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Rowers having fun in OKC

By Ed Moran, Special Correspondent Modified: August 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm •  Published: August 13, 2011

As Diane Kloster and two of her teammates stood in front of a boat rack getting ready to race, a country tune started playing over the sound system.

Being from Texas, the only proper response was to start a small line dance. So they did. They might be competing in the 2011 USRowing Masters National Championships on the Oklahoma River, but they still want to have fun.

“This has been like a vacation for me, absolutely,” said the 49-year-old from the Austin-based Texas Rowing Center, which brought 38 rowers to Oklahoma City.

“Just being able to get out of town, the rain alone has been a holiday. We've been racing and relaxing, having a few beers.”

During the four-day regatta, 876 rowers from 80 cities and 28 states came to compete for a piece of the 199 national titles on the line. And they are expected to leave a big chunk of their collective wallets behind.

According to Sue Hollenbeck, Assistant Director of Sports Business Development for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, having the regatta at the Boathouse District this week will bring an estimated $1.7 million to $1.8 million to downtown businesses.

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