I love driving to any destination that takes me towards Lexington Reservoir on Hwy 17 and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Even after all these years of driving this road, the scenery here never seizes to amaze me. On any given day the mountains are gorgeous with clear blue skies or with the gentle mist of the Pacific Ocean Fog, the scenery is always awe-inspiring. So you can imagine what a smile I must have had every morning at 8am when I had to take my daughter Rani to a rowing class right off Hwy 17 😊.
Though it’s just a 10-minute drive to the rowing club, the road is so beautiful that I would leave a little early just so I could enjoy a leisurely drive and be able to slow down to admire the nature around me.
My daughter Rani has been wanting to taking rowing for three years now, but the time commitment is huge – a minimum of 3 hours a day after school. She wasn’t sure she could do that and keep up with her grades, instead she has been keen on taking recreational rowing over the summer break. Every summer though her summer job lasted all the way till school started so rowing never seemed to happen. But this year, her summer job ended early and Rani promptly sighed up right away for a one week rowing camp right here in Los Gatos, off Hwy 17 and Lexington Reservoir. How did she like it? She absolutely loved it! She said she wished she had done this every summer and described it as a great workout with beautiful nature, and her time on the water as calm and peaceful.
As Rani found out The Los Gatos Rowing Club is a premier rowing club with students coming for training from all over the Bay Area. During the school year training is held for students who are at their school’s rowing team with recreational rowing times on the weekends. Coached by young rowing champions, this rowing club is situated in a beautiful enclave off the Lexington Reservoir at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The way summer rowing camp works is that all the students both novices and varsity can sign up for weekly rowing classes that are offered all summer long. Each class starts off with stretching exercises and interval training and then with lessons on rowing and rowing as a team. The rowing boat shown here that is docked is a stationary rowboat that is used as the initial training boat before the students head onto the water.
On the last day of the rowing camp is when parents and friends are invited to watch their kids row and compete in one-minute races. To see the rowers in action, parents are taken on a speedboat onto the water!
Here is a look at the Los Gatos Rowing Club and the rowing competition that Rani and her fellow rowers participated in.
First, a look at the boat shed and the extremely long rowboats
Here is an interesting tit-bit, I found out from Rani that the rowers don’t wear any shoes as there are shoes attached to the boats that a rower slides their foot into. One can choose to wear sox or go bare-feet. She laughingly informed me that her feet are so small that they kept sliding out of the boat-shoes 😀🥾.
Getting ready for the rowing competition! Kids remove their shoes before getting into the rowboat.
Parents head out on speedboats to see the race.
The race was between an 8-seater row-boat and a 4-seater rowboat. As our coach pointed out when I asked him about the uneven number of rowers on the two boats, it’s harder for the 8-seater rowers because all 8 have to by synchronized to be able to row fast, in this case the 4-seater rowers actually have a slight advantage.
The rowers competed in a total of 5 races! What stamina on these young kids!
After the races, the rowers head back on shore and begin the process of bringing their giant oars and row- boats back to the shed.
A successful race deserves pizza and water!
Both my eldest daughter Sri and I have never seen a rowing competition except in the movies, this was a unique and fabulous experience to see it in person! In fact, it looked so appealing that when Hitesh saw the pictures he thought of signing up for their adult rowing classes!