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What is Rowing

Rowing, often referred to as crew in the United States, is based on propelling a boat (racing shell) on water using oars. The sport can be either recreational – focusing on learning the technique of rowing, or competitive – where athletes race against each other and other teams throughout the Midwest. The sport requires strong core balance, physical strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. In sweep rowing, each rower has one oar held with both hands. This is generally done in pairs, fours, and eights. In sculling, each rower has two oars – one held in each hand. This is generally done in singles, doubles, and quads. Racing boats (often called shells) are long, narrow, and broadly semi-circular in cross-section in order to reduce drag.

Who We Are

Lake Leelanau Rowing Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving the Greater Grand Traverse area and all Northern Michigan communities. We offer recreational adult and high school competitive rowing, sculling education and sport. On the grounds and lakefront at Fountain Point Resort, Michigan’s oldest waterfront resort, and a national historic district, rowers and scullers travel from all over the state, region, and country to experience and enjoy Lake Leelanau’s 20 miles of idyllic and highly varied waters.

Our Members

The Lake Leelanau Rowing Club is focused on being a positive role model and contributor in the community. Our members range from age 12 through their mid-80’s. We are excited to bring competitive rowing to Northern Michigan high school students and introduce middle school students to the sport. We have helped boy scouts looking to earn merit badges, organized workshops to improve teamwork and leadership for adults and corporate groups and we have joined missions with a group of women who have survived cancer and were looking for unity together on the water.

Our Fleet

With a fleet of over 30 shells including eights, fours, a quad, doubles, singles and single trainers – as well as Concept 2 rowing machines and free weights for indoor training – we have the largest fleet in Northern Michigan and one of the largest fleets in the state.

Eights (10), including 3 2017 Vespoli VHPs
Fours (3), including 1 2017 Vespoli VHPs
Quads (2), including 1 2017 Vespoli VHPs
Doubles (8), including 4 2017 Vespoli VHPs
Singles (22), including Peinert x25s, 26s, and Zephyrs

Up to now nearly all shells and coaching launches are still directly owned by Fountain Point Resort; 3 doubles have been graciously donated by members of La Baie Verte Rowing in Green Bay Wisconsin and Quad Cities in Moline Illinois. Two older 8s have been donated by Grand Rapids Rowing Association and Forest Hills Eastern High School Crew. Traverse City Rotary has also provided a generous good works grant.

Making a donation that funds the cost of boats and oars is a great way to support our team and programs. We have a lot of equipment waiting to be named, so consider naming a boat in honor of a loved one or business.

Our Lake

Based out of Fountain Point Resort on the northern end of South Lake Leelanau, we have the ability to row over 17,000 meters south or over 12,000 meters north. That’s over 10 miles in one direction and over 7 miles the other! Very few other lakes in the state can compare to the distance and protection from wind offered by Lake Leelanau.

Get Started

Learning to row is easy with our progressive structure. It all starts with a Learn 2 Row class. You will learn the basics of the rowing stroke on a rowing machine, how to get in and out of a boat and spend about two hours on the water rowing with others. After the Learn 2 Row, our Adult Beginner program will help improve your rowing skills and get you rowing all 8. The next step is to join our Adult Rowing program to expand on the basics and enjoy the beauty of Lake Leelanau. If you’re interested in becoming a more advanced rower, we offer a Skills & Drills Drop-In class and High Performance Summer Camps & Clinics.