Rochester Rowing Club was founded in 1990 to bring people together to enjoy the sport of rowing. RRC started with an adult program with juniors being added a few years later. Today the junior program is the backbone of the club with over 40 rowers. With the goal of increasing the size and accomplishments of RRC the board of directors, in 2017, hired a full time professional coach/club manager and an assistant coach. Head Coach Jesse Clark and Assistant Coach Caleb Schuder have already made great strides in achieving the the club’s goal.
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 hangs in Friday’s restaurant today.
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 at a club meeting at the ‘Smiling Moose’ Restaurant.
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. Some participants included: Chute, Christopher G., M.D., Dr. P.H.; Berninger, Douglas L.; Giuntoli, Robert; Gwen Taylor; Ho, Jenny; Andrew Dean; Jason Engelhardt; Jim Jones; Joe Lindsay; Wilson, John W., M.D. ; Joyce Perkins; Julie Semon; Karin Batalden; Laughman, Richard K. (Keith); Kelsey Stadtherr; Kirkham, Lucy; Lezard, Tony; Mara Koeller; Barr, Laurie M.; McPhail, Ian R., M.D.; Mullany, Charles J., M.B.,M.S.; Passe, Alexia; Patriarche, Julia W., Ph.D.; Greipp, Philip R., M.D.; Robert N Krentler; Rochelle Tucker; Scott Steinmann; Solan, Nancie; Stephanie Park; Steve Richardt; Strome, Scott; Talwalkar, Jayant A., M.D.; Warrington, Arthur E., Ph.D.; Wettstein, Peter J., Ph.D.; Wolff, Bruce G., M.D. and others.
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 – Stroke, Kristin Haraldsdottir – 3 seat, Megan Britson – 2 seat, Lucy Kruesel – bow, and Meg Flannery – 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 in 2004. 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 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 eleventh at Junior Nationals. In that same year, Astrid Wettstein and Bridget Dean won a bronze medal in the women’s double at Midwest and they placed seventh at Nationals.
2009 – Astrid Wettstein from RRC wins Midwest Junior Nationals as a single sculler and comes in fourth at Junior Nationals. Marit Wettstein and Natalie Stoppel came in second at Midwest and twelfth at Nationals.
2012 – Christina Drexler wins the bronze medal at Midwest and comes eleventh at Nationals. Ben Viggiano also wins a bronze medal at Midwest and places fifteenth at Nationals.
2013 – Despite a severe injury in the fall, Ben Viggiano repeats as Bronze medalist at Midwest Juniors and goes on to place 12th at Junior Nationals. The boys’ quad, Ben Viggiano, Brett Boggust, Michael Siem, and Teddy Scheitel, also wins a bronze medal 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.
2015 – Cooper Huston and Teddy Scheitel win gold in Boys Lightweight 2x at Midwest Juniors and place fifteenth at Nationals. A major fundraising campaign resulted in the purchase of several new boats. Phil Greipp steps down as president of the board and agrees to continue as President Emeritus. Ellen Huston becomes President of the Board of Directors.
2016 – Coach Bryan Little starts a middle school program.
Club Founding -1990
‘Boathouse’ – 2002
Tax exempt status – 2004
Dock – 2007
Wakeless coaching launch – 2009
New equipment is purchased (boats, oars, motors) – 2015 – 2016
National search for full time club manager/head coach – January 2016
Head Coach Bryan Little, Bolles Academy, Jacksonville, FL, is hired – 2016
Middle school rowing program is created – 2016