Jun 1 2015
Greg wrote a blog “where I row”. Here is my version of it.
This is the Brno dam, nicknamed “Prýgl”, and the label “Brno 221” is the place of our rowing club.
This lake has 2 rowing clubs. Ours, CVK Brno, on the left bank, and Lodni Sporty Brno (where Miroslava Knapkova started rowing) on the right bank, roughly where you see the “384” road number sign on the map.
We have a 2km Albano lane system with the finish in Rakovec, at the south end of the lake. Between April and July, the two outer buoy lines are up, with the other lane dividers resting on the bottom of the lake. The lane dividers are up only during the main race, the International Youth regatta, in May. In the off season there are no buoys, but everybody knows where the 2km regatta course is.
On the lake itself you can row 3km without turning. Traffic patterns are agreed between the two rowing clubs, basically one way traffic from start to finish (north to south) on the regatta course and keeping the left (nude beach) side to go from the north end of the lake to the start of the regatta course, return traffic travels south to north along the entire right bank of the lake. For us, left-bankers, the traffic is a little more complex. Launching from our dock, we are supposed to cross over to the right bank and then follow the usual traffic. From the regatta course finish there is also a one way lane back to the club.
Our youth is rowing back and forth on the 500m in front of our dock for safety reasons.
Alternatively, we can go up the windy river through a very nice forest canyon up to the Veveri castle and beyond, all the way up to the barrage at Veverska Bityska. This part is not allowed for “sports”, so we get into debates with the police sometimes, when the anglers call them. In my mind, we are “recreation”. 😉
The lake itself is shared with swimmers, sailing boats, tourist ferries, dragon boats, and electrical boats. Gasoline motor boats are forbidden, with the exception of rowing coach launches.
The tourist ferries are big and mean and they don’t respect rowers much, but they follow a set traffic pattern and we are constantly on the lookout for them.
The lake is a major recreation area, and this creates some hazards on hot summer days. Swimmers don’t understand they shouldn’t be swimming in the Albano lanes so they mix with rowers training at full speed. Nobody except the rowers understand the traffic patterns, so we are constantly navigating around small boats filled with people drinking beer.
A slight wind, especially from the northwest, is able to create a mean chop. There are many days when we cannot send out the youth to train. Experienced rowers go into the sheltered river canyon on such days, but sometimes the waves are too high to make it to the entry to the canyon.