water
  • no locker room use​
  • restroom use only if absolutely necessary - spray with disinfectant when done
  • only 2 people in a bay at one time - unless a family group
  • social distance - keep 6-10 feet away from others
  • sign into log book so we can contact trace if necessary
  • wash kayak & paddle or shell & oars after use - failure to do this may result in the loss of membership
  • spray door handles with disinfectant on the way out


There's nothing more summery and laid back than drop-In sculling lessons and now you can extend that feeling into fall. Just look at this photo of a new sculler enjoying the river, working on her stroke and Stephanie in the launch, coaching. 
Classes are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 5:30pm. The cost is $10 per class and the classes are limited to 6 participants each. Please call in advance to be sure there is room - Stephanie (413)-320 3134

We will be offering sculling to middle and high school students from any and all area schools This will start the week of September 7.  The exact time of practice is still to be determined.  Dependent upon our numbers and students class requirements, we will likely offer two shifts of afternoon practice. This is a free program. We encourage families who can support us to do so. 


While all dragon boat festivals were cancelled this year due to COVID-19, Dragon Heart Vermont decided on a twist to its annual Lake Champlain festival and hosted its first virtual festival challenge. Veterans Dragon Boat USA was one of 20 teams participating in the challenge. There were 292 participants representing all the teams, completing 164 races (by paddling, biking, running, walking, swimming, or erging) within 30 minutes, for a total distance travelled of 777.2km (about 483 miles). Way to go, Veterans Dragon Boat USA, completing 78.9km!
Pictured are:
 Oreste Varela, Nelson Serrao and Stanley Hilton.


Q & A with Ella Hendricks
Q: When did you start rowing? 
Ella: I started when I was about 10 years old. Right now I am 13. 

Q: How did you start rowing? 
Ella: My mom rowed when she was in high school so I knew about rowing but I never really felt the urge to try it. Eventually, when I got older I went to the kayak camp at Holyoke Rows and then the following year I went to the rowing camp because I loved the kayaking experience.

Q: What program are you in now?
Ella: I will be rowing with the middle school team for one more year and after that I will hopefully transition to the high school team.

Q: What do you like most about rowing?
Ella: Rowing makes me feel very calmed but also powerful and strong. I also like how much of a team sport it is especially when sweep rowing. I love the water and so rowing plus getting to be on the water is just amazing. It's really helpful after a long day, but also totally exhausting! I can definitely say it's helped me build confidence and I'm really excited to see where it can take me.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about rowing?
Ella: You have to have so much stamina and endurance because you're gonna want to stop and it's going to hurt so bad but you just have to keep going. I think it's a really great skill to have and I'm glad rowing was able to help me build that.

Q: What’s your rowing goal?
Ella: My goal for the future is to be able to row 2000 meters in 15 minutes or less. For me it's a pretty big goal, but I'm trying to work on my speed because I know nothing is going to happen overnight so I just have to be patient and work hard.

Q: Sculling or Sweep and why?
Ella: I enjoy both but I can definitely say I prefer sweep rowing. I like that you get to row with other people. It can also be a little easier and it feels amazing once you get in the groove. Even though it's still so much work, especially since the boat is even heavier with more people, it feels less like a workout and more like you're just having fun.

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Ella: I am really into baking. It's one of my favorite things to do. I've been cooking and baking since I was three and it's so much fun. One year I went to an intense baking camp at Holyoke Community College and it was one of the best weeks of my summer. I'm really looking forward to being able to bake more since we are all quarantined.

Q: Anything you’d like to add?
Ella: I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these times and I'm really excited to see you when we are all out of quarantine.


Who's Who is a regular column profiling members of the Holyoke Rows community. 
MEET THE MARTINEZ FAMILY  You may see these Holyoke Rows members out paddling to the Cabot St. bridge and back. They say it's become a weekend ritual they all look forward to. If you see them, say hi!

Veterans Dragon Boat USA held a luminary ceremony during Memorial Day weekend to honor all veterans who have died, with a special memorial to those veterans from the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home who succumbed to COVID-19. As a follow-up to continued support and honoring Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veteran residents, the team is creating CARE packages to be delivered to the veterans who reside at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. Included in those packages will be thank you cards created by children of the surrounding communities. The goal was to have 150 cards completed and we have surpassed 400 thanks to the warm response of so many! They include children from Holyoke, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, Westfield, Wilbraham and Tolland, CT. Organizations that have jumped in to help are Westfield Youth Football, YMCA of Greater Springfield, East Longmeadow Recreation Department, and the East Longmeadow and South Hadley Public Libraries - way to go!!
To further support our veterans, the Veterans Dragon Boat USA team answered the call from the VA for face masks and donated patriotic, cloth face masks, with more to follow.
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Find more information about Holyoke Rows at Check out the newsletter archive in the NEWS section.
Copyright © 2020 Holyoke Rows. All rights reserved.

Holyoke Rows
25 Jones Ferry Rd.
Holyoke, MA 01040

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Holyoke Rows · 25 Jones Ferry Rd · Holyoke, MA 01040-5307 · USA

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