Old Records Shattered in Bird Island Upset

After some last minute shuffling over the last week, and also in the last hour, to fill the seats in the three whaleboats participating in the Bird Island Challenge, the BBRC’s, Flying Cloud, Kanawha, and the Azorean Maritime Heritage’s, Pico, lined up in what turned out to be an intense six mile race.

In the BBRC whaleboats were two women’s crews comprised of members of at least four individual teams and coxed by Barbara Traban and Michael Suominen . The Azorean boat was crewed by four men and two BBRC women, one of whom was drafted just hours before the event to fill-in for a no show, and arriving just in the nick of time for the start at Zecco Marina in Wareham.

With the 60 some odd craft mixed in with and dwarfed by the three whaleboats, the start was somewhat chaotic with paddles and oars flying every which way causing one the kayakers to take an unplanned swim. However, eventually, all was sorted out and the Pico moved ahead to take an early lead, with the Kanawha right on its tail, and the Flying Cloud five boat lengths behind due to stopping to lend a hand to the unseated kayaker who just happened to be a member of the BBRC.

That order pretty much held for the next three miles with the Pico and Kanawha sometimes side by side until the turn which Michael cut so close that the Kanawha was able to forge ahead. It wasn’t long after that, however, that the powerhouse crew in the Flying Cloud rounded the mark sped by the Pico and began closing in on the Kanawha. Pulling for all they were worth, the Kanawhans couldn’t hold them off and, in the last mile; they too, were passed, finishing a minute behind a triumphant and deserving Flying Cloud crew. Since both crews broke the old whaleboat record by over 20 minutes, everyone ended up celebrating their accomplishment at the award ceremony which featured a sumptuous Mexican buffet on this picture perfect day.

So readers, if you have something to paddle or row, put this race on your list as a “must do” list of events. The race distances range from 3 to 12 miles, the food is great and the folks at the Y are first rate.

Receiving the golden scallop 1st place award, in the Flying Cloud boat coxed by Barbara Traban were:
Deb Gabriel
MJ Mc Manus
Laura Anderson
Laura Corliss
Jean West
Time 1hour 6 minutes

Silver Scallopers, in the Kanawha, coxed by Michael Suominen
Nancy Jacobsen
Norma White
Loretta Maranhas
Barbra Belanger
Gloria Gundersen
Time 1hour 5 minutes

In the Azorean Boat 3rd place finish from the BBRC were
Jackie Duval
Jodi Duval wrestled from a sound sleep around 7 AM, 1 hour from the 8’oclock start and the four man crew coxed by Fernando.

To Vi Taylor went to good sport award for her “swim”.