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About Us

Cape and Islands Rowing Association (CIRA) was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to provide a central resource for multiple rowing organizations on Cape Cod and the Islands. CIRA’s goal is to foster rowing on our waterways, including Learn-To-Row, recreational rowing, and competitive youth and masters programs.

Our Mission:

  • To promote and expand rowing opportunities for youth and adults on Cape Cod and the Islands through recreational and competitive rowing programs in multiple locations
  • To grow the rowing community by encouraging collaboration among existing and future clubs
  • To oversee a centralized facility that will support the needs of these programs

Looking Ahead: CIRA has already created significant value by acting as an umbrella organization that reduced the insurance costs for the participating clubs.  Our next steps involve securing bookkeeping/IRS filing services at a group rate. A long range goal is to provide a centrally located boathouse facility that could benefit all existing clubs and support expanded community programs. A possible centralized winter storage facility is another target, as most clubs' shells are stored outside in the off season, which causes deterioration and damage in the harsh Cape Cod winter weather.


Board of Directors

Lois Fournier, President

Lois has a degree in Nursing from Boston University and enjoys a lifelong interest in health and well being. She became involved in rowing on the Cape in 1988, first as a parent, then as a novice with Barnstable Rowing Club. In 1990 she co-founded Cotuit Rowing Club. In 2000 she joined Cape Cod Rowing where she served on the board and competed in regional races including Head of the Charles, and at FISA Masters in New Jersey and Canada. It has been her goal for many years to have the rowing clubs on the Cape collaborate to enhance the sport for all.

Barbara Howard, Clerk

Coach Howard's rowing career began at the start of the second year of Community Rowing Inc. (CRI) in 1986. Her involvement with CRI included serving on the board of Directors, volunteer coaching, helping to implement rowing for disabled children and, most fun of all, competing with the competitive women's program. As a member of both CRI and Cambridge Boat Club she has won an array of medals in Masters races on the national and international stage. Coach Howard is a certified indoor rowing instructor and is currently teaching classes at Chatham Health and Fitness Club.

John Messenger, Treasurer

John rowed in high school and college many, many years ago.  He served as a volunteer coach for Nauset Tech Crew.  He is married with one (non-rower) daughter, a rower son-in-law, and three future rower grandsons. He shares his gifts in service to a vision of a very robust rowing community on the Cape.

Carol Lyall

Carol has been a rower for 26 years. She is a founding member of the Cotuit Rowing Club (est. 1990). She raced competitively in the 90's in New England and the HOCR. More recently, she has raced her 1x in New England and three times in the HOCR. She has rowed on open water rowing tours in fifteen countries all over the world and has taken her Alden 1x down the Connecticut River and up the coast of Maine.

Sharlene Sones

Sharlene recently moved to her family's home on Harwich's Long Pond and is a new rowing convert. A recovering tennis player, she's an enthusiastic participant in our Learn-to-Row program.  A brand strategist and veteran of the sports industry (LPGA, Spalding Sports, Benetton Sportsystem), Sharlene is a branding author and entrepreneur who brings to Cape & Islands Rowing a keen desire to support outreach, fundraising and our communications. Sharlene is the Founder/Principal Brand Strategist of Brandstoria and Director of U.S. Strategy for teamup, helping build high performance sports brands. She is also the Co-Founder of The Next Play, igniting a new generation of confident, bold women leaders. Sharlene earned her M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and B.S. from Babson College, where she's served as elected Vice President of the Alumni Association Board for multiple terms.

Marc Launoy

Marc began with CIRA as a rowing parent and stayed on to help after his son graduated.  A force for good, Marc helps with all sorts of building and restoration of equipment,  building much-needed oar racks in the trailer; wooden storage box reinforcement; providing extraordinary bakery treats when needed; acting a liaison for rowing parents; building and maintaining the CCYR website, etc., etc., etc. Marc plans to join the men's rowing class this summer.  He has helped us EVERYWHERE!!!


Allison Bresette

Allison was a member of Barnstable Crew, the first junior rowing program on the Cape. She competed in the Junior World Championships as a member of the US Junior National Team, and was a national champion, rowing for Princeton University.


Cape Cod Rowing

Sharon Rooney


Cape Cod Youth Rowing

Marc Launoy


Cotuit Rowing Club

Carol Lyall


Freedom Rows Cape Cod

June Richard


Long Pond Masters

Sharlene Sones


Orleans Sweeps and Sculls

Joan McCabe & Antje Flanders