Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
While standing in front of the results board at the Head of the Passaic Regatta, a Greenwich, Connecticut parent turned to one of our parents and asked, “Where are you guys from? I don’t remember seeing you before.”
On Saturday, Oct. 15, it was hard to miss Port Rowing. Port Rowing, the Port Washington Crew Team, established less than one year ago, took second place in the “overall points” category at the Regatta.
The Men’s Novice Eight boat took first place in their event, competing against 12 other teams and achieving a race time of 17:56 minutes, nearly a minute and a half better than the second place team.
The girls on the Women’s Novice 4 boat also walked off with first place medals. It was the first time many of the girls in the boat had ever competed in a boat race. In addition, the team had several other top three finishes including second place in the youth 8 category, and third place in the men’s youth 4 category.
All of the events at the Head of the Passaic were Head races. These races, which are a little over 4,000 meters long, require tremendous amounts of endurance and discipline. With a staggered start, the boats begin at 20-second intervals so it is difficult to judge where you stand relative to the other boats during the race. Rowers need to row at 100 percent for the entire long race with no breaks and no substitutions. This Regatta was the first time the Port Rowing team ever competed in this type of event.
Racing conditions were extremely difficult. The strong head winds posed a huge challenge for the rowers and coxswains. Fortunately, the Port Rowers had some experience racing in difficult conditions. This season, they have been training in the rough waters off the Village Club of Sands Point. The team has trained six days per week since late August.
Every member of the Port Rowing team was eligible to compete in the Head of the Passaic. The team brought 19 crews to compete in nine separate events. In some events, such as the Men’s Youth Novice 8 category, the team had five boats in competition. Every Port Rowing Crew reached the finish line in a respectable time.
The regatta was a winning experience for all the participants. After participating in their events, racers were able to enjoy the rest of the day. Rowers cheered on their teammates, and relaxed near the Port Rowing hospitality tent. The hospitality tent offered breakfast, lunch and snacks to all the team racers and spectators. Nearly 100 parents traveled to Lyndhurst, New Jersey to support the team.
Port Rowing was started less than a year ago, when Friends of Port Rowing, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established with the mission to promote the sport of rowing in the Port Washington area. The Port Rowing team is comprised of 124 boys and girls aged 12 to 18.