At any given time, the rowers making their synchronized strides across the Eagle Creek Reservoir could be adults or youths, Olympic-level competitive athletes or recreational paddlers out for exercise and sun. This variation in ages, backgrounds, and skill levels is in keeping with the Indianapolis Rowing Center's mission of popularizing the sport regardless of socioeconomic status or past experience. Upon opening the center in 1982 at Eagle Creek Park, the founders began to instill their nonprofit, Olympic-level training and competition knowhow unto rowers of all levels. Oarsmen buzz about the boathouse March–November, getting tips and taking lessons from a staff that includes a 2008 Beijing Olympian as well as collegiate-level competitors. Over time, the IRC has created a regional hub for rowing with its many programs for high-school, collegiate, and adult athletes as well as hosting collegiate rowing championships.
Indianapolis Sailing Club is a private sailing club housing a friendly fleet of fun-loving sailboats that provide entertainment for families, racers, and first-time sailors alike. Today’s “Your First Sail” class is specially designed for Groupon customers who want to break out their sailing wings and learn how to soar through the water like helicopters. During the class (most of which will be on the water), an experienced instructor will teach aquatic adventurers all the basics of sailing, from rigging, boarding, and launching the boat to learning the sail positions, maneuvering, steering, and tacking. Classes are semi-private: each instructor will work with two students at a time (each student needs a Groupon), so tell a friend about today's deal or let the club place you with a fellow solo learner.
After a day of tending to his technology company, Todd Bracken relaxes the way many CEOs do: by diving into another business venture. For Todd, that means sharing his passion for sailing and windblown hairstyles through Dauntless Sailing School, where he imparts his more than 20 years of experience to students of all experience levels. Docked at Geist Lake Marina, his 28-foot performance cruiser is equipped with a full galley and private bathroom. Eschewing classroom instruction, Todd prefers to give each student as much hands-on experience as possible, teaching them how to navigate the winds blowing across Geist Reservoir. In addition to beginner through advanced lessons, the captain also leads more adventurous outings that include multi-day sails on the Great Lakes, regattas, and coastal cruises around the Florida Keys.
White River Canoe Company provides outdoor entertainment for river people in the form of canoes, kayaks, and river tubes. Unlike the baby-doll clients and child CEOs of imaginary boat companies, this water-tight canoe company's customers do not need inflatable limbs to enjoy a canoe or kayak trip on the serene White River. Today’s deal is good for the popular Rusty Oar adventure, a two- to three-hour excursion that launches off at the Rusty Oar drop-in. Starting at the company’s main River Road facility, paddlers will be transported via passenger van to the drop-in point (about a 10–15 minute trip), schooled in safe river navigation, and equipped with all the necessary paddling gear. Then, selecting either a kayak ($34 plus tax) or a canoe ($42 plus tax), boaters shove off melodramatically to paddle and float down the watery way that will return them once again to River Road, where parked cars and bejeweled trolls await their owners on gravelly lots.