Fall Fest 2009 by Barbara Belanger

Looking up the word “festival” in my ever handy thesaurus, I found the following; feast, banquet, celebration. Directly below, was the word “festive”; joyful, gay, merry, gala, jubilant.

And so, if you missed the BBRC Fall Fest (ival), you missed out on all the above! For a day that followed a night of turbulence and foul weather, and one which started out spitting out fine mist in the early hours, it turned out to be one spectacular day in every sense of the word. By the time the volunteers were setting up the tables laden with sumptuous soups, patches of blue began to appear in the sky and as the day morning progressed, jackets came off, and the attendees stretched out in the Adirondack chairs, basking in the warm sun, enjoying the soft rock music by Ed Macedo while feasting on a variety of soups, lasagna, breads and yummy desserts.

The ambience at Diane Tomassetti’s waterfront property had the feel of a luxury resort with its vast expanse of green as a backdrop for the sparkling sun lit water of the river. About 50 or so members showed up to enjoy the day along with family members, a couple of pooches and a boxful of adorable kittens (What is it about kittens and babies?). About 12:30 the names for random teams were drawn and there were enough for seven full teams. The format for the course was to leave Diane’s dock and head across the river to round two buoys…the surprise element was that each boat was to complete two 360 degree turns, one port, one starboard and return to the dock. Since this was not a head to head race, each boat was timed which added a bit of suspense as to the outcome. The format required a bit of strategy since there were many options as to how and when the turns could be executed.

Team #1 Girls and Him, steered by Vi Taylor, blasted out first and set the mark with a enviable 7:27. Team #2, Baggen’s End, with Joe Pelczar at the helm, came close with a 7:56, only to be edged out of second place by John Mc Coy’s, Fab Five’s, 7:34. The last two teams had their work cut out for them if they wanted to get into the magic circle. A determined Cruising Combo, steered by Tom Blumetti, was the 6th team out and was thrilled when they found their performance had moved them into first place by 2 seconds with a 7:25, but with Heidi Hacking’s, Heavenly 7 team still to go, waited nervously until Heavenly’s time was called out by timer Jeff Moore; a time of 7:32, good enough to slide Heavenly into third place and pushing The Fab Five down a notch. Rounding out the other places were the River Rats, steered by Louie Doherty and Team 4 Fun, steered by John Souza. With the mixed up teams steered by both experienced and new boatsteers, it was anyone’s guess as to the outcome of any of the races and all the participants agreed that it was lots of fun getting together and rowing with people they often never run into at the dock.

The gear table proved to be popular with the latest in hats and an array of long sleeved tees in the new ‘gotta have one’ fall colors. Joe Kelley was the lucky winner of the 50/50 raffle whose profits support the Holiday Hope project, and tickets for the winter holiday concert were on sale. Contact Jodi or John Mc Coy if you want tickets; this is a major fund raiser for the club. Ed Macedo’s live performance throughout the day was the icing on the cake making it a day to remember. It doesn’t get much better than that.