Hi everyone,

I am sure you are aware of the cultural shift that is currently happening. Little by little, there is incredible momentum currently being built by the Black Lives Matter movement towards creating lasting positive change in our society. Coming from a largely white and privileged rowing world, words of support for the black community are important, but actions speak louder. 

As members of the HPG, we work hard but have benefited from numerous opportunities that had nothing to do with our grit. In order to help expand those opportunities in our local rowing community, the athletes of the Vesper HPG are undertaking a challenge this Sunday, June 7, to benefit Philadelphia City Rowing, and we are asking for your help.

We invite you to pledge to donate $1 (or other amount!) to PCR for every 10km rowed/erged or 10mi biked by Vesper HPG members and coaches in one day (we expect in the neighborhood of 600-1200kms). So, for example, if the HPG collectively covers 800km on Sunday, each individual would then donate $80. The challenge will be documented on social media. 

Sign up via google form here:


Once we complete all of our meters on Sunday, we will announce the total. Then we will follow up with you, and individual donations can be made to Vesper via the PayPal link on our website. Subsequently, one lump sum will be donated to Philadelphia City Rowing.

With the knowledge that many in the rowing community will also be doing their workouts this Sunday, the Vesper HPG team is encouraging athletes outside of our group to join in solidarity. Although the pledge will only be for the meters that we achieve, we ask others to use this Sunday’s workout to reflect with us on ways that we think we can change the rowing community to be more inclusive. Please mention Vesper (@vesperboatclub) on Instagram or send us your thoughts and we can work together to make a financial and actionable change.

Please consider pledging to help via the link above! We are in an important time, and this is one step we can ALL take to help Vesper make a strong statement in support of black and brown athletes. 

All together,

Cristina Pretto and Jasper Liu

On behalf of the High Performance Group