If you set up a course, they will come…and so they did, twenty-two of them, whaleboats, livery, row boats, kayaks, a gig, and a Hawaiian native canoe, all to participate in the BBRC’s first “Row for the Bay” which started and ended at New Bedford’s beautiful Fort Taber. Standing at the end of the long pier jutting out from the beach, it was a sight to behold as the colorful flotilla rounded the Butler Flat Lighthouse, and headed for the next rounding near Davy’s Locker before turning back to the fort. As spectators trained their binoculars to watch the progress, the first of the regatta appeared. It was the BBRC’s own John Mc Coy and Steve Sedgwick rowing John’s livery that was first to cross the finish line followed by the Hawaiian canoe. A steady stream of craft followed, as one by one, they paddled, or rowed, to the finish of the three mile course. One had to admire the fitness of the participants who made it look oh, so easy!

Meanwhile, on the beach, things were humming with Bill Anderson and crew grilling and serving up hot dogs and other snacks as Jodi Duval did a brisk business at the BBRC gear “boutique”. Nancy Anderson, race director, hustled about making sure that everything was running smoothly. The race participants, awaiting the results, munched on the dogs, renewed acquaintances from the Snow Row and exchanged stories as little kids swam nearby. The members of the six person gig who traveled from Plymouth, and Pete Olson and Ed Halpin from Saugus expressed their delight to have gotten another quality practice before the upcoming Blackburn Challenge.

Following the race, several eagerly accepted the kind invitation to try rowing the Hawaiian outrigger canoe and the Azorean whaleboat, under sail. It was a thrill to be well remembered.

It was a beautiful day and life was good. And, best of all, after the medals had been awarded and the last picture snapped, were the words, “Great race, we’ll be back next year!”.