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Planner, Jan. 1: You can row in a boat bigger than a whale

Pam LeBlanc
pleblanc@statesman.com
The boat travels in pieces and is assembled on site.

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 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 at www.pullingforpink.org/express.html. 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 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.

Memorial today

A reminder that a memorial service for singer-songwriter David Rodriguez, who gained popularity in Austin and throughout Central Texas during the 1980s-1990s, will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Sahara Lounge in East Austin.

Rodriguez, 63, died on Oct. 26 in the Netherlands, where he lived for more than two decades.

Since his death, several radio stations both in Austin and Holland have dedicated programs in his memory, says his sister and multi-disciplinary artist Leticia Rodriguez. Plans for a tribute concert in his honor are in the works.

Read his full obituary in English and in Spanish on our websites.

— Nancy Flores

Next week in Austin360: Meet our first Austin360 artist of the month: rock band Harvest Thieves, who are releasing a new record this month.

On ‘Statesman Shots’