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For Immediate Release


A team of eight rowers from the Akron area captured second place out of 31 teams who competed in the Western Reserve Rowing Association’s Summer Rowing League.

Cleveland, OH – August 27, 2007 – On Saturday, August 25 a team of eight rowers from the Portage Lakes Rowing Association (PLRA) competed in an elimination rowing competition and won the silver medal in the Class A division of the Summer Rowing League (SRL).

The SRL is an annual series of three regattas hosted by the Western Reserve Rowing Association (WRRA) which allows local recreational rowers to compete against one another and currently serves over 500 adult rowers.  The racecourse is a 600 meter stretch of the Cuyahoga River in the shadows of Tower City, and boats are comprised of mixed crews of 4 women rowers and 4 men rowers, plus a coxswain who steers the boat and directs the crew.

Based on performances from four races at regattas held on June 23 and July 21, the 31 teams were placed in four divisions for the final regatta of the summer.  With the fifth best overall time, the PLRA team landed a spot in the top division alongside seven other teams, giving them a chance to claim the overall season championship.

In the first round of the regatta, the PLRA crew faced off against the fourth seeded team.  They led from the start and finished with a five second victory.  This advanced them to the semi-finals where PLRA surged out to a slight lead but the rival crew pulled even with less than 200 meters remaining.  It was a tight finish with neither team certain of the outcome until they were informed by an official when then returned to the dock that PLRA had won by 3 seconds.

In the championship race, PLRA lost to the top seeded crew by a convincing margin, but they were nonetheless thrilled with their silver medal performance.  Finishing second out of 31 teams was quite a feat for a team that first competed in this regatta one year ago and was only founded two years ago.  The crew was directed by coxswain Steve Harmath and the rowers (listed from bow to stern) were Becca Boehme, Jean Vossberg, Katy Boyle, Cindy Parish, Barak Kraus, Michael Miller, Brad Banko and Michael Boyle.  Other rowers who competed in the June and July regattas helping PLRA secure a spot in the Class A division included Ellen Wilson, Karen Kilroy, Lisa Somogye, Pete Racco and Paul Guy.


The Portage Lakes Rowing Association was founded in 2005 by Barak Kraus and rows every Sunday morning from 7-9am on the Turkeyfoot Lakes out of Craftsmen Park.  Membership is open to all adults interested in fitness and rowing.  Please visit their website at for more information.

The Western Reserve Rowing Association’s Summer Rowing League is a 15 week adult rowing program for experienced & novice rowers.  Please visit their website at for more information.

For media inquiries contact Barak Kraus at or 330-807-4010.

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