Rochester Rowing Club was founded in 1990 to bring people together to enjoy the sport of rowing. RRC started with an adult program, adding the junior team a few years later. Today, the junior program is the backbone of the club, with 30- 40 rowers, traveling to compete across North America. The adult program is expanding and competes regularly in upper Midwest regattas. The coaches and the Board of Directors continue to work on growing the club.
1990 – The Rochester Rowing Club is founded by Bill Pavlicek, Doug Burninger, Keith Laughman, Chris Chute, and Jeff van Fossum. Bill, who learned to row in Phlly with Bill Knecht of Vesper Boat Club and whose home on Silver Lake was the place for the first meetings of the club members became the club’s first president. He recruited rowers, bought equipment including two mahogany racing fours from Columbia University in New York – one of which hung in Friday’s restaurant, then the Legends, until it closed.
1991 – RRC rows its first competitive race at Lake Phalen and bests crews from Minneapolis Rowing Club and others. RRC got a lead at the start but then without lane markers lost their way across the course and came in just behind a crew from Green Bay. That boat had club founders Tom Rizzo-Stroke, Phil Greipp-3 seat, Bill Pavlicek-2 seat, Doug Berninger-bow and coxswain Lori Hoppe.
1992 – The Adult Learn to Row Program is expanded by Coach Jeff van Fossum who recruits new rowers as the club begins to grow. Silver Lake is dredged. The club moves temporarily to Lake Zumbro.
1993 – RRC holds its first regatta on Silver Lake, the Head of the Goose. Bill Pavlicek, Club President has built the club but is needed at Mayo in Phoenix, Arizona as a radiation physicist. Phil Greipp is elected president.
1994-2001 – Adults row and compete in regional regattas in small numbers but the club is soon to take a turn.
2000 – The first “Minnesota Power Pull,” also then called the “Minnesota State Indoor Rowing Championships,” is organized by Phil Greipp in January at the first Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center facility at Mayo.
2001 – A Learn-to-Row participant, Jim Jones, suggests a Junior rowing program. Phil Greipp goes to Mayo High School to recruit the first Junior team. Jim Jones leaves the program shortly thereafter and Bob Krentler becomes Head Coach in 2002.
2002 – John Bartucz joins the club as boys’ coach.
2004 – The Junior Team has its first international success in the women’s four under Coach Bob Krentler: Cadence Nelson, Kristin Haraldsdottir, Megan Britson, Lucy Kruesel, with Meg Flannery at coxswain. After winning bronze at the US Rowing Youth Nationals, they go on to win the Groton cup at Henley in the Women’s English Henley regatta.
2004 – Adam Uhl and Kristin Haraldsdottir win single sculling medals at the Midwest Junior Rowing Championships. Bob Krentler is reassigned by IBM to Austin, Texas and eventually becomes head coach at the University of Texas men’s program. John Bartucz takes over as head coach.
2004 – Kristin Haraldsdottir wins the gold medal for Jr. Women’s Single at the NWIRA championship regatta.
2005 – Phil Greipp coaches the Junior Women Lightweight four to a silver medal at Midwest Championships.
2006 – John Bartucz coaches the girls’ lightweight four and they go on to win Midwest Juniors and place twelfth at Junior Nationals.
2007 – Coach Bartucz takes a year off for family. Phil Greipp helps coach and takes a a junior men’s pair to a silver medal at Midwest Junior Rowing Championships.
2008 – Coach Bartucz returns to coach Astrid Wettstein to a silver medal in a single at Midwest Junior Rowing Championships and 11th at Junior Nationals. Astrid Wettstein and Bridget Dean won bronze in the women’s double at Midwest and placed 7th at Nationals.
2009 – Astrid Wettstein from RRC wins Midwest Junior Nationals as a single sculler and comes in 4th at Junior Nationals. Marit Wettstein and Natalie Stoppel finish 2nd at Midwest and 12th at Nationals.
2012 – Christina Drexler wins the bronze medal at Midwest and finishes 11th at Nationals. Ben Viggiano also wins a bronze medal at Midwest and places 15th at Nationals.
2013 – Despite a severe injury in the fall, Ben Viggiano repeats as Bronze medalist at Midwest Juniors and places 12th at Junior Nationals. The boys’ quad, Ben Viggiano, Brett Boggust, Michael Siem, and Teddy Scheitel, also wins bronze at Midwest Juniors and travels to nationals. In the summer, Ben Viggiano wins the club’s first gold medal for the Jr. Men’s Single at the NWIRA regatta.
2014 – Christina Drexler wins the bronze medal at Midwest Juniors and qualifies for nationals. She also wins gold in the Jr. Women’s Single at the NWIRA regatta.
2015 – Cooper Huston and Teddy Scheitel win gold in Boys Lightweight 2x at Midwest Juniors and place 15th at Nationals. A major fundraising campaign resulted in the purchase of several new boats. Phil Greipp steps down as president of the board, continuing as President Emeritus. Ellen Huston becomes President of the Board of Directors.
2016 – Club upgrades from volunteer to paid coaches. Coach Bryan Little is hired as Head Coach and starts a middle school program. Coach Caleb Schuder starts as Assistant Coach. Boys 4x qualifies for nationals at Midwests, finishes in the ‘C’ final at Nationals.
2017 – Coach Jesse Clark takes over as Head Coach. Rebecca Murray becomes Board President, serving for 4 years. Boys 2x qualifies for nationals at Midwests, finishes in the ‘C’ final at Nationals.
2018 – Coach Caleb Schuder is promoted to Head Coach. Boys 4x qualifies for nationals, but opts out of participating.
2019 – Anna Stacy wins gold in the novice singles at Head of the Hooch. Girls 4x qualifies for nationals at Midwests, finishes in the ‘C’ final at nationals.
2020 – Coach Teddy Scheitel returns to his home town as Head Coach. All teams enjoy a season of rowing singles. All regattas cancelled.
2021 – Coach Haley Abrams serves as interim coach till Coach Andrew Green takes over in the fall. Anna Stacy places 2nd in the single skull at Midwest, then 17th of 45 at Nationals. The doubles team of Abby Welch and Sophia Spindler-Craig finished 3rd at Midwest advancing to Nationals where they placed 9th.
2022 – Jake Blackmon placed 14th at Nationals rowing a single.
2023 – Online fundraiser from the previous fall generates enough funds to buy one large new shed to replace the two old hockey sheds.
Club Founding -1990
Boat fence aka the ‘Boathouse’ – 2002
Tax exempt status – 2004
Dock – 2007
Wakeless coaching launch – 2009
National search for full time club manager/head coach – January 2016
Middle school rowing program is created – 2016
New Shed – 2023