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Hudson Valley Press

March 15th, 2017

OCRA Holds Event to Empower its Members

Coach Eric Bruzzo with team members at Easton, CT Indoor Rowing Championship
As spring nears and as rowing teams across the area eagerly await water access, Orange County Rowing  Association (OCRA) held an event that reflected on their rowers’ achievements and sense of community.  OCRA’s winter season ended with two indoor competitions: one in Easton, CT and the other at CRASH B’s in Boston, MA.  CRASH B’s is a world championship indoor rowing event that usually has  approximately 2000 participants.   Many of the rowers either beat or were close to their PR (personal record) of 2 kilometers on the machines known as ergs.  Head Youth Coach Eric Bruzzo  said “while everyone likes to be fast it’s more important to build and grow your individual ability”.

On Sunday, February 26th OCRA seniors were honored and recognized.  Each received their team blankets and were asked to reflect on their time with the program.  OCRA senior Samantha Santiago shared, “The past two years I have spent rowing for this program have been phenomenal and not only have I learned so much about the sport itself but I have learned to truly love and enjoy rowing. My most memorable experience was erging at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston in 2016 and this past February of 2017. People from all over the world go to this race and it was definitely breathtaking to erg around some of the best rowers in not only the country but the world too”. 

Another senior, Katie Gravel, said “I really enjoyed my senior year rowing for Orange County. We went to many regattas, and Head of the Fish was my favorite because I was exposed to the expansive rowing world that not many other teams in the area get to see”. And senior Joseph Roy, Jr also shared “My time with the team has improved my rowing skills immensely, I wish I could do it all over again”.  Other seniors that were recognized but not in attendance were Ariel Williams and Casey Miller.

OCRA members range in age and skill-set from youth to masters, and come from all over the surrounding area.  OCRA looks forward to a new season and to continue to work with the communities it serves.  At their last event OCRA collected boxes of  needed items for the Boys & Girls Club of New Windsor and the Cornwall Food Bank (Backpack program).   Anyone interested in learning the sport for health, competition or recreation is welcome to contact Head Coach Megan Shedden at, or visit

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