d’apprentissage à ramer (AAR) – Learn to Row (LTR) 2017

LTR Sept 9-10 17We had our first LTR session this weekend. Marilou coached our class.

Each rower had 4 hours of rowing with a coach on Saturday and Sunday.

Nous avons eu notre première session AAR ce week-end. Marilou a entraîné notre classe.

Chaque rameur a eu 4 heures d’aviron avec un entraîneur samedi et dimanche.

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The life lessons of rowing


Rowing is so much more than a sport or exercise. Its terrible demands change us as people. Here is what I mean.

“Rowing is perhaps the toughest of sports. Once the race start, there are no time outs, no substitutions. It calls upon the limits of human endurance. The coach must therefore impart the secrets of this special kind of endurance that comes from mind, heart and body.”

“One of the first admonitions of a good rowing coach, after the fundamentals are over, is “pull you own weight” and the young oarsman does just that when he finds out that the boat goes better when he does. There is certainly a social implication here.”

When you get the rhythm in an eight, it’s pure pleasure to be in it. It’s not hard work when the rhythm comes – that “swing” as they call it. I’ve heard men shriek out with delight when that swing came in an eight; it’s surely a thing that they will never forget as long as they live.

“He, (Pocock) suggested that Joe (The central figure in the book) think of a well-rowed race as a symphony and himself as just one player in the orchestra. If one fellow in an orchestra was playing put of tune, or playing at a different tempo, the whole piece would naturally be ruined. That’s the way it was with rowing. What mattered more than how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with what the other fellows were doing.

And a man couldn’t harmonize with his cremates unless he opened his heart to them. He had to care about his crew. It wasn’t just the rowing but his cremates that he had to give himself unto, even if it meant getting his feelings hurt.”

“Pocock paused and he looked up at Joe. “If you don’t like some fellow in the boat, Joe, you have to learn to like him. It has to matter to you whether he wins the race not just whether you do.”

“Joe, when you really start trusting those other boys, you will feel a power at work within you that is far beyond anything that you’ve ever imagined. Sometimes you will feel as if you have rowed right off the planet and are rowing among the stars.”

“What is the spiritual value of rowing?… The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole.”

“Harmony, balance and rhythm. They’re the three things that stay with you your whole life. Without them civilization is out of whack. And that’s why an oarsmen, when he goes out in life, he can fight it, he can handle life. That’s what he gets from rowing.”


*George Pocock was the greatest boat builder of the 20th century. Based in Washington near Seattle, he was born an Englishman and learned his trade at Eton. Before the advent of plastic boats, ALL the great rowing crews used his boats.

He was an inspirational figure to the US Olympic team in 1936 who won gold and who were from the Seattle region.

These are excerpts from the greatest book on rowing available, Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown that tells the story of this 8.

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AKR Launch Day – The Story

Here is a wonderful review in the Brome County News by Ann Davidson – the hardest working local reporter I know.


Posted in English

Thank you!

English Follows:

Un grand merci à vous tous. 24 personnes ont rangé avec les athlètes. Beaucoup, d’autres, y compris de nombreux enfants, ont essayé dans les bateaux formateurs.

Un grand merci au maire et au conseil aussi pour nous donner l’autorisation d’utiliser la plage et de leur soutien à l’aviron sur le lac Brome.

Voici quelques photos prises par Michael Taylor.


A big thank you to all of you. 24 people rowed with the athletes. Many, others, including many children, tried out in the trainer boats.

A big thank you to the Mayor and Council too for giving us permission to use the beach and for their support of rowing on Brome Lake.

Here are some pictures taken by Michael Taylor

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What is it like to row?

In the picture, you can see Marilou in that peak moment when it all comes together when you are rowing. You are at one with the boat and with the water. You are part of the larger natural world. This feeling is even better when there is more than one of you in the boat. For then you are also one with your partner.


Find out for yourself.

AKR Event 4 FR image

Le Club AKR (Aviron Knowlton Rowing) a été créé en mai 2017 pour promouvoir la discipline de l’aviron au Lac Brome. Il a pour mission d’appuyer les avironneurs d’élite qui s’entraînent chez-nous et de démocratiser la pratique de cette discipline sportive.

Nous tiendrons une rencontre d’information le samedi 26 août à la Plage Douglass :

-on vous communiquera des précisions sur le lancement officiel du Club en 2018;

-vous apprendrez comment vous initier à l’aviron dès cet automne;

-et ce sera aussi l’occasion de « mettre la main à l’aviron » avec nos spécialistes.

Si l’aviron vous met en appétit, le Resto-route à pizza du Star Café vous offrira de quoi vous mettre sous la dent!

Si vous désirez ramer avec des professionnels 26 aout, svp. vous inscrire ici

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Could Rowing turn our Lake into the equivalent of Mont Glen?

Could rowing on our lake have the same kind of positive impact on Lac Brome as skiing on Mont Glen had for our town back in the day?

Mont Glen changed Knowlton in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The powerful attraction of a local ski hill, when skiing was in vogue, meant that summer homes were winterized and that many summer-people moved here to live. It meant that many summer-people kept coming to Knowlton every weekend in the winter. It meant that local children made the hill their winter home. Mont Glen became the social centre for the local young. It meant that Knowlton was a winter destination for visitors and so created the conditions for the boom in retail. When Glen died, much of the energy behind the town died as well.

Rowing on our lake could bring more life back.

Once again, a major trend in sports is lining up with a local attraction. Rowing is growing as a sport. It’s like skiing in a way. It provides a form of exercise that involves the whole body and it is intensely social.

Our lake just happens to be one of the best lakes in all of Quebec for rowing.

The elite rowers who used to train at the Montreal Olympic Basin have moved to Lac Brome. Three years ago, there were three. This summer there have been over 30. Gold, silver and bronze medals have been won at the Canada Games and we have an Olympic hopeful training here as well. The season lasts on the water from May to October.

It is very likely now that Lac Brome will become an important centre of high performance rowing.

The work now is to build the opportunity for the public and especially for kids. For like Glen, it is the kids who will drive the larger opportunity for our community.

Here is my dream.

That, like the Ski Program that began on Glen, we are able to offer many children the opportunity to row at a cost that every family here can afford. I can see school programs. I can see summer camps. Most will row for fun. But many will become competitive as well. They will go to regattas and they will want to have their own regatta here at home. A typical regatta might have 2-3,000 people here for a week all looking for places to stay and for food to eat.

Like at Glen, the demand from the kids will drive their parents to make more of a commitment to Lac Brome. More people will visit and more people will want to stay. Like at Glen, our local kids will become expert as well. They will not only enjoy a great sport but will become more fit and also learn how to work hard with others. They too will have a chance to move out into the world as experts.

Some locals who learned to ski at Glen went on to be world class skiers. I think that we have an even greater chance of this in rowing. For, as our competitive profile increases, more talent will come here, offering the kids better coaching. Talent creates talent.

Our lake is the vital asset in all of this. There are no better ones locally. It is surrounded by a great community. It is only an hour from a great city.

Do you want to find out more? If you do, please follow this link and come to our launch party on August 26 at 10 a.m. at Douglass Beach.

Disclaimer: I am a co founder of the club. I rowed as a school boy and have never lost the amazing feeling that rowing brings.

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Come and experience what rowing is all about August 26 Douglass Beach


Aviron Knowlton Rowing Club (AKR for short) was formed in May 2017 to help make rowing a reality on Brome Lake. AKR’s mission is to support the high performance rowers who now train here and to introduce rowing to the public.

On Saturday 26 August, we will host an event at Douglass Beach where you can hear:

  • about our plans for a full launch of the club in 2018,
  • how you can learn to row this fall with our experts
  • have an opportunity on August 26 to get a taste of rowing with our experts

Rowing is hungry work and the Star Cafe Pizza Truck will be there to fuel you up.

Sign up to row on August 26  here

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