John McLain – LBRA Legacy Boathouse
We row out of our very own state-of-the-art boathouse, opened in 2008 and located on Lake Fairview in Orlando, Florida. The John McLain – LBRA Legacy boathouse features three large bays that house our current racing shells, a fleet of ergometers (rowing machines), and plenty of weight-training equipment. We are so very lucky to have our own permanent home, thanks to Mr. John McLain and several other alumni and Legacy members.
LBRA currently has 10 8-person and three 4-person racing shells. The following history of all current and retired shells was generously provided by Coach Travis Raker with helpful contributions from numerous alumni. Find below the LBRA fleet, both past and present.
The Patriot 1
The Patriot 1 was a Schoenbrod 8. It was chopped up into pieces and sold in 1997. Only the bow section was locatable, and it was refurbished by Clayton Cox (’98) and Michael Moseley (’04). It was donated back to the program for the boathouse.
The Joy Davis
The Joy Davis was a Schoenbrod 8. The boat was named after Joy Davis, the program’s first Lake Brantley High School teacher liaison. The boat was chopped up into pieces in 1997. Only the Stern section location is known – it is in possession of Blaine Tolison (’02).
The William K. Jurgens
The Jurgens is a 1988 DL racer 8. The hull is named after Bill Jurgens who is the former coach of the Florida Institute of Technology Men’s crew and is the schools current athletic director. The Jurgens sports the Volvo car symbol for its enduring service to Lake Brantley Crew. The Jurgens helped the Brantley Men capture the 1995 Men’s lightweight 8 state title and carried the 1996 Novice Men’s 8 to an undefeated season capped with an open water victory at the 1996 State 8’s regatta. The Jurgens is still in use today by Lake Brantley’s Middle School program.
The Smokey is a DM stern loader racer four purchased in 1994, The Smokey has been used extensively by the program and was the hull used for Lake Brantley to capture its first Heavyweight State’s medal at the 1998 State 4’s race it helped our Heavyweight 4 capture Bronze. The boat is still in heavy use by the program. The boat was named by the 1998 Men’s Heavyweight 4 after one of their favorite movie characters from the movie “Friday”. The Smokey is the sister hull to the Absolutely as they were purchased at the same time.
Purchased in 1994, The Absolutely was a DS stern loader racer four. The Absolutely was named so because of the money donated towards it purchase from Absolute Roofing. The Absolutely was used extensively by the LBRA Lightweight Program capturing the 1995 and 1997 Men’s lightweight 4 state titles and the State runner up Lightweight fours in 1996 and 1998. The hull also was used to capture the 1995 National title in the Men’s lightweight four and carried the lightweight Men to 2nd place finishes in 1996 and 1997 at Scholastics Nationals. Its current whereabouts are unknown. The Absolutely is the sister hull to the Smokey as they were purchased at the same time.
The Springbok is a DS racer 8 purchased in 1997. The boat was purchased for use by the Varsity Women. Originally named the Bram Fowler, Coach Fowler thought the name Springbok was more appropriate. The name Springbok originates from the Springbok colors that were historically awarded to South African teams and individuals representing the country in international competition. South Africa is Coach Fowler’s native country. The Springbok is still in heavy use by the novice women’s program and is the sister boat to the Joe Barrett.
The Joe Barrett
The Barrett is a DM racer 8 purchased in 1997 to replace the Jurgens as the Men’s varsity 8 hull. The Boat was named after one of LBRA’s greatest benefactors, Joe Barrett. When LBRA was forced to leave Bear Lake they had no place to go and Joe Barrett allowed LBRA to row out of his Marina on the west side of Lake Fairview. The Barrett has been an enduring symbol of the men’s team and was the first boat to sport one of Brantley Men’s greatest traditions, the car symbol. The Barrett currently sports the Famous Chevy “SS” super sport symbol near its stern. This Tradition was started in the Spring of 1997 by then Varsity Coxswain Justin Faiber (’99) and has continued to this day. The Barrett was the hull first used to get our Heavyweight men into the V8 final in 1998, that same year the Lightweight 8 men rowed the Barrett to a very tight 4th place finish at Scholastic Nationals. The Barrett also captured the 2003 Men’s lightweight 8 state title. The Barrett is still in heavy use by the Freshmen Guys program. The Barrett is the sister hull to the Springbok, as they were purchased at the same time.
The Olympus is a 1998 DS Ultralite bow loader four. After a narrow loss at Scholastic Nationals in 1997, the men’s team put a lot of pressure on the Board to upgrade the Programs’ fours fleet and LBRA purchased its first bow loader 4. The Boat was named by Ryan Selis (’02). According to Selis legend, “We were all incredibly good looking and baller rowers who won every race by boat lengths, so we felt like Greek gods on top of mount Olympus.” The Olympus has been a staple of the racing fleet for LBRA capturing the Women’s 1998 and 2003 lightweight 4 state titles along with the 2001 Women’s Junior Four National title and the Men’s 2002 Lightweight 4 state title. The Olympus is still in heavy use by the entire LBRA program.
The Lou Sucich
The “Lou” is a DM ultralite 8 purchased in 2001 for the Women’s Varsity 8 to replace the “bok”. The boat is named after Lou Sucich, a former president of LBRA and the father of Angela Sucich (’92) and former LBRA coach Craig Sucich. The Lou helped the ladies capture the 2003 Women’s JV8 state title.
The Styrke is a 1999 DM Millennium 8 and was the first Millennium purchased by LBRA in 2002. The Boat was purchased used from Louisville Varsity Women’s program to supplant the Joe Barrett as the Men’s Varsity 8 hull. In the Winter of 2002 it became apparent that the Varsity Men were going to need a newer hull for their more competitive varsity 8 program and the Styrke was purchased. The Styrke was given its baptism into LB Men’s rowing when Blaine Leudecke (’03) gave it a BMW “M” symbol. The Styrke was named by Ben Allen (’03) because they decided they needed an eloquent a name to match their racing mentality and the ancient Norse word for “intensity” was chosen. The Styrke carried the LB men to their first medal in the Varsity Men’s 8 in 2002 capturing bronze and helping the Freshmen Men’s 8 to a State runner up result in the same year and helping the 2004 Freshmen 8 capture State’s gold. The Hull was repainted in 2004, refurbished in 2013, and The Styrke is still in heavy use by the JV men’s squad for LBRA.
The En Fuego
The En Fuego was a 2003 DM Millennium2 8. In 2003 LBRA had swelled to roughly 120 athletes and the Heavyweight Varsity 8’s needed larger hulls to support the increase in athleticism. The En Fuego was leased from Vespoli for the Varsity Women’s 8. The boat was named by Coach Matt Schlichenmeier. When the lease ended LBRA decided not to purchase the hull and purchased a new M2 – “The Schlich”. Its current whereabouts are unknown.
The Revolution was a 2002 M2 DL 8 purchased used for the Varsity Men’s 8. The boat was one of the first M2’s every made and was originally rowed by Temple’s men but it had structural issues and was sent back to the factory to be fixed and then was sold to LBRA. The Varsity men at the time averaged about 185-190 lbs and were not able to row in the Barrett or the Stryke effectively. The Boat was named the Revolution by Coach Travis Raker as a testament to the change in LBRA men to Varsity 8 competitor and its change in the Men’s team approach to program building along with its association with the LBHS mascot, the Patriots. The Revolution carried the Varsity 8 men to a 3rd place finish at States. The Revolution was deemed too large and not useful by later coaches and was traded to TAC in 2005 for the Charlie’s Hell’s Angels boat. The boat is currently used by Tallahassee Rowing Club. The “REVO” was originally slated to be given a Cadillac symbol as its car symbol.
The Steve Wilks
The Steve Wilks is a 2003 DS Millennium bow loader 4 purchased with donations by the Johnson Family (Lincoln ’03 and Cearra ’05). The Boat was named by Coach Travis Raker for the one of the most important coaches in LBRA history, Steve Wilks. Coach Wilkes began Coaching LBRA in 1991 and carried it through its formative years through thick and thin and made many sacrifices to get LBRA to where it is today. Coach Wilkes was always trying to get the best equipment for the fledgling LBRA and Coach Travis thought that naming one of the finest boats purchased in LBRA history after him would be appropriate. The Wilks has been invaluable to the program in helping LBRA win the Frosh Men’s 4 at states in 2003 and 2005 along with the 2008 Men’s Lightweight 4 state titles.
The Charlie’s Hell’s Nobody’s Angels
The Angels is a 2002 Racer DM8 that was procured in a trade with TAC for the Revolution. The boat was originally a Stetson University boat named after Coach Charles Hutchmaker. Since then this shell has experienced many name changes, from The Charlie’s Angels, to The Charlie’s Hell’s Angels, and now officially the Nobody’s Angels; but it is commonly referred to as simply The Angels. Coach Preston Weinard (LBRA alum ’09) knew the tradition of putting car symbols on Brantley’s Men’s 8s, so he placed a retro Cadillac symbol on the Angels’ stern, in recognition of the trade of the Revolution with TAC. The boat is currently used by the Men’s 3rd 8 and novice program.
The Schlick is a 2005 DS Millennium 8. The boat was purchased for the Varsity women’s 8 program to replace the En Fuego when the lease on that boat ran out. The boat was named by the Varsity women for their Coach, Matthew Schlichenmeier and is currently used by the Women’s Junior Varsity 8.
The Grand Slam
The Grand Slam is a 2001 Kaschper Lightweight 2x. The boat was purchased by Lake Brantley alumni, Ben Parker (’08) and Mark Lower (’09) in 2007. Parker and Lower won the Orlando City Championship in 2008 in the Varisty 2x event with the Grand Slam. The Grand Slam was named for Parker and Lower’s favorite post-practice meal, found exclusively at Denny’s. Parker and Lower have generously donated the Grand Slam to LBRA, and is the pioneer shell for Lake Brantley’s sculling fleet.
The Legacy is a 2008 DM V1 8. The boat was purchased at the Head of the Hooch for the Varsity Men. The boat was named the Legacy in honor of the Legacy board who has helped LBRA build its new boathouse. Because of its sleek, ribless hull and aluminum wing riggers, Coach Preston saw it fit to don the Legacy with a car symbol that was equally as luxurious; a Mercedes AMG. The Legacy is manned by the Men’s Varsity 8.
The Thyestean is a Vespoli 2011 DS V1 8. The boat was purchased by numerous donors who are recognized on the port-side gunwales. The boat was named the Thyestean after the Greek myth character, Thyestes, and is commonly known in the phrase “Thyestean Feast”. With its distinct and unique red hull and red wing riggers, the shell is unmistakable on the water, and is used as the Women’s Varsity 8 shell.