By Brittany Poler
Women’s rowing was little known when its oldest team in the United States was established in 1892. This rowing team is called ZLAC, and was founded by three sisters and a friend who used the initials of their first names to form the acronym.
The team is currently located in Pacific Beach. The women’s junior and master rowers compete in regional, national, and international regattas year round.
ZLAC’s purpose has inspired many women such as La Mesa’s Keara Farrel, one of two team captains at ZLAC. Farrel also rowed for San Diego State University.
“Rowing is more than a healthy activity; it is a way of life,” she said. “It teaches you discipline, humility, confidence and work ethic. These characteristics have translated over in to my everyday life to result in a healthier and happier me.”
ZLAC quickly became Farrel’s new home where she met lifelong friends, embraced a set of traditions and continued her passion for rowing. One of Farrel’s most memorable experiences was the team’s trip to the Southwest Regional Masters Regatta last July in Oakland.
“So many rowers, both novice and experienced, pushed themselves to new limits for this regatta by … racing for the first time and rowing in multiple races in a single day,” she said. “Everyone came home with a smile on their face, and some were fortunate enough to have medals around their neck!”
The ZLAC Rowing Club and the ZLAC Foundation are participating in the “Woman on the Water” exhibit by the Women’s Museum of California. This exhibit celebrates the history of woman on the water in San Diego. To congratulate women of ZLAC, State Senator Joel Anderson provided certificates of recognition at the reception of the exhibit.
“ZLAC has empowered many women in our community, and I am grateful to be a part of their 125th year celebration,” he said. “It is also exciting to learn that La Mesa’s very own Keara is serving as an extraordinary team captain for ZLAC’s masters team.”
The exhibit runs until Sunday, Jan. 29. More information about ZLAC Rowing Club can be found on zlac.org.
—Brittany Poler is a legislative intern for Sen. Joel Anderson.