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      Local rowing club attends national competition

      The Upper Peninsula Community Rowing Club competed in their first USRowing Masters National Championship Regatta.

      The competition was held at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids from August 14 to 17. UPCRC made the finals in nine of sixteen events and won two individual silver medals. They also placed fourth in the Women's Open E4 class.

      In the women's points standings, they finished tied for 35th of the 62 clubs. They also placed 36th of 47 clubs scoring points towards the overall high point championship. This year's event turned out to be their largest event in the last fifteen years, with 120 clubs participating. There were a total of nearly 1500 entries from as far away as Alaska, Florida and Canada.

      "This was the club's first National-level regatta, and we were pleased with our performance," says Gail Brayden, a spokesperson for UPCRC. "We had a lot to learn about racing starts and precision maneuvers in river currents."

      Unlike many clubs from more temperate climates, UPCRC doesn't begin their season until June, with members devoting most of their time to teaching in Learn to Row Classes. One spectator referred to them as the "Jamaican bobsled team of rowing."

      Sixteen club members completed in the event, which consisted of a 1000 meter sprint course, buoyed lanes and racing starts. The women's E4 crew featured Ann Piereson at stroke, Audrey Johnson, Sue Vandewalle, and Deb Jean, with Tensi Parsons as coxswain. Individual metal winners were Ginny Davis, with silver in Women's Lightweight H Singles, and Daryl Davis, with silver in Men's Lightweight H singles. Ginney and Daryl are among the founding members of UPCRC, and were instrumental in starting the NMU crew.