For generations men and women have been rising before dawn to row. These early morning workouts are dark, cold and damp. The sport is far from public view save for infrequent weekend regattas.
The physical and mental sporting challenge can be rewarding. But more unique is the setting–the never ending tableaus of dark nights transforming into colorful mornings of first lights.
Nature as it awakes, monuments bathed in artificial pre-dawn light, and the iconic sight of an “eight” participating in this classic ritual of humans and nature. That is rowing’s aesthetic experience that transcends the physical. And draws people of all ages back to the water.
Dawn’s dramatic opening fanfare
John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The Georgetown Waterfront
The half-awake moon over the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument
Monuments at daybreak
Rowers greet the dawn
Light announces a new day
Photos by Alix Patterson, a life long rower, rowing coach and parent. From high school through college and now in a master’s program on the Potomac River in Washington DC.