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Los Gatos Rowing Club                       at Lexington Reservoir        
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HISTORY OF THE LOS GATOS ROWING CLUB

 

The Los Gatos Rowing Club (LGRC) was founded in 1979 by Skip Braatz to provide on-the-water facilities to high school students in the Santa Clara Valley for what was then predominantly an eastern sport. Since then, more than 2,500 boys and girls from 30 different high schools have passed through the program, winning National Championships on the way – most recently the Women’s Varsity Lightweight 8 in the summer of 2007. 2008, and 2009. Many athletes have gone on to colleges and universities to row competitively, and several have received rowing scholarships. Some have also rowed for U.S. National crews at every level, bringing back medals from CanAmMex, Junior Worlds, Under 23 Worlds, Senior Worlds, and the Olympics.

The present boathouse on Alma Bridge Road overlooking Lexington Reservoir was completed in 1996 following a fire that destroyed the old Boathouse that had been on the Dam for ten years. The club used a temporary boathouse of storage containers while a remarkable group of parents and coaches raised loans, grants and donations to finance acquisition of land, new boathouse and a full set of boats and equipment.

Many parents and other interested adults joined the club during the rebuilding period, expanding the adult membership from 17 to over 100 in 18 months. Today’s adults and Junior Parents continue to donate their time, effort and money to help keep the club running. Many are Master rowers, having either just taken up the sport or having returned to the sport they loved in their college days.

Today, the Los Gatos Rowing Club provides a range of sweep rowing and sculling programs to meet the needs of both Junior and Master rowers at all skill levels. The programs focus on building the skills and fitness necessary to compete in local, regional, national and international regattas.

We share the boathouse and facilities with Santa Clara University Boat Club, which also has an active and successful program at Lexington Reservoir.

The Los Gatos Rowing Club is a California non-profit {501(C)(3)} corporation. Currently, with the exception of the coaches, volunteers do all of the Club’s work.


Club History - Long version with photos.    By Shirley Reekie, Updated August, 2009

 THE STORY OF THE LOGO

 

                                                                 


 

In 1996, LGRC created a Club Logo to establish its identity on paper, signage, clothing, etc.

The insignia, shown here, was developed by a small team of Club members including Lynn Robinson who chaired the committee and Erik Anslinger who helped greatly to bring the historical perspective of the Club to the team.  The execution of the graphic work was done by Ian Giblin.

 

The logo comprises a number of elements, which have significance to our history, our sport, and the vision we have of the future for our Club. These elements are:

A Club motto, which is clearly shown on the banner across the shield -- "Per Ardua Ad Meta", which is the Latin for “Through adversity to the goal”.  In fact, the word “meta” literally defines the marker post or turning point at the end of a race course.  The concept of a turning post in the sport of rowing dates back to the early 1900’s when many small boat races were conducted by rowing out to a stake, turning, and then rowing back so the crowd could see both the start and the finish.  One of the most famous paintings by Thomas Eakins, who was an oarsman and an accomplished painter of the time, is called “Turning at the Stake” and depicts two oarsmen in a pair turning their craft half way through a race of this kind.

Clearly the motto has additional meaning for our Club, which struggled ahead to overcome the adversity of a disastrous fire.  We also think of the adversity of training that our Juniors and Masters undergo to reach the goal of being winners on the water and for the Juniors being winners in their lives after they move on to college and their careers.

The rays of the rising sun evoke images of those early morning rows on still waters as the sun creeps over the horizon.  Much heraldic significance is accorded to this image as it appears regularly upon shields of old to signify power and the source of energy and strength.

The shield emblazoned with rippling waters says a lot about our water-oriented sport in which the waters are not always flat.  With waves shown in blue on white and reversed into white on blue we have the fundamental concept that perception is all in the eyes of the beholder.  The rough waters can be seen as either something we have to overcome or as an advantage for us that others will have a tough time dealing with. We of course are proud to note we are moving into our seventeenth year by indicating for all time that we were established in 1979.

The committee judiciously decided to have properly-scaled Macon blade oars incorporated into the logo to reflect back on rowing tradition as we move forward with new technologies.  Note that they are situated left over right as is the style for rigging single sculls in North America.

The shield itself stands for the indivisibility of the Club.  We are one Club with complementary programs that benefit the diverse cross-section of our membership. Having said all of this about its components, the logo is in fact greater than the sum of its parts.  It comes to stand for the perseverance and tenacity of the Club to succeed against all challenges.  On a personal level, the logo will take on a significance to each member, which is unique and which evokes many fond memories of active involvement.

Art Monk , President, 1996