New Members: October 2012

By: Sophie Ordway
Photo Credit: Mike Farry


Victoria Stutz comes to us from Trumbull, Connecticut. In addition to rowing sweep all four years of college, Victoria has a couple summers of sculling under her belt. Her favorite rowing moment is when she crossed the finish line at the Canadian Henley with less than a second lead to advance. When she’s not consulting the general public on how to manage their money, Victoria has put in some work hours with RBC and hopes to help out with fundraising. Before Victoria ever got into rowing, she had the opportunity to play cello with Yo-Yo Ma at the Symphony Hall.

Beatrice Sims is a recent graduate of Brown where she rowed all four years and won NCAA championships her junior year. Because she couldn’t get enough of the sport (like the rest of us), Beatrice spent recent summers with the Quinsigamond Rowing Association near her hometown of North Grafton. She rowed for RBC this past summer along with volunteering at Master’s Nationals. She is also working towards a certification as an Assistant USRowing Referee in addition to her job as a Software Engineer at Vistaprint. While Beatrice obviously has skill on the water in both sweep and sculling boats, she has yet to learn the same finesse on land: She once broke her leg while answering the phone…

Christopher Lyver hails from all over the country and beyond. An honorably discharged ‘veteran’ from the Air Force, Chris spent his high school years bouncing back and forth between Fordham Prep during the school year (where he won most outstanding novice his first year and was captain as a senior) and Pelham Community Rowing during the summers. He rowed recreationally with Fordham University and has trained as far north as Canada and as far south as Miami. His favorite rowing memory is the New York State Scholastic Championships in 2011. He plans to volunteer on the 29th with RBC at Cambridge History Day and is hoping to sign up with some of the regatta committees.

Kelley Woodacre, from Wellesley, MA, comes to us from an assortment of different rowing teams and clubs. She rowed for University of Rhode Island all four years and managed to become Captain her senior year. She also spent a couple summers rowing for CanAmMex and the Boston U23 Development Camp. And if that’s not enough, she’s also spent some time with Community Rowing. We’re definitely hoping she plans to settle with RBC for a good while, as she can row pretty much anything and everything. Her favorite rowing moment is when she won Head of the Charles in the CRI Youth 8+. As a landscape architect for Sudbury Design Group, Kelley plans to bring her skills to the Buildings and Grounds Committee to help make RBC a more sustainable club. In addition to all the rowing Kelley has done the last six years, she’s also an avid skier and rock climber.

Grace Lin is migrating to us from just down the river. She has spent the past four years coxing for MIT, or as she responded, being ‘deadweight’. Of course we all know the real value of coxswains, so we’re very happy to have her with us. We will have to figure out how to keep her out of the Charles, as she’s been in over it ten times. We may also have to give her a new cheer, otherwise she’ll start up the Beaver Call come race time.

Allison Lavigne hails from the Midwest and has been rowing off and on for the past 11 years. She started at Bucknell in 2001 as a walkon and has also rowed with the Masters team for the Greater Columbus Rowing Association. She’s been rowing with the Women’s Sweep program for RBC and hopes to start sculling soon. Her favorite rowing moment was wet launching from the sandy beaches of Long Beach, CA during Masters Nationals. One fun fact about Allison is that before she learned to row in college, she spent her high school years playing tennis and badminton.

Rachel Pettis is originally from Georgia but she’s been a local in Boston since 2008. She walked on to the BC women’s team and has been hooked ever since. Her favorite rowing moment is when she raced in the Club 8+ event in the Head of the Charles. She is currently a legal secretary and hopes to help RBC with the fundraising committee. If you ever find yourself rowing behind Rachel, be sure to ask her where her extra vertebra is that she has endearingly named Fernando.

Ray Firth is making the transition to us from CRI, although he first learned to row on the Charles in 1970 with Northeastern University. He works for Alden Rowing Shells and while he can row sweep and scull, his racing shell of choice is the open water. If you ever find yourself on the water next to Ray on a rather windy day, be careful about racing him back to the dock. He was also an Adaptive Coach for CRI. He’s joined the Masters team with RBC and is looking forward to all the new faces and activities.

Jeanette Saraidaridis has been rowing since 2003 when she first learned at Phillips Academy Andover. She honed her skills at Brown University for 4 years, along with a couple summers at CRI and GMS in between. Jeanette can scull as well as sweep but for now she’s joining the women’s sweeps team. Her favorite rowing moment is the snowstorm during the Head of the Charles in 2009. And while we all may not understand her dislike of cheese, hopefully we can entice her to use her teaching skills to help out with some of RBC’s learn to row days.

Sophie Ordway, also from the Midwest, learned to scull around ten years ago. She spent the following six years sculling, coxing and rowing in a lightweight 4+ for Grand Rapids Crew. She rowed at Marist College for the two and a half years she wasn’t abroad and has since done a little bit of coaching but is looking forward to being back on the water. She’s helping the club out with the newsletter but she would also like to get involved in the Buildings and Grounds Committee. She loves to knit and sew, which is why she works at Gather Here, Cambridge’s first and only Stitch Lounge. It’s hard for her to pin down a favorite rowing moment, but one of the many mornings on the Hudson when everything just clicked in her Varsity 8+ will definitely suffice.