High Winds Damage Half of Loveland Rowing Club’s Fleet

Loveland Rowing Club experienced its fair share of turbulence in 2020, but a recent storm provided another setback for the club and its members.

An evening storm on June 8 damaged half of Loveland Rowing Club’s fleet of boats. The storm also did significant damage around the Colorado town both by knocking down multiple trees and knocking out the power lines. The town experienced wind speeds that evening of up to 50 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

The damage to three of the rowing team’s six boats was unprecedented. The boats were stored in two racks at Mussel Beach at Boyd Lake State Park. One of the racks was reported as having flipped over in the midst of the Monday evening storm. The result of the storm’s flip was that the team’s 200-pound, 60-foot long boat was lifted 14-feet into the air.

Multiple individuals were involved on June 11 in the process of untangling the boats. Despite the offer of a crane to assist from a local contractor, the group that gathered was able to untangle the boats without any further assistance.

“It’s like the boats became sails,” said JoAnne Bennett, treasurer of Loveland Rowing Club.

The three boats were determined to be irreparable. The boats are valued at $10,000 to $20,000 per piece, Bennett said. Despite the team’s insurance for these types of circumstances, they are unlikely to receive the full value of the boats since they were originally bought secondhand.

Team members are currently skeptical as to how they will be able to afford boat replacements.

“To us they’re absolutely priceless because that’s all we have,” said Olivia Lowe, a Loveland Rowing Club team member.

The coronavirus pandemic did not make the year any easier for the members of Loveland Rowing Club. Spring lessons are commonplace for the team at the club. This year looked different as a result of the pandemic, as well as the safety precautions and guidelines that needed to be taken by the club and those who frequent it.

In lieu of the club’s traditional spring lessons, members followed social distancing regulations by taking turns rowing their one-person boat around the lake. The boat that they were using for their practice was left undamaged following the recent storm.