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Green Racing Project Blog

First Impressions

29.Jun.2015 by Heather Mooney

I’ve only been at Craftsbury full time for only two weeks now, and I am so happy to already feel like I have a new home. I knew nearly everyone on the ski side of the team before coming, had known Pepa since I was a young junior, and had been to Craftsbury on countless races trips and training camps, but I still didn’t know what to expect in moving here and joining the GRP. I knew about all the pieces but had no idea what it would feel like putting them all together.

Any question was quickly resolved as I immediately felt at home and welcomed by the team. A big part that contributed to this feeling was a sense that everyone has a place and purpose that is very much their own. I could see everyone contributing in their respective niches. Whether taking care of the animals, working on trails, working in the garden, or collaborating on the new cabins etc, it was immediately clear to me how each individual does have a purpose besides strictly athletic ability.

In racing, we often share similar goals, we all want to be really fast, and it’s easy to feel like we’re all competing for shares of the same thing, whether it is on our own team or nation-wide, trying to get spots on trips, the national team or the world cup. There’s only so much of the pie and if you have some of it, then somebody else has less. But by way of the work we do in return for our spot here, it is pretty cool to see how each person’s unique interests and abilities work together to make the Craftsbury “pie” bigger and better for everyone, rather than competing for space.

My biggest apprehension in coming into life as a “professional” athlete was the balance of being able to focus on getting faster, without it over consuming me as a person. Upon beginning life on the GRP, it has been reassuring to see right away my teammates’ strengths and interests outside of training, and the mutual importance of those aspects of them. Seeing the rest of the team appear so well balanced in their other contributions to the Outdoor Center has been inspiring to me, hoping that I too can develop my place and add to the balance as they do.

Having the built in opportunity to contribute to something else here is more than a safety net to mental sanity, but rather feels like a driving force that’s really unique about this team and greater Craftsbury Outdoor Center community. It is a good reminder of how any kind of successful team operates, dependent on the different characteristics that each person brings, contributing to a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. For that reason, I’m so excited to be welcomed to this team, thanks for having me!

On the training side of things, we’re happily enjoying an easy week, helping with the BKL camp, after several weeks of hard training. Here’s a photo summary of the past week, taken from our instagram posts. Be sure to follow @greenracingproject if you don’t already for a peek at the pieces that don’t make it to the blog.


IMG_0739 IMG_0737 IMG_0736 IMG_0714 IMG_0711 IMG_0694 IMG_0689

M2x in Sarnen

27.Jun.2015 by John Graves

Hey all,

Ben and I have been in Sarnen, SUI for the last week following WC 2 in Varese and we will be training here for one more week before we move over to Lucerne for World Cup 3. We have been enjoying the mountain scenery and glassy water while also taking some time to hike around the area. We hiked up to see the sunset on thursday night. Here are a couple of pics.




Ben and I have enjoyed a fairly easy week this week recovering from racing the week before but will now begin to do a lot of hard work in the boat to prepare for WC 3. We were encouraged by our speed in Varese but were not quite able to finish out the regatta the way we wanted. We are eager to fine tune some things and show up Lucerne ready to have a great regatta. More to come as we get closer to racing!



Day 2 – World Cup II

20.Jun.2015 by Erik Frid

Both Green Racing Project boats competing for the United States competed Saturday in the A/B semifinals for World Cup II in Varese, Italy.

Starting off the GRP racing was the men’s 2x of John Graves and Ben Dann. The two battled it out in a difficult semifinal, which included the reigning World Championship 2x from Croatia. The two sprinted early and aggressively to sneak into the top three, necessary for moving on to the A final. The sprint was not enough, as Poland matched them and they finished 4th place with a time of 6:19.78, beating Germany and Denmark. Boats moving on from their semifinal included Croatia, Poland and Norway.

Graves and Dann will look to win the B final on Sunday at 10:20 a.m., 4:20 Italian time. They will be racing boats from Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, China and the Czech Republic.

Willy Cowles also faced a difficult field in his semifinal, placing 6th, with 1st being European Champion Damir Martin from Croatia and 2nd being reigning World Champion Andrej Synek from the Czech Republic. Cowles pulled a 6:54.21.

The B final for the men’s 1x will be at 10:30 a.m., 4:30 Varese time. Cowles will race single scullers from Germany, Finland, Belarus and Italy.

Both GRP races can be followed live at


Photo from USRowing

Day 1- World Cup II

19.Jun.2015 by Erik Frid

Both Green Racing Project boats overseas moved on to the A/B Semifinals at World Cup II earlier Friday in Varese Italy.

The day started off with the Men’s 2x of John Graves and Ben Dann. They finished second in their heat with a time of 6:17.1, behind Italy’s 6:16.5. Also in their heat was Bulgaria, Italy and China. With this second place finish Graves and Dann avoided the repechage in the afternoon and moved straight into the semis.

Willy Cowles began his two-race day with a third place finish in his heat with a time of 7:01.1. He placed behind 2014 World Championship Bronze Medalist Angel Fournier Rodriguez, from Cuba, and Germany’s Lars Hartig. In his heat were also the single scullers from Israel and Peru.

Later in the day Cowles faced a difficult field in his quarterfinal, placing third to move on to the semifinal. Pulling 6:44.62, Cowles was behind 2014 World Championship Silver Medalist and Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale and Belarus’s Stanislau Shcharbachenia. The quarterfinal also sported competition from Brazil, Israel and another American single sculler.

The Green Racing Project will be back in action Saturday in the semifinals. The Graves-Dann double races at 8:15 a.m, 2:15 p.m. Italian time, against doubles from Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Norway and Poland. They must place top three to earn a birth in the A Final. Cowles will race his semifinal at 8:45, 2:45 in Varese. He will have to place top three to place in the A final. His competition will be single scullers from Finland, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Saturday’s racing action can be tracked live at, with Sunday’s A finals being live-streamed.

Photos from USRowing