RED BANK – Navesink River Rowing (NRR) will hold a special 30th Anniversary open house on Saturday, May 18, at its recently reopened site at the end of Maple Avenue.
The event activities, which are free and open to the public, will run continuously from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., including site tours and hands-on rowing demonstrations.
Those attending will be able to try out a rowing machine or use an Oar-Master to practice the sculling stroke before making their way down to the water and stepping into a 24-foot-long, 14-inch-wide sculling shell and rowing with a coach guiding them and with a rope tied to the boat for safety.
NRR members will be on hand to answer questions, demonstrate and explain NRR programs.
“The open house gives us a chance to share all the things we love about rowing,” said masters rower and NRR board president Kay Vilardi of Little Silver. “For people who attend, it’s a great way to learn about the sport and a good time to sign up for our summer youth programs or adult beginner lessons.”
This year’s event also celebrates the nonprofit organization’s return to the river after its boats, structures and site were seriously damaged during Super Storm Sandy.
“For a while, it looked as if our 29th year might be our last,“ said Vilardi who recalled the sight of boats crushed by toppled buildings, shed doors ripped open, boat parts and supplies strewn everywhere, and the land that once held boat racks washed away.
Fortunately, thanks to donations from members and friends, support from community partners like Springpoint Senior Living, parent company of The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, and K. Hovnanian Enterprises, and the physical labor of volunteers by the dozens, NRR is up and running again. Its 30th season begins on schedule the first week in May and will continue through early November.
Navesink River Rowing is dedicated to making the sport of rowing – for fun, fitness, recreation or competition – more familiar and more accessible to anyone interested in pursuing it. The group’s programs attract many area teens, whose passion can be seen in their willingness to get up at 6 a.m. on weekends and in the summer in order to row. Masters rowers (from age 23 to 80-plus) are just as enthusiastic. They are drawn to the sport for a variety of reasons: Because it is fun and challenging; an excellent cardiovascular activity; an exhilarating, low-impact alternative to running; a great escape from daily stress; and the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Navesink River.
Since 1983, NRR has introduced thousands of men, women, boys and girls to the skills, health benefits, and teamwork that make rowing an exceptional form of exercise and recreation. They offer lessons for adult beginners, summer instructional programs for youth at three levels (novice, intermediate and advanced); and competitive youth crew in the spring and fall.
In addition, season memberships are available to college students and adults with sculling experience. NRR maintains a fleet of 31 single and multiple seat boats for them to use, and NRR coaches provide masters clinics and additional instruction for intermediate and advanced adult rowers who want to sharpen their skills or compete in area regattas.
Additional information about NRR, its programs or the May 18 open house is available by visiting the NRR website at www.navesinkriverrowing.org or contacting Susan at 732-863-1321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.