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MRRA Regattas

The MRRA is hosting the following regattas:

Festival Regatta

Textile River Regatta

Rowing News

Festival Regatta - Thank you! Print E-mail

The Festival Regatta Co-Directors would like to thank all of the competitors, families and friends who came to our beautiful stretch of Merrimack River on Sunday June 23rd. We hope you enjoyed yourself and found the regatta well run.  We appreciate constructive feedback and encourage you to send comments to:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We look forward to seeing you at the Textile River Regatta October 6th - same convenient venue and friendly MRRA members.           

--- Karen Scammell and Jon Dwyer, Regatta Co Directors

Visit the Festival Regatta webpage for final results.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 00:38
Current Rowing Restrictions Print E-mail


As of 13 April 2018 the water temperature measured 46 degrees F

This means: Quad, Fours, and Eights are authorized to row. Launch supervision is highly recommended but not required for experienced rowers. Boats must have PFD's and a cell phone. Please be familiar with and follow all cold water rowing recommendations, cautions; be aware that 46% water is extremely cold and can be hazardous within moments if you land in the water.

Note: Accomac is rigged and temporarily stored on the floor in boathouse; please check boat and make sure that this or any boat is safe before rowing.  Please do not rig the Paul Wenger without Boat Captain/or MRRA Board permission as we may not have space for two rigged Quads.

Posted by BC 13 April 2018




Draft Revision JL 4 23 2015


Level I: No Restrictions/All Boats May Row.

(Trigger for rule: water temp is greater than 60 deg and boat captain posts rule.)

In all cases check for daily weather and condition advisories.


Level II: Experienced Solo Singles and all larger boats OK….with CAUTIONS IN PLACE

(Trigger for rule: water temp is greater than 55 deg and boat captain posts rule.)

Novice singles and experienced pairs must be accompanied by another boat.

Mandatory Requirements:

Only experienced rowers* may row in a 2- or in a solo 1x.

1x, 2-, & 2x must carry and preferably wear a PFD; all boats must carry a cell phone.Row only when 100 degree requirement is met. (Water temp plus air temp total at least 100 deg)

NOVICE ROWERS: 1x  novices must row with another rower.

(Row with another rower means within 50 meters of an accompanying boat)


Level III: 4 Oar Rule (2 Singles or 1 Double)

(Trigger for rule: Over 50 degree water temp and posting by BC)

100 deg total requirement (water temp plus air temp total at least 100 deg)

Two singles may row together or with a larger boat.

Doubles and larger boats may row alone.

Mandatory Requirements:

Only experienced rowers* may row in a 1x; one experienced rower must “captain” a 2x.

1x and 2x must carry and should wear a PFD; all boats must carry a cell phone.

Pairs and unescorted singles may NOT row unless under the direct supervision of a launch.


Only experienced rowers should row in singles or in unescorted doubles.

Consider your condition and abilities.

Consider rowing during daylight hours only; give care and pay attention to daily weather and river conditions.
Row conservatively; avoid rowing on the square and other drills that decrease stability.

Keep cell phone is a waterproof container.


Level IV: Big boats only 

(Trigger for rule: Docks are in, water temp is over 45 degree water and posting by BC)

Quads, fours, and eights only.

All boats must be under the direct supervision of a launch.

In the event that BC waives the launch requirement, all boats must carry and should wear PFDs and must carry a phone.


In all cases check for daily weather and condition advisories.


*”Experienced rower”: Temporary rule: until further defined experienced rower means either five years minimum experience in sculling boats or with the permission of boat captain. (If you have been a member less than 5 years or have any questions as to your level of competence contact the boat captain for permission to row.)

100 degree requirement:  once water temperature is not less than 50° F any combination of air temp + water temp equaling 100° F satisfies 100 deg requirement.

Direct launch supervision and “with another rower” for purpose of cold water restrictions means accompanying launch or shell  is within 50 meters of the rower.

“With another rower” for purpose of cold water restrictions means each within 50 meters of the other.

Suggestion: choose your boat wisely!  cold water rowing to attempt to select a less stable boat, unless supervised. If you are not completely comfortable in the boat you plan to row, consider changing to a more stable boat, such as Zephyr or from a single to double, Quad or Four.



Cautions: Safety lines near dam/falls  are not in place until late spring and come out in the late fall; safety lines may not be in place. Do not to go below the 1500 m mark, unless supervised by a launch; launch supervised boats may proceed to the 2000m course finish line.

****COLD AIR AND COOLING WATER*****: Be aware of the conditions; especially in early morning.Dress appropriately and have a change of warm cloths available.
Check and be aware of current flow and ****debris**** in river, as well as weather and river traffic conditions before deciding to launch.

Note: Rain yesterday…means rising water the following day…rising water brings…STUFF!!! 
USE LIGHTS: Please use BOW red/green  and STERN facing or all around white lights.

Be vocal! If another boat is approaching your stern make your presence known!!! (Yell)
Follow traffic pattern: stay close to starboard shore, stay out of center of river…leave the center as a traffic separation zone. Only use the first bridge arch (marked with red and green) as an upstream travel arch. 

Watch for SAFETY UPDATES and INCREASING RESTRICTIONS with decreasing temperatures.

** Note on PFD’s: The “belt pack” (limited number) owned by the MRRA are manual inflatable. They do not provide any flotation unless you pull the cord and activate them, or otherwise blow them up. What is good about this is they will not “accidently” inflate if soaked in the hull of a boat. The tradeoff/limitation is to understand if a rower is unconscious or otherwise unable to manually inflate the PFT it will not provide any flotation; addition concern is user error and/or mechanical failure.

Consider wearing the PFD and using an AUTO inflatable model.

Rowers may wish to consider a vest style USCG type III PFD which also provides some warmth, or consider purchasing and wearing an auto inflatable harness style PFD.

MRRA rules do not supersede UMass Lowell
boathouse rules or state and federal boating laws where applicable.

Check for additional restrictions or cautions posted by Boat Captain and changing river wand weather conditions on a daily basis.

Current River Conditions at NOAA AHPS
Last Updated on Friday, 13 April 2018 12:02
MRRA Programs - SIGN UP TODAY Print E-mail

Masters Sculling: Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning from 5:30 - 7am. Limit 8. Contact Linas Alinskas ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). PROGRAM DESCRIPTION. : Program start May 1st (Wed).  Coached by Jack Frackleton until May 20th, when Colleen Irby will coach.  Cost is $175/6 weeks. This is in addition to base membership ($125) and Logbook Sculling ($250)

See the links on the left (PROGRAMS AND FEES) for Masters Sweep, Learn to Sweep, Learn to Scull and Junior Sweep Camp.

Plus our competitive Open Sweep is also looking for serious sweep rowers.

Any questions: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

FULL: Advanced Sculling: Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 - 7am. Limit 6. contact Karen Scammell to sign up.  Coached by Jack Frackleton. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 April 2013 14:27
Welcome Coaches - Colleen Irby and Jack Frackleton Print E-mail

Colleen Irby Welcome Coach Colleen Irbyof Andover, MA, was a Division I rower at the University of Texas for four years. Coached by Carie Graves, she helped the Longhorns win Big XII Conference Championships in 2009 and 2010. In 2008, she attended a U-23 Development in Boston and competed in a double. Last year, Colleen was a volunteer coach at MIT, assisting the open-weight women. She was chosen for the Joy of Sculling Apprenticeship program, which allowed her mentorship opportunities with Volker Nolte, Al Morrow, and others this winter. Currently, Colleen is the Varsity Assistant Coach at Smith College, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Studies.  




Jack Frackleton altbegan rowing at UMass Amherst, where he sat in stroke seat of the heavyweight eight all four years. In his sophomore through senior years, he led his crews to a JV gold medal (1979), a varsity gold medal (1980), and a varsity bronze (1981) at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, PA.

After graduation, Jack switched from sweep rowing to sculling. In 1982, he made the National Rowing Team for the first time (in the quadruple sculls), and subsequently made the team three more times throughout the 1980s, finishing off his racing career sitting in two-seat of the quad at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

After a bit if a hiatus from the sport, Jack volunteered as an assistant coach for Merrimack College's Women's Crew in their inaugural season. Last year, he helped coach the team to a silver medal showing in the Women's Novice Four at the New England Championships on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA.
Jack looks forward to sharing his passion for the sport with novices and seasoned masters alike: "No matter how fit you are, no matter how well you row, there are always things to work on - there's always room for refinement!"



Last Updated on Saturday, 20 April 2013 21:50
New for 2013 - the MRRA Online Logbook Print E-mail

altStarting this year, the MRRA Logbook has gone paperless.  When you arrive at the boathouse to row, look for the magic electric box otherwise known as the laptop computer at the MRRA desk. Login, choose your boat and your crew, and go row.  When you return from your row, login and close out your rowing event.   It's fast and easy, and just like those commercials with the cute kids, Faster is Better.

The new Logbook means better data quality for the Equipment Committee,  the ability to make boat reservations away from the boathouse, and a consolidated view of everyone on the water on one simple screen.  Best of all, we no longer need to try and read your handwriting.

The Logbook is permanently located here:

TRY IT OUT:  Up until Tuesday night at the next MRRA meeting, the Logbook is in a test mode that lets you login and row a boat from anywhere, or make a reservation.  Certain features are limited for now, but please feel free to give it a try;  we'll clear out the test data sometime next week.

Learn more about the MRRA Logbook by clicking on "MRRA Logbook How-To" in the Members Menu.   You must be logged into the website to access the articles.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:02
April Meeting: Boathouse 4/9 at 7pm Print E-mail

Please plan to attend the April meeting.    Safety video will be shown around 6:20pm.  Meeting starts at 7pm.  Primary agenda item is to approve the budget for 2013.  See the presentation under the March meeting minutes and be prepared, since this will not be reveiwed again.   Other items as needed. 

February Meeting - Tues 2/12 at 7pm Print E-mail

We hope to show the safety video beforehand at 6:30 - stay tuned for confirmation of that. 

Location for this meeting only: Innovation Academy Charter School

72 Tyng Road, Tyngsboro (off Rte 3A, road along river on Chelmsford side).  Upriver from rocks and downriver from 3rd power lines.  Go to Middle School lobby and look for sign directing us to a room.

Agenda will include:

* Merrimack River Watershed - request for additional support; overview of their activities

*  Committee updates - Membership/Programs , Equipment, Safety

* other agenda items as required

In Memoriam Print E-mail

Dear MRRA,

it is with great sadness that I learned that our friend and fellow dedicated rower, Paul Wenger, lost his battle with brain cancer on Wednesday and passed away.

For those who knew Paul, he was a person who exemplified the spirit of the MRRA - he started with us in Learn to Row and soldiered through learning to scull before we had the Zephyrs (which was quite a feat). He was one of a group of men rowers with the moniker "the Good Guys" who rowed in the Quad and then rowed Sweep, competing in the Head of the Charles under the MRRA banner summer 2011. Several amazing notes about Paul: he competed in a 2X with Ginny at Masters Nationals last summer, during a haitus in his treatment! he was always available as a volunteer for any job or need and actually apologized to Jay that he could not help at the TRR this year due to his waning strength! Paul always has a big smile, big hands to help and we know about his big size 14 feet too!

Please keep Paul's family in your hearts and prayers - they have also been strong supporters of the MRRA and volunteers at the TRR!

Peace to all,

Karen Scammell


SERVICES: Calling hours are Wednesday (12/26) from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., corner of North Street, Manchester, NH. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday (12/27) at 11 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 190 Meetinghouse Rd., Bedford, NH. Private burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Needham, MA.

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory
1799 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03104


Paul's website


Paul H. Wenger, 60, of Amherst, NH died December 19, 2012 at Ridgewood Center in Bedford, NH after a valiant yearlong battle with brain cancer.

He was born in Boston, MA on May 1, 1952 to Paul C. and Ruth (Harrington) Wenger. He graduated from Bishop Bradley High School in Manchester, NH and Boston College. He also earned master’s degrees from Northeastern University and Western New England College.
Paul worked at Kalwall Corporation in Manchester, NH for many years. He also worked in western Massachusetts and the Buffalo, NY area. He served as Director of Public Transportation for the state of New Hampshire from 1978 to 1981.
He was a communicant of St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Bedford, NH. He was an avid rower and a member of the Merrimac River Rowing Association. Three months before his cancer diagnosis he rowed in the Head of the Charles races in Cambridge, MA. He was also an avid cyclist, cross country skier and supporter of Boston College athletics.
He will be remembered as a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.
The family includes his wife of 34 years, Lorraine (Shannahan) Wenger of Amherst, NH; three children, Elizabeth L. Wenger of Brookline, MA, Paul S. Wenger and his wife, Elizabeth, of West Henrietta, NY and Johanna H. Wenger of Amherst, NH; a granddaughter, Molly E. Wenger; his father, Paul C. Wenger of Bedford, NH; seven siblings, Jeanne Wenger of Andover, MA, Kenneth Wenger and his wife, Deborah, of Cambridge, MA, Gregory Wenger and his wife, Lisa, of Hampton Falls, NH, Macrina Cassidy and her husband, Donald, of Manchester, NH, Mary-Beth Elliott and her husband, Christopher, of Hopkinton, MA, Margaret Hano and her husband, Randy, of Winnetka, IL and David Wenger and his wife, Kristin, of Manchester, NH; his mother in law, Helen Shannahan of Holliston, MA; four brothers and sisters in law, John and Suzanne Shannahan, Mary-Caryl and James Ferdenzi and Megan and Ronald Hovsepian all of Holliston, MA and James and Ellen Shannahan of Milford, MA; and aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center at, or to the National Brain Tumor Society at



Last Updated on Friday, 21 December 2012 02:28
2012 Annual meeting presentation and minutes posted Print E-mail

To find these documents, go to Members Menu -> MRRA Committees -> Board Documents

item #3 Annual Meeting Dec 2012


Last Updated on Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:45
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Open Sweep

Learn more about the MRRA competitive Open Sweep program, a year-round team environment with the goal of racing in many regional regattas.