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Whale-sized rowing shell to cruise Lady Bird Lake this weekend

The 24-seat rowing shell will launch from the Waller Creek Boathouse on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Angie Houtz

The 24-seat rowing shell has arrived in Austin. Photo by Angie Houtz

 

The world’s longest rowing shell, a 144-foot whopper, will glide up and down Lady Bird Lake this weekend.

Even better? You can hitch a ride on the 24-seat behemoth.

The Austin Rowing Club is teaming with Pulling for Pink, an awareness and fund-raising campaign started by Austin rower Angie Houtz after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, to offer rides on the boat.

The Stampfli Express is as long as a blue whale and its baby.

The Stampfli Express is as long as a blue whale and its baby.

The 926-pound rowing shell, dubbed the Stampfli Express, measures as long as a full-grown baby whale and its baby, arranged nose to tail. Hour-long rides are open to rowing crews, corporate teams or anyone interested in trying rowing.

Cost is $25 per seat; make reservations online here. Limited space is available between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, but if you can assemble a group of 24, you can arrange a private rowing session on Sunday. Just email Angie Houtz at angiehoutz@gmail.com.

The boat travels in pieces and is assembled on site. Photo by Angie Houtz

The boat travels in pieces and is assembled on site. Photo by Angie Houtz

 

The boat will launch from the Waller Creek Boathouse on Lady Bird Lake, just south of The Four Seasons Hotel. Refreshments will be available.

All proceeds will be donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas, which support people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.


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